Sauber to lose Red Bull sponsorship


Austrian sports drink group Red Bull is ending its sponsorship deal with Swiss Formula One team Sauber at the end of this year after a dispute over who should drive for the team.

Team leader Peter Sauber confirmed in an interview published today that Red Bull will not continue its sponsorship after the current contract expires.

Sauber was asked if it was true that Red Bull head Dietrich Mateschitz had tried to have his protege Enrique Bernoldi in one of the two Sauber cars.

Sauber chose Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen instead.

"The situation with Red Bull is really special - Red Bull is majority shareholder but I have the majority of the votes," he said.

"That the majority shareholder wants to have a say is understandable. But you can't have two people running a racing team. That is also why the cooperation with Red Bull will end at the end of 2001," Sauber said.

Red Bull owns more than 60 per cent of the Sauber team and it is unclear what will happen to its majority stake.