Purnell optimistic over Jag sale

Jaguar team principal Tony Purnell is optimistic that a buyer can be found to keep the team in Formula 1 by the November 15 deadline by when teams must register for the 2005 World Championship

Purnell optimistic over Jag sale

Although sources have indicated that energy drink company Red Bull is once again in serious negotiations to buy the team, Purnell would not confirm or deny the speculation.

"The whole process is confidential and so I'm not going to talk about any individual bids, but rest assured, I've contacted every potential buyer I know of and one of the biggest challenges at the moment is finding time to sleep," he said. "I'm getting phone calls night and day.

"There's masses of interest," he continued, "but Formula 1 generates a lot of people who want to take a chance. We are sifting through the realistic buyers from the chancers and I think one has to be fairly confident that a solution will be found."

Purnell stressed, however, that Ford is only interested in selling to a credible buyer.

"It's all about funding a team on an ongoing basis and we're only going to change the ownership to somebody who has got the means to do a credible job for two or three years. There's no interest in selling to someone who's hoping for a sponsor on a wing and a prayer and who will go bust halfway through next year.

"I absolutely I believe that that it's possible to sell the team to a credible buyer by the deadline. If I didn't, I wouldn't be here. And the spirit in the team given the circumstances, is phenomenal. They've come here wanting to prove that the team is capable of running and getting points and that is this weekend's mission.

Purnell added that the team's personnel still believe that the project, if bought and funded properly, is well worth saving: "I know that some of the top guys have been approached by front-running teams and offered fabulous jobs, but have said, no, we want to stick with this because we've got something really good going here. I can't imagine handing someone who wanted to be in F1 a better starting environment and, compared to previous years, the barrier to entry is as low as possible now.

"So, for somebody who really wants to see a brand globalised through success in F1, there couldn't be a better opportunity than there is now."

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