F1 flops Jaguar had a four-year nightmare before becoming giants Red Bull

Red Bull have enjoyed a fine stint in Formula One, fighting back after a period dominated by Mercedes to see Max Verstappen clinch the title.

That was the teams fifth Driver's Championship and, accompanied by the four Constructor's Championships, is enough to make them the sixth-most successful team of all time in F1 behind only Lotus, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Ferrari.

The fact that four of the five ahead of them are car manufacturers with a deep-rooted history in motorsport, as well as Williams' long-standing in the sport, shows just how remarkable a job the Austrian giants have done – but it wasn't always that way.

With the way Formula One works, teams change all the time and transition but the DNA can largely stay the same – something which is the case for Red Bull, who took over Jaguar in 2004, inheriting the core that would then be built into a juggernaut and the Milton Keynes base where the team still remains.

However, while Red Bull would develop into a title-winning side in 2010, winning four consecutive championships, their predecessor's had far less success and Jaguar's four-year stint in Formula One was a nightmare rather than the dream that parent company Ford had hoped.

Ford had completed the purchase of Jackie Stewart's Stewart Grand Prix team in 1999, rebranding to Jaguar in 2000 after electing not to use the mantle of their huge American brand and instead opting for the British brand of Jaguar – a decision they'd come to regret.

1999 championship runner-up Eddie Irvine was hired to drive for the team, who had finished fourth the previous season, but Jaguar's maiden season in 2000 was one to forget as they finished ninth in the standings, ahead of only Minardi and Prost, neither of whom picked up a single point.

In the following year, while Irvine was able to secure Jaguar's first podium in Monaco, it was another disappointing season on the track and there were significant issues off it as the appointment of former F1 champion Niki Lauda caused a drop in morale, clashing with manager Bobby Rahal and ultimately leading to the resignation of the latter.

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In 2002, the teams struggles started to cause problems higher up as Ford's board of directors were questioning the costs and benefits of running a F1 team, particularly an unsuccessful one. In 2003, funding was reduced and 70 members of staff, including Lauda, were made redundant.

Crucially, a two-year timeframe was put in place for the team to turn things around and there were improvements despite a seventh-placed finish in the Constructor's Championship. Unsurprisingly, 2004 would be Jaguar's final season in F1 and a lack of competitiveness ultimately led Ford to turn away from F1.

The American giants instead opted to focus on the World Rally Championship and sold the team to Red Bull, who raced in 2005 in what would have been the Jaguar car for the same year and, like Jaguar in the three seasons prior, finished seventh in the Constructor's Championship.

While it would take a few more years for Red Bull to become truly competitive, the picture changed from 2009 where Red Bull finished runners-up, then winning four titles in a row. In the years since, there's only been once where they finished outside of the top three – far better than Jaguar could have ever dreamed of.

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