Jaguar Racing will no longer participate in the British Formula Three Championship from next season. The team has decided to concentrate all its efforts into Formula One and a new consortium will take over the running of the team. The consortium comprises of John Uprichard (Van Diemen), Roly Vincini (P1 Motorsport) and John Sweeney (Sweeney Racing/Sweeney Holdings).
“The Formula Three team has achieved an unsurpassed record of success in the last thirteen years, not just in terms of race victories and Championships, but in developing young drivers,” commented Niki Lauda, CEO and Team Principal of Jaguar Racing. “However, since taking over the reign at Jaguar Racing, one thing has become very clear to me – we must focus one hundred per cent of our efforts into Formula One if we are to reach our long term target of winning races. While we respect the critical role that Formula Three has played, we must also respect the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead for Jaguar Racing in Formula One. To stand any chance of fulfilling these goals, every division of our business must be dedicated solely to Formula One. This has been far from an easy decision, but it’s been taken in the best interests of our F1 programme.”
Niki Lauda commented further: “Formula Three has played a key role in the development of young drivers and a crucial part of this deal with the consortium was to ensure that the young driver development programme remained in place. We have not, at this stage, decided on the future of James Courtney or Andre Lotterer. Discussions with both men are on-going and again, we want to ensure an outcome with their best interests in mind. James and Andre have done a great job this season with a total of fifteen podium finishes between them. James rounded off the season by finishing fourth in Driver’s Championship and Andre claimed seventh place. Between them, they took Jaguar Racing F3 to second place in the final Championship standings.”
The Jaguar name in Formula Three was relatively new with only one season behind it but the team was not. The Jaguar Racing Formula Three Team found its origins in the most successful team in the history of the Championship: Stewart Racing. The team was set-up in 1988 by Sir Jackie Stewart and his son Paul who had just embarked on a motorsport career. Over a three-year period, as Paul progressed from Formula Ford to Formula Three and F3000, the team expanded and created a motorsport staircase that led many drivers to their ultimate goal: Formula One. In 2001, five former Stewart drivers were active in Formula One including David Coulthard, Juan Pablo Montoya and Luciano Burti.
Since its conception, the team has accumulated silverware on a regular basis, including: thirteen championship titles; victory in the blue-ribband events in Macau and Zandvoort and, at the close of the 2001 season, the team had won a total of 141 races and accumulated 340 podium finishes.