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Red Bull buys Jaguar Racing

The billionaire owner of energy drink manufacturer Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, has bought the Jaguar Racing Formula 1 team from Ford, as exclusively predicted by autosport.com in September

Red Bull Racing has acquired the team as a going concern and will use Cosworth engines (see separate story) in 2005. the new owner has asked current team principal Tony Purnell, and managing director David Pitchforth, to stay on in their current roles.

Ford announced the deal, which was only concluded at the weekend, at a press conference in London on Monday.

"I'm very relieved that even though we've taken the decision to exit Formula 1 we've been able to arrive at a solution where we've found buyers who will take the businesses forward," said Ford's chief technical officer Richard Parry-Jones.

"Since we made the announcment to sell our F1 businesses in September. We have received outstanding support from the management and employees at Jaguar Racing and we have worked very hard to secure a sale to a reputable buyer."

Details of the deal are subject to confidentiality agreements, but Red Bull is believed to have purchased the team, which Ford put up for sale earlier this year claiming the cost of competing in F1 had become too expensive, for a purely nominal fee. The proviso however was that Ford must be convinced the new owner would invest more than £200 million into the team over the next three years.

"Our move to fully owning a Formula 1 race team makes good business sense for Red Bull," said Mateschitz. "Add to this the opportunity of being directly involved in a sport from which I derive great personal pleasure, then it is easy to understand how delighted I am to have made this purchase.

"It is the logical and final step in the process we started with the Red Bull Junior programme, where we identify, advise and promote young talent through the different formula from karting to the very pinnacle - Formula 1."

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