Formula One racing team Jaguar is in talks with soft drink Red Bull to take over the principal sponsorship of the car next season, following the exit of HSBC.
Red Bull has an association with the team through a sponsorship deal with driver Christian Klien, who was already backed by the drinks company’s driving academy when he joined Jaguar.
But Red Bull would have to raise its sponsorship budget considerably to match the &£15m-a-year spent by HSBC.
The bank said it was reviewing its sponsorship with Jaguar earlier this year (MW March 18).
The drinks company may take an ownership stake in the team, according to industry speculation.
A Jaguar source denies that Ford will sell the team but adds: “We would love Red Bull to become a bigger sponsor and the company has made no secret of the fact that it wants either to own a team or become the principal sponsor. We are in discussions, but are some way from making a decision.”
One industry source adds that the team name may change to either Ford or a Ford brand.
The Jaguar insider denies this claim, saying: “We’ve had talks with Ford about using the blue oval or rebranding, but there are no plans to do so at the moment.”