F1 Factory Entities #3: Milton Keynes

In the series of different names that Formula 1 seats have had, MotorsInside takes you back to the history of Milton Keynes, from the promising Stewart team to world titles with Red Bull.

1997 – 1999: Stewart Grand Prix: small team, big performances

In 1996, a triple world champion, in the person of Jackie Stewart, decided to embark on a new adventure: that of Formula 1 team boss. based in England.

The team was previously entered in Formula 3 and 3000. More than 100 victories, under the name of Paul Stewart… such a list of achievements fully deserved an accession to the sacrosanct premier category!

The factory in Milton Keynes, in the center of the country, was to have Sir Jackie’s stable as its first resident, scheduled to start in 1997.

Unlike Lola, dropped by MasterCard, Stewart Grand Prix was going to take part in the season. But neither Jan Magnussen nor Rubens Barrichello could prevent a big global disillusionment. However, it was not Rubinho’s fault for persisting, earning him a superb second place, behind his future team-mate Schumacher, in the rain at Monaco. The 1998 season was not going to be any brighter, with only five points scored.

Stewart F1 colors

The Stewart F1 here in an English museum. Credit Tony Higett

But in 1999, the white cars would show a completely different face: Rubens Barrichello led, at home in Brazil, taking pole at Magny-Cours, while Johnny Herbert snatched victory in the madness of the Nürburgring.

Enough to give ideas to Ford, an engine manufacturer with growing involvement. It was time to take the plunge and hire a factory team!

2000-2004: the Jaguar fiasco

New millennium and newcomer to F1: Ford has chosen its sports branch, Jaguar, to be officially represented. The superb green cars were not idle: Eddie Irvine, vice-champion in title, arrived from Ferrari. The objective of the Greens: the podium in the championship from the first year, just that!

However, the ambitions were inversely proportional to the reality: instead of the hoped-for final top 3, the disastrous reliability of the British cars prevented any probability, however small, of success.

A Jaguar in 2004

Jaguar colors in 2004 / Credit Bjorn Stian Berger.

Arrived at the end of 2004, the results were, so to speak, pitiful: only two podiums (Monaco 2001, Monza 2002, to the credit of Eddie Irvine) and no better than 7th in the classification. Far from the ambitions displayed at the end of ’99…

Symbol of the debacle: Christian Klein lost a diamond hanging from the muzzle of the R5, in Monaco in 2004. The Austrian was a protege of Red Bull, who put an end to the green ordeal.

2005 – present: the glorious rise

In 2005, the English green gave way to the pretty blue colors of the Austrian brand.

First of all, it was the last team of veteran David Coulthard, who gave Red Bull its first podium in 2006, in the streets of Monaco. What could be better, for the occasion, than to put on Superman’s cape, one year after the Star Wars livery?

The Austrian team slowly climbed the ladder, until the arrival of the child prodigy Sebastian Vettel: vice-champion in 2009 behind Jenson Button, the following four seasons would be his property.

Vettel become champion, Daniel Ricciardo could have claimed such a destiny. Until another house favorite takes all the attention.

This nugget, Dutch, wrote her story and that of her team last December. What will be next?

The Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes

The impressive Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes. Credit Red Bull.

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