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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 team up for sale

According to reports out of Europe, Scuderia Toro Rosso--the Formula One team co-owned by Red Bull energy drink magnate Dietrich Mateschitz and former F1 driver Gerhard Berger--is up for sale, and Mateschitz wants to unload it by the end of 2009.

"It is not a big secret that we have put Toro Rosso on the market," Mateschitz told Switzerland's Motorsport Aktuell. "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. [Therefore] I see the necessity that we continue with one team only [Red Bull Racing]. We will not sell Toro Rosso during the 2008 season, but it will be before 2010."

Mateschitz was referring to a new Concorde Agreement, F1's governing document that is not yet finalized but widely expected to completely outlaw "customer" cars designed by one team but used by another. Scuderia Toro Ross now uses Red Bull Racing designs, a practice that will not be allowed in any way in the future. Designing and manufacturing cars from scratch will necessitate that Scuderia Toro Rosso spends tens of millions of dollars more per year.

Mateschitz did not say whom he might sell the team to, but noted, "We will only sell the team if it is put into safe hands."

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