Ford Re-Affirms Formula One Commitment

Auto giant Ford today confirmed their commitment to Formula One and the Jaguar team following a three-month review of the activities in Grand Prix racing.

Ford Re-Affirms Formula One Commitment

Auto giant Ford today confirmed their commitment to Formula One and the Jaguar team following a three-month review of the activities in Grand Prix racing.

"Ford Motor Company fully supports its commitment to Jaguar Racing in Formula One and is not looking to withdraw from the series nor is it looking to sell the team," said the company in a statement released ahead of the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

"On the contrary, Ford Motor Company will work even closer with Jaguar Racing over the long term in an effort to strengthen and accelerate its competitiveness in Formula One with the ultimate aim being to win the FIA Formula One World Championship."

Jaguar had been under fire after struggling to perform despite spending an estimated $150 million per year on the global show. The Milton Keynes team, however, showed impressive improvement at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix, with Ulsterman Eddie Irvine scoring their first podium of the season.

Ford said that the aim of the review was to understand exactly what is required to accelerate the competitiveness of Jaguar. The American giant added that "despite current difficult economic conditions and uncertainties in the sport, Formula One continues to provide a very good return on investment" for them.

"With our 'works' team, Jaguar Racing, we are in Formula One to stay," said Nick Scheele, Chief Operating Officer of Ford Motor Company. "Formula One is undoubtedly the world's toughest proving ground, one that requires a sustained commitment in order to achieve success.

"Jaguar's presence in Formula One is not driven by short-term marketing objectives. We are racing enthusiasts and the marque's connection with racing stretches from the time the company was founded by Sir William Lyons in 1922 right up to the present day.

"As former Chairman of Jaguar Cars, I recognize the marque's unique blend of emotion and technology that makes it one of the most evocative participants in Formula One."

Ford has three separate businesses in Formula One - Jaguar Racing, Cosworth Racing and Pi Electronics - known collectively as the Premier Performance Division, headed by Austrian Niki Lauda.

"I am very pleased that the senior management of Ford Motor Company have endorsed the report," said Richard Parry-Jones, Group Vice President of Ford and responsible for Global Motor Sport Programmes.

"This sends a clear message that we are committed to Formula One and provides the stability the Jaguar Racing team need to build their competitiveness."

Ford will next year return to Formula One under their own name, after they signed a three-year agreement with the Jordan team to provide engines.

"We are excited by this opportunity to use Formula One to link the legendary Ford Cosworth heritage with the Ford of Europe brand message." added Martin Leach, President of Ford Europe.

"We're also taking the obvious opportunity to link the Formula One platform to our plans to re-introduce the Cosworth brand to our road car line up and create even more cost effective means of leveraging the tremendous marketing clout of Formula One."

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