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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 13:00 GMT
Red Bull snaps up Jaguar F1 team
RED BULL FACTFILE
Dietrich Mateschitz, head of Red Bull
Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, 59, has been involved in F1 for a decade
Ranks 406th in Forbes.com's list of the world's richest people, worth $1.4bn
Bought Fijian resort of Laucala in 2003
Founded Red Bull in 1984 after drinking a locally-brewed tonic in Thailand
Company now employs 1,850 people, 200 at HQ near Salzburg
Austrian energy drink company Red Bull has bought F1 team Jaguar just hours before its closure deadline.

The deal safeguards 340 jobs at the team's Milton Keynes base and means there will still be 10 teams on the F1 grid next season.

The new Red Bull team will use engines made by Cosworth, which Jaguar-owners Ford had also put up for sale.

Ford confirmed it has also sold Cosworth to Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe, US Champ Car co-owners.

"I'm reassured that we have sold our F1 businesses to new owners who have long histories in the sport and want to take these great companies forward," said Richard Parry-Jones, Ford Group vice-president.

Red Bull, owned by Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, was an existing sponsor of Jaguar.

"We're really looking forward to our first Formula One season. This step is a provisional summit of our 10-year involvement in motorsport," said Mateschitz.

Parent company Ford put Jaguar Racing and Cosworth up for sale in September as part of a major cost-cutting reshuffle.

The US car giant had until Monday to find a buyer in order to meet the deadline for teams to enter the 2005 Formula One championship and to keep the Jaguar motorsport operation open.

The 11th-hour deal was welcomed by trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt.

"These sales will help secure the future of two of the most respected brands in world motorsport and open up new opportunities in automotive engineering here in the UK."

No financial details were released but Ford were reported to have asked for a symbolic $1 if the new owners guaranteed to invest $400m into the team over the next three Grand Prix seasons.

We are strongly committed to continuing the great F1 tradition at Cosworth and take that very successful heritage into the future
Kevin Kalkhoven, new Cosworth boss

Jaguar's sale coupled with the announcement by Jordan it had secured a one-year engine contract with Toyota and the confirmation Minardi will continue to be supplied with Cosworth engines, removes the threat of three-car teams next season.

If the grid had been cut from 10 to nine teams, the remaining teams would have been forced to field extra cars to make up the numbers.

"We are strongly committed to continuing the great F1 tradition at Cosworth and take that very successful heritage into the future," said Kalkhoven.

"Cosworth will be challenging for places on the podium and hopefully for the championship," he added.

Ford said that Tony Purnell would remain as principle of the new team.

Anthony Davidson could be in line for the Red Bull drive

The driver line-up is not yet known, but Austrian Christian Klien, who got the Jaguar seat last season due to his Red Bull sponsorship, and Italian youngster Vitantonio Liuzzi, who Red Bull backed to the Formula 3000 title this season, are among the candidates.

German Nick Heidfeld and Britain's Anthony Davidson, who impressed as BAR's test driver last season, are also in the running.

"We now have the possibility to accompany young talent throughout their whole career," Mateschitz said.

Red Bull - which also sponsors Swiss-based Sauber team and was formerly involved with now-defunct Arrows - has been involved in motorsport for years, as well as a range of action sports.

Jaguar entered Formula One in 2000 after Ford took over the Stewart team founded by three-times world champion Jackie Stewart in 1997.

In 85 races they secured just 49 points with a best championship position of seventh in 2002 and 2003 and two third places in Monaco, 2001 and Italy, 2002 their best finishes.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Redbull Racing MD David Pitchforth



SEE ALSO
Red Bull boss returns to F1 dream
15 Nov 04 |  Formula One
Mansell linked with Jaguar move
29 Oct 04 |  Formula One
Jaguar boss appeals to buyers
17 Oct 04 |  Formula One
Jaguar 'nowhere near' being sold
11 Oct 04 |  Formula One
Ford hopeful of Jaguar sale
23 Sep 04 |  Formula One
Jaguar quits Formula One
17 Sep 04 |  Motorsport
Teams plan Cosworth talks
18 Sep 04 |  Motorsport


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