Purnell: Buy-out is terrific for F1

New Red Bull Racing team principal Tony Purnell believes energy drinks company Red Bull's acquisition of Jaguar Racing from Ford is "terrific news" for Formula 1. With Ford's sale of the team and its affiliate engine build company Cosworth Racing now in place, doubts over a lack of entries in F1 have been put down.

Purnell: Buy-out is terrific for F1

Both Jordan (Toyota) and Minardi (Cosworth) announcing confirmation of their engine supply deals for 2005 on Monday, and with Red Bull Racing set to use Cosworth motors now that Champ Car co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe have bought the company, the threat of three-car teams in F1 has been removed.

"I think that F1 should view this as terrific news," said Purnell. "This is a company to put the fizz back into F1. It is young and energetic. It knows that sports marketing works for it and wants to make a success and a splash. I see nothing but good news for F1 with Red Bull having it's own team."

With speculation and doubt casting a shadow over the entire Jaguar Racing outfit since Ford announced it's exit from grand prix racing back in September, Purnell along with Red Bull Racing's managing director David Pitchforth (both have retained their roles from Jaguar) are tasked with steadying the ship and rebuilding the spirit within the organisation.

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has bought the team in its entirety, from the Milton Keynes HQ through to the team's two wind tunnel facilities in Bicester and Bedford and Purnell insists the structure of the outfit will remain largely unchanged.

"We want to stabilise and we want to recover the momentum that we had previously," he told autosport.com. "We will continue to focus on our engineering and technical philosophy and move on from there.

"Red Bull is a very substantial company. It is one of the great success stories in the drinks industry and hasn't come into this lightly. They have ten years of experience in F1 and they are serious about this. In time they will want to see success.

Purnell says that Red Bull's ambitions lay beyond just being on the F1 grid and that although Jaguar may not have enjoyed huge success since its F1 debut in 2000, the new team is focused on progressing forward and points to clothing manufacturer Benetton as an example of a non-motorsport company that extracted huge success from F1 when it bought a team.

"I think Benetton is the best comparison," he said. "It came into the sport with the desire to promote a brand and had enormous success on the track. Red Bull is coming in with the same attitude. Red Bull has been a share partner in another team (Sauber) in the past and it is not coming in without prior knowledge.

"When we started two years ago we had a very definite plan. We needed to do an awful lot of work throughout the company. I'll admit that the recent uncertainty has been a little bit of a setback for those plans. But now we are back on course and continuing that revitalisation of the team and I think that this steady focus on engineering will continue without much perceivable interruption.

"Red Bull is a company that has had tremendous success by promoting its brand through sports marketing. It is an avid F1 promotor, and in many ways the purchase of a team is the logical conclusion for its marketing plan. So as far as a credible buyer you couldn't do better."

The news came as a welcome relief to the 340-strong workforce in the factory after Purnell and Ford's chief technical officer Richard Parry-Jones that the long-term future of the company had been secured at the team's factory first thing Monday morning.

"Richard and I spoke to the staff this morning and I think suffice to say that the atmosphere was pretty bubbly," said Purnell. "I think that the feeling of the workforce and the management is that we have an enthusiastic new owner that wants to make a success of this."

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