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Jaguar to leave Formula One racing 17 Sep 2004

Mark Webber (AUS) Jaguar Cosworth R5.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, 28 August 2004

Jaguar owners Ford have announced plans to withdraw from Formula One racing at the end of the 2004 season. The Jaguar Racing team, along with engine manufacturers Cosworth, have been put up for sale by the American car giant.

"Jaguar's presence in Formula One has been a valuable marketing and brand awareness platform particularly outside our main markets of the US and the UK,” said Joe Greenwell, chairman of Jaguar Cars. “However it was our collective view that it is time for Jaguar Cars to focus 100% on our core business.

“After a thorough review over many months Ford Motor Company has decided it can no longer make a compelling business case for any of its brands to compete in Formula One.

“Having reached this decision our focus has turned to securing the best future for our Formula One businesses and our employees in these businesses going forward. We are therefore putting our Formula One businesses up for sale.”

Ford Vice-President Richard Parry-Jones, the man in charge of Jaguar’s Formula One operations, told news agency Reuters that a number of potential buyers had already expressed interest.

Jaguar came into the sport in 2000 after taking over the Stewart team. Since then they have seen only limited success and currently lie seventh in the 2004 constructors’ championship standings.

The sale of Cosworth could also have a major impact on the Minardi and Jordan teams, both of whom are powered by the company’s engines. Minardi recently announced a deal to continue use of their V10s for the 2005 season.