Analysis: Red Bull's F1 Dream Given Wings by Jaguar

The American dream of Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has been given wings by his purchase of Jaguar on Monday.

Analysis: Red Bull's F1 Dream Given Wings by Jaguar

The American dream of Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has been given wings by his purchase of Jaguar on Monday.

The Austrian billionaire has been involved in Formula One for a decade and owned 64 percent of the Swiss-based Sauber team until 2002 when he sold the stake for an estimated $42 million.

The 59-year-old remained a sponsor of Sauber and attempted to take over now-defunct Arrows and turn them into a "Red Bull All America" team with US drivers, sponsors and engines.

The US is one of the biggest markets for fizzy Red Bull, a honey-hued energy drink whose quirky advertisements boast it 'gives you wings'.

After Arrows folded, Red Bull started a programme to bring young US drivers to Europe to groom them for Formula One.

"The aim of the Red Bull Driver Search is to have an established team of three to six American drivers at the starting line in Formula One," says the company's website.

Mateschitz has bought Jaguar from Ford which announced in September it was withdrawing from Formula One.

The sport has not had an American driver since Michael Andretti in 1993. In 2001, the Red Bull junior team was launched after funding individual drivers such as Brazilian Enrique Bernoldi for several years.

Colombian Federico Montoya, younger brother of Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya, is one of their junior drivers racing in Germany's Formula BMW series.

Hotel Bar

This year Austrian rookie Christian Klien, who wrote to Mateschitz as a 13-year-old asking for help, was placed at Jaguar with Red Bull funding while Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi won the junior Formula 3000 title.

The company backs American Champ Car rookie of the year AJ Allmendinger while Red Bull Cheever Racing, run by former Grand Prix driver Eddie Cheever, competes in the rival Indy Racing League (IRL).

Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian to drive a Formula one car, raced as a Red Bull driver in this year's World Series by Nissan and tested with Cheever's IRL team.

Mateschitz, whose company sells in excess of a billion cans a year in more than 100 countries, traces his fortune back to an idea that came to him in 1982 as he sat at the bar of the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong.

Realising that popular local 'tonic drinks' could be marketed to a wider audience, he founded Red Bull GmbH in 1984 with Thai businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya and started selling his energy drink in Austria in 1987.

The company has overcome negative publicity, denying allegations its drink is made from bulls' testicles or is addictive. However, Red Bull is banned in France because of its high caffeine content.

Mateschitz ranks 406th in Forbes.com's list of the world's richest people with a net worth of $1.4 billion. Last year he bought the Fijian island resort of Laucala from the Forbes family.

Red Bull also sponsors a variety of extreme sports and aerobatics teams. A collection of fully airworthy historic aircraft is housed at their Hangar-7 facility in Salzburg and they sponsor Hollywood's Taurus World Stunt Awards.

The company has around 1,850 employees, with 200 working at company headquarters in the scenic lakeside village of Fuschl am See near Salzburg.

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