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OTD: When the Big Cat Turned Into a Red Bull

OTD: When the Big Cat Turned Into a Red Bull

Red Bull

On 15th November 2004, American giants Ford announced that it had sold off the Jaguar F1 team to Austrian drinks company Red Bull. Red Bull had been involved in F1 for quite a while as a driver and team sponsor. However, the news was treated with a pinch of salt as many doubted that they would be successful.

For Jaguar, it marked the end of five disappointing seasons. Mismanagement by Ford’s board of directors meant that apart from a couple podiums for Eddie Irvine and the odd outstanding qualifying effort by Mark Webber, the team never achieved the results it should have been capable of. It also meant the end of one of the smartest liveries in recent times.

Rewinding the clock to the 1987 Australian Grand Prix, Gerhard Berger was in fine form. He snatched pole position and won the race while leading every lap and setting the fastest lap – his only career grand chelem. Ferrari teammate Michele Alboreto finished second after Ayrton Senna was disqualified for having illegal brake ducts. As a result, Senna lost second in the race and second in the championship to Nigel Mansell.

Gerhard Berger

Nico Rosberg led home a Mercedes one-two in a thoroughly uninteresting race. Meanwhile, the two Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished third and fourth, with the rest of the field an entire lap down on the winner.

After the race, Felipe Massa was disqualified from eighth place for running incorrect tyre pressures, promoting Pastor Maldonado to 10th. It would later transpire that this was the last time the Venezuelan scored points in F1.

But without a doubt, the biggest event that happened on this day was the birth of Red Bull. When they made their debut in 2005, they did not really have the best of runs. It was only in 2009, when a certain German, by the name of Sebastian Vettel entered the picture, did they establish themselves.

Jaguar Racing
Jaguar F1 soon paved the way for Red Bull
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