Steiner for Red Bull Racing

The major management change taking place at Red Bull Racing will be complete next week when the team confirms that Italian Gunther Steiner will join new boss Christian Horner as the outfit's technical director, autosport.com can reveal

Steiner for Red Bull Racing

Sources close to the team have revealed to autosport.com that Steiner is about to be released from his duties at the Opel Performance Centre, where he has helped work on the car manufacturer's DTM project.

Steiner is no stranger to the Milton Keynes-based outfit, having previously worked for it as technical director of Jaguar Racing in 2002 before he was briefly appointed as managing director following Bobby Rahal's dismissal. Steiner departed the outfit in the wake of the disastrous 2002-challenger, the R3, that left the team struggling at the back of the grid.

The major management reshuffle has been prompted by the owner of energy drinks giant Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, who is understood to have decided that if the team was going to make the step forward that he dreams of then he wanted to install his own management system.

That meant that former bosses Tony Purnell and David Pitchforth, who led Jaguar back to form after the disasters of 2002, were dismissed from their positions on Friday morning.

The news of Purnell and Pitchforth's dismissal from the team is understood to have come as a shock to many at the outfit, who had seen the pair help turnaround the fortunes of the former Jaguar Racing team from its embarrassing form in 2002 to become respectable midfielders.

Although Purnell was unavailable for comment on Friday morning, he had told autosport.com on Thursday night that he was unaware of any imminent major change - and he expressed his confidence that Mateschitz would live up to promises made late last year that there would be no overhaul of staff.

"Dietrich Mateschitz made it clear to the public that he intended to stick with the present management set-up of David Pitchforth and I, and his reputation is that he is a man of his word," Purnell told autosport.com.

Sources close to Mateschitz claim that there were some differences of opinion between the Austrian and Purnell and Pitchforth over the choice of drivers for 2005.

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