OllieF1
Scuderia Toro Rosso Up For Sale

Scuderia Toro Rosso Up For Sale

Dietrich Mateschitz and Gerhard Berger, the owners of Formula One team Scuderia Toro Rosso, have told Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell that the team is on the market. Due to rule changes expected to come into force in 2010, customer chassis will be outlawed, meaning the operation of Red Bull’s second squad will be made a lot harder. Currently, the smaller team receives a chassis from Red Bull each year that is remarkably similar to the larger team’s. But the extra cost and burden of designing and building a separate car is too much for Red Bull to take.

Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner of the energy drink company, has said that he would like a new owner in place by the end of 2009, just prior to the new rules coming into effect. According to Autosport, two names are currently floating around as potential new owners; Roustam Tariko and Tony Teixeira. Tariko is a Russian businessman who was a guest of Berger’s at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, and Teixeira is chairman of the A1GP series.

For the start of 2010 there will be a rule change and there will be no more synergy regarding design and construction of cars between Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. There I see the necessity that we continue with one team only. We will not sell Toro Rosso during the 2008 season, but it will be before 2010. Dietrich Mateschitz.

The team have made significant improvements over the last 6-12 months, with Sebastian Vettel qualifying tenth in Australia and Sebastien Bourdais finishing in a fine seventh (eighth on track). The progress of the team is expected to continue when they get their new car after the flyaway races and the sale will help Red Bull concentrate fully on the parent team. Mateschitz has insisted that a sale will not happen in 2008, but wants new owner/s in place at some point in 2009.

Oliver White

9 comments

  • Wanting is not getting. Apart from the manufacturers, who can afford to buy a team and then create the infrastructure and facilities to design and build a chassis? The optimists mutter about VW/Audi but that isn’t going to happen. I suppose that there is an outside chance of a Korean or Indian manufacturer buying in but it’s a long shot with such a short time frame within which to rebuild the team into a constructor. There’ll be nine teams on the grid in 2010, perhaps only eight, if Toyota do the smart thing and merge with Williams.

  • Interesting thoughts, Clive. Why not VW/Audi? I presume they have the money, the infrastructure wouldn’t be too difficult to organise and they have motor sporting heritage in other series.

    Here’s a really crazy idea: About two weeks ago Paul Stoddart did an interview for someone (I can’t remember who now, but if it cames to me I’ll post a link) where he said that he would love to return to Formula One.

    Financially, it would be silly to sell a team only to buy it back a few years later at a likely (read unquestionably) higher price. But then Stoddart is a bit mad sometimes, in the nicest possible way. And pretty passionate about the sport and the Minardi name.

    Regarding Toyota and Williams: I can’t see that happening now. It is my belief that they tried at some point last year, but couldn’t agree on terms. Then Williams went off in search of someone else and found Baugur, while Toyota scratched their heads and gave the team the ultimatum-of-sorts that they did.

    Toyota may leave completely and sell whatever valuable assets they have with Williams getting first refusal, or they may actually continue. It pains me to say it, but Trulli and Glock weren’t exactly miles* off the pace in Australia. The TF108 has some speed in it, if not much reliability.

    *Okay, two/three seconds in Q3, but I don’t think they were going at full tilt and were conserving fuel for the race.

  • Just so that i understand the situation correctly, would this potential buyout impact the infrastructure of the team resulting in a rebranding of Scuderia Toro Rosso in the vein of Force India et al?

  • @Jamie: I believe so. It seems as though Mateschitz wants rid of the team due to them no longer being able to supply chassis to both (from 2010 onwards). The head-honcho is quoted as saying, “I see the necessity that we continue with one team only.” That pretty much says it all to me, although exact details are a little vague because I doubt he has a buyer yet.

  • Thankyou for clearing that up, Ollie. To a degree this is rather disappointing as i had recently found myself grasping at a hope for greater stability within each organisation present on the grid in their currently existant guises.

    The world of F1 is seemingly eternally turbulent, so perhaps this wish was unrealistic – yet after news broke of Super Aguri’s recent external financial endorsement i believed the winds of economic and aesthetic change in terms of team presence had passed for the time being.

    Here’s to a wishful Minardi reincarnation.

  • I think Formula One will always be in a state of flux when it comes to the amount of competitors* and their competitiveness. There will always be rich teams and poor teams, even if the idea of capped budgets comes into play; the rich one’s will find a way around it, quietly.

    *What I mean by that is teams under threat of either going bankrupt or threatening to leave. I think the actual number of 11 teams is likely to remain for a few years at least.

  • I would love to see Stoddart return to resurrect the Minardi name. Trouble is, that isn’t going to happen either. The same problem will confront him – STR have no facilities for constructing a car from scratch so whoever buys it is going to have to do all that themselves. It’s too expensive for Stoddart to even contemplate.

    VW/Audi won’t enter F1 because they have said so, they get plenty of good publicity already from their participation in sports car and touring car racing, they have no desire to risk their reputation by competing with Mercedes and BMW in an arena already as good as owned by those companies, F1 is too expensive to justify to their bean counters – they are a particularly hard-headed company when it comes to finances.

    As regards Toyota and Williams, I said it would be the smart thing to do. When was the last time you heard Toyota described as “smart”?

  • When was the last time you heard Toyota described as “smart”?

    😉

    I’m afraid I’m with you on the Stoddart thing. I don’t think it would ever happen this way, and with the changes to the rules, it will likely never happen.

  • What about Prodrive? If they managed to do a deal at the end of this season and secured a customer chassis for next year then they may be able to use that breathing space to cobble together something unique for 2010 – or has Dave Richards ruled out F1 now after last year’s let downs?

    VW are probably the obvious manufacturer choice as I can’t see Ford returning any time soon – given the different marques housed under the VW/Audi Group umbrella I’m not sure it’s a definite no-no.

    They have Lambo, Bentley, Bugatti – plus of course Porsche, who recently announced they wanted to take a majority stake in the group (which has since been denied, but may still go ahead).

    Of course, being beaten by Ferrari week in, week out may not be the best publicity for their road cars!

    As with everything, it’ll be a case of wait and see.

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