Red Bull close on tire deal

(GMM) 'Red Bull Racing' is hoping to retain the backing of some 'existing' F1 team sponsors in 2005. Based at Milton-Keynes, the team, formerly Jaguar Racing, was recently sold by Ford to the energy drink magnate and billionaire Dieter Mateschitz.

We can reveal that 2004 Jag backer Beck's, the German beer label, and HSBC are definitely gone, but 'UGS' and 'Du Pont' may be two brands likely to slide to the new car livery. Furthermore, we reported recently that Red Bull is chatting to Spanish oil company Repsol. ''Red Bull … is in discussion with existing partners,'' a spokeswoman admitted, ''and is also talking to potential new partners at present.'' The UK-based team, though, do not plan to reveal the identity of any 2005 partners until the New Year, she added.

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