Hyundai to buy Jaguar – insider

(GMM) Korean car manufacturer Hyundai is understood to have commissioned a partner to assess the benefits of buying Ford's careworn Formula One team, we can reveal. There is little doubt that energy drink brand Red Bull is closest to the purchase of the Jaguar Racing outfit, but Ford chiefs might favor a rival carmaker, an analyst suggested. Another insider reported on Tuesday that Chelsea (England) football club owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich never ruled out snapping up a team, and investigated the merits of Paul Stoddart's Minardi squad earlier in 2004. Moreover, Canadian steel company 'Dofasco' is thought also to have expressed interest in Jaguar, based at Milton-Keynes (England). Team principal Tony Purnell skipped the Japanese grand prix to remain in the European time zone for crucial F1 sale negotiations. ''He needs to be nearer the people (in question),'' explained Jaguar's managing director David Pitchforth.

AND, from – The Hyundai rumor is interesting because the Korean company has had an interest in F1 for some years. The company is growing all the time and has been involved in the WRC since doing a deal in 1998 with Motor Sports Developments Ltd. That deal has now fallen apart and Hyundai has withdrawn to rethink its strategy in F1. The company may return to rallying but it has been linked with F1 several times in recent years, notably when ambitious engine company Asiatech was looking for a buyer. That deal did not happen but there is no doubt that the company harbors serious ambitions to mount its own assault in Grand Prix racing in the future and is rumored to have had an F1 prototype engine on test beds in Korea and was also involved in plans for a Korean Grand Prix.

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