Scuderia Toro Rosso co-owner, Gerhard Berger, has gone on the offensive today by stating that his team is only interested in speaking to a manufacturer as a new partner after Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz sells his share of the Austro-Italia squad. The team had apparently been in talk with current Formula Three outfit Ultimate Motorsport, but Berger has said that none of the so-far rumoured parties have held serious talks with either himself or Mateschitz.
Berger isn’t a silly man and he realises that a sure way to survive in the Piranha Club is have a manufacturer onside, with manufacturer money. But with the global economy tightening its belt at the moment, I’m not so sure any of the remaining automobile companies not currently in Formula One would be willing to spend the vast amounts of money needed to succeed.
It is worth noting that Red Bull are shedding its second team because of the changes to the rules for 2010 that prohibits the use of customer chassis. Currently, STR enjoy use of the Red Bull chassis which is penned by celebrated-aerodynamicist Adrian Newey. However, to develop their entirely own car will only add to the headache for Red Bull and this is the reason given for the team being placed on the market.
If Red Bull has to sell its shares in the team because of the rules and because it doesn’t make sense under the given situation, it is only reasonable for me to continue with a partner as strong as Red Bull.
This can only be a car manufacturer. All those recent rumours about ‘buyers’ are nonsense. We have not had any serious discussion. Forget all the names that appeared in those stories.
We will only talk to people who intend to bring the team as far as we planned this, on the same level. You must not forget what Red Bull made of this team, what efforts were put in – it is the former Minardi team. Gerhard Berger.
Indeed STR have come along way since 2006 when the Minardi name disappeared from Formula One, but that is largely thanks to the use of Newey’s primary chassis and the Ferrari engine. I doubt the factory at Faenza in Italy has received many modifications in the last couple of years and of course, the influx in staff is greatly helped by having the parent team.
Unfortunately, and I really mean unfortunately, I can see the STR operation becoming the new Jor-Mid-Spy-For team, forever changing hands and losing what competitiveness it may have had. Is Berger about to become the new Kolles? It would be a great shame, but unless a serious buyer comes forward with enough cash to invest, STR are only going to go backwards down the grid and into obscurity.