Toro Rosso to be sold? UPDATE #7 (GMM) Dietrich Mateschitz has hinted he might reconsider his earlier pledge to sell his 50 per cent share in the formula one team Toro Rosso.
With the customer car saga possibly back in a state of flux, and Sebastian Vettel's breakthrough Monza win, the Red Bull mogul told an Austrian newspaper "It is possible that we leave everything as it is".
Billionaire Mateschitz earlier baulked at the looming end of the customer car era, arguing that it makes no sense to bankroll two full F1 constructors.
But he now tells Salzburger Nachrichten that he is waiting for the actual rules for 2010 to be written before making a final decision.
"It will show us whether we have an interested buyer, and it could also be that we no longer want to sell," Mateschitz, 64, said.
At the same time, Gerhard Berger, the other half-owner of the Faenza based team, has been publicly and privately urging his Austrian countryman to stay on board.
And, referring to Mateschitz, the former ten-time grand prix winner told Austria's O3 radio: "He manages a fantastic balance of business sense, private life and the joy of living."
07/01/08 (GMM) Toro Rosso will remain "stable" for the 2009 season, despite constant rumors that the Faenza based formula one team is being sold.
|Dietrich Mateschitz |
Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz earlier announced that he is looking to offload his 50 per cent share due to the impending end of the 'customer car' era.
The news threw into doubt not only the funding stream guaranteed by the Austrian billionaire, but also the team's links to Mateschitz's senior outfit, from whom Toro Rosso sources its actual chassis.
But while admitting that the rumors "did have an effect" on STR, which is also currently owned by Gerhard Berger, team boss Franz Tost said on Tuesday that he has received an important assurance from Mateschitz.
"The message from Dietrich Mateschitz is clear, that for 2009, everything will remain stable, not just in terms of employment but also in terms of the budget.
"Then, from 2010 we will see what happens. At the moment the team is stable," Tost added.
He also said he has been happy with the performance of both race drivers this year, amid speculation about the future of the team's Champ Car racing recruit in 2008,
Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais.
"Bourdais had a fantastic start in Melbourne and he has also had some other good races. He is improving and we can expect to see more good races from him," Tost said. 05/30/08 (GMM) Team co-owner Gerhard Berger has refused to rule out the possibility that 50 per cent partner Dietrich Mateschitz might not walk away entirely from Toro Rosso.
Mateschitz, the Red Bull mogul and billionaire, has made it clear, however, that he does not intend to fully develop STR's Faenza factory, despite the looming ban on customer cars for 2010.
Berger, also an Austrian, has been in the press this week, rejecting speculation that he is in talks about selling Mateschitz's share of the team to the Italian carmaker Lancia.
"So far, nothing is happening," the former grand prix winner is quoted as saying by Sport Bild.
"I can even imagine that Mateschitz stays with us in some form," Berger added. (See related rumor that Lancia may buy into Toro Rosso)04/15/08 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger is this week in Kuwait, the Middle Eastern state, to explore establishing a Kuwaiti formula one team, according to local reports.
Less than a month after Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz declared that his 50 per cent share of the Faenza based squad is for sale, the Arab Times newspaper reveals that Berger was invited by Anwar Bukhamseen, the wealthy president of the Kuwait International Automobile Club.
"I see great potential, and I am hopeful that one day we can develop a team," Austrian Berger said in a news conference on Monday.
Berger will reportedly make more visits to Kuwait, which borders Iraq and has the world's fifth largest oil reserves, in the next few months.
He said it is more important for Kuwait to buy into a team than to build a circuit and bid to host a grand prix.
"If there is a team in the country, you are in action every fourteen days," he said, adding that his talks are only in the initial stages.
"There is a chance for development. I am expecting to meet more Kuwaiti businessmen who are willing to be part of this project to develop motor sport in Kuwait," Berger added.03/19/08 (GMM) Team co-owner Gerhard Berger has played down speculation that Russian vodka magnate and billionaire Roustam Tariko is top of the list to buy Toro Rosso.
Amid reports that the Red Bull's Faenza based junior team is now officially on the market, it was suggested that 42-year-old Tariko, owner of the successful Russian Standard brand, has rekindled his interest in joining the F1 circus.
Tariko, who in 2005 looked into buying an existing team with Eddie Irvine, attended the Australian grand prix last weekend as a guest of Toro Rosso.
But Berger told the American broadcaster Speed TV last weekend that Tariko simply asked to attend the event while he was on holiday in Sydney.
"I know him and he said, Gerhard, I would like to see the grand prix, and I said come here.
"Any sponsor would be welcome, but that's not the reason why he's here," Berger insisted.03/18/08 (GMM) Red Bull's second formula one team Scuderia Toro Rosso is for sale, co-owner and main backer Dietrich Mateschitz has revealed.
The 63-year-old billionaire told the Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell that his energy drink company plans to approach the 2010 season with only one team.
Mateschitz explained that Toro Rosso, which since the Minardi buyout two years ago has raced effectively as a chassis customer of Red Bull Racing, will not become a full constructor by 2010, as has been requested by the governing FIA.
Mateschitz and fellow shareholder Gerhard Berger have until now always scoffed at regular rumors about their Faenza based outfit being for sale.
"It is no big secret that the Toro Rosso team is on the market," Mateschitz has now admitted.
He said the new regulations for 2010 will make it illegal for "design and construction synergies" to be shared between Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
"Therefore, I see the need for us to have only one team," Mateschitz explained. "We will not sell Toro Rosso during 2008, but (it will be done) before 2010," he added.
He would not be drawn on the identities of any prospective buyers, but Russian vodka magnate Roustam Tariko - who a few years ago looked into buying a team with Eddie Irvine - was a Toro Rosso guest in Melbourne last weekend.
Also at Albert Park was the Faenza based team's previous owner Paul Stoddart, and South African businessman Tony Teixeira is believed to still be in the market for an F1 team.
Motorsport Aktuell cited a possible sale price of 80 million euros.
More information will reportedly be divulged by Toro Rosso on the verge of the Malaysian grand prix this week.03/18/08 According to a report by Motorsport Aktuell, Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz may want to sell his Toro Rosso F1 team, but it would not be sold in the current season, but maybe by 2010. Now that the rules do not allow his two F1 teams to share technical knowledge and data like he had hoped when he bought both, he now thinks it is better if Red Bull concentrates on just one team, the main Red Bull team.