Ford Motor Company has announced that Jaguar will contest next year's FIA Formula One World Championship. The British-based luxury car maker will take the place of Stewart-Ford, which the Ford Motor Company acquired last June, on the Formula One...
Ford Motor Company has announced that Jaguar will contest next year's FIA Formula One World Championship. The British-based luxury car maker will take the place of Stewart-Ford, which the Ford Motor Company acquired last June, on the Formula One grid.
The decision will be announced today (September 14th) at the Frankfurt Show by the chairman of Jaguar and the group vice-president of Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group, Dr Wolfgang Reitzle. 'Jaguar has a long and distinguished history in motor sport, including seven Le Mans victories and two World Sports Car Championships,' said Dr Reitzle. 'We feel that Formula One is the next logical step.'
Ford has been involved in Formula One, the world's premier form of motor racing, since 1967, and has won more races (174 Grands Prix) and world driver championships (13) than any other engine maker. Great drivers who have won world championships using Ford power include Jackie Stewart, Jim Clark, Michael Schumacher, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt. Ford won the first Grand Prix it contested - the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix. The Ford Cosworth DFV is easily the most successful Grand Prix engine of all time.
Said Neil Ressler, Ford's chief technical officer: 'The acquisition of Stewart-Ford and Jaguar's decision to enter Formula One next year is a sign of Ford Motor Company's increased commitment to the sport. Although the "blue oval" Ford brand won't be seen on a Formula One racing car next year, Ford Motor Company is putting more technical resources into Formula One than ever before.'
Internationally, the most prominent championship for the Ford brand in 2000 will be the FIA World Rally Championship. This year, in its debut season, the WRC Ford Focus has won two rounds of the Championship, including the Safari Rally in Kenya, reckoned to be the world's toughest motor sport event. Colin McRae, the 1995 World Champion, will continue to spearhead Ford's World Rally Championship efforts next year.
Other prominent championships for Ford include the ChampCar and NASCAR series - the two biggest racing championships in North America.
'Ford Motor Company's commitment to motor sport, world wide, is enormous,' said Neil Ressler. 'There are many benefits, but the two most important are the technology transfer between racing cars and road cars - which directly benefits the Ford Motor Company customer - and the training ground that motor sport provides for our brightest young engineers. This will not only improve Jaguar's racing chances but ultimately improve all Ford Motor Company road cars.'
Jaguar will make its Formula One debut at the opening round of next year's FIA Formula One World Championship, the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March.