Tycoon with own bomber saves Jaguar

One of the sport's least visible driving forces yesterday saved Jaguar on the very day on which Formula One registrations for 2005 were due. Dietrich Mateschitz, the man behind the Red Bull energy drink, wasn't even at any of the press conferences, but finally realised a long-held dream as Jaguar Racing became Red Bull Racing.

One of the sport's least visible driving forces yesterday saved Jaguar on the very day on which Formula One registrations for 2005 were due. Dietrich Mateschitz, the man behind the Red Bull energy drink, wasn't even at any of the press conferences, but finally realised a long-held dream as Jaguar Racing became Red Bull Racing.

Mateschitz is such a recluse that his staff in America liken him to the Yeti. Many have never even seen photographs of the tall, grey-haired Austrian who hit paydirt when he built his energy drink company into a blue and silver brand with global sales exceeding €1.6bn (£1.1bn). He has been desperate to form an American F1 team and to nurture young Americans via the Red Bull driver search (which recently signed up John Edwards, who is only 13 years old). The reasoning is totally pragmatic: America is the brand's biggest market.

Just to make things better, Ford Motor Company simultaneously announced that they have sold Cosworth Racing to the American racers Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerry Forsythe, both of whom have extensive motorsport business interests in the United States, which include the Cosworth-powered Champ Car World Series. Red Bull and the Minardi team will thus have engines in 2005.

The F3000 champion, Vitantonio Liuzzi, who is sponsored by Mateschitz's company, will almost certainly land a drive but David Coulthard is not thought to figure in Mateschitz's plans. The second seat is likely to be taken by Jaguar refugee Christian Klien or Nick Heidfeld.

A lifelong fan of motorsport, Mateschitz, 58, also has a love of classic aeroplanes. His sensationally refurbished Hangar 7 at Salzburg's airport houses many of his fleet, among which is a US B29 bomber. With his penchant for casual attire such as sleeveless jackets and jeans, he came into Formula One with Peter Sauber's team 10 years ago, but they fell out in 2001 when Sauber insisted on taking Kimi Raikkonen in preference to Mateschitz's protégé Enrique Bernoldi. That was not sentimentality on behalf of the Austrian; Bernoldi's Brazilian nationality would have helped the company sell more in south America. Yesterday's deal is probably bad news for Sauber, who seem set to lose Red Bull funding worth $10m (£5.5m).

"Our move to fully owning a Formula One race team makes good business sense," Mateschitz said. "It is also 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 formulae from karting to the very pinnacle - Formula One."

Eddie Jordan has confirmed that Toyota have saved him by enabling Jordan to purchase their 2005 V10 at an "affordable" price on a one-year deal. Australian driver Ryan Briscoe will probably join the team, after acting in recent years as Toyota's test driver.

"Not only have they been fantastic by agreeing this deal at such short notice, but they have also done the magnanimous thing for the sport by putting Formula One above their own exclusivity," Jordan said.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
Jonatahn Sexton scores a penalty
rugby
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?