Toro Rosso team put up for sale
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, March 18th 2008, 11:14 GMT|
Scuderia Toro Rosso have been put up for sale, with joint owner Dietrich Mateschitz wanting a new buyer to be in place by the end of next season.
The Italian outfit have been surrounded by speculation for months that Mateschitz and fellow shareholder Gerhard Berger were looking at selling the team - although each time this was denied by those involved.
However, with the new Concorde Agreement meaning that customer cars will be outlawed from the start of 2010, Mateschitz has said there is no way he can continue operating his junior team.
And in the wake of a points-scoring performance in last weekend's Australian Grand Prix, the Austrian has told the website of Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell that he plans to sell it.
"It is not a big secret that we have put Toro Rosso on the market," he said in the exclusive interview.
"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."
Speculation about a plan to sell Toro Rosso emerged in Melbourne last weekend when Russian businessman Roustam Tariko was a notable guest of Berger. Tariko was linked with a bid by Eddie Irvine several years ago to buy an F1 team.
Another name who has been linked with a bid to buy Toro Rosso is Tony Teixeira, the A1GP chairman.
Mateschitz has drawn short of saying who he is talking to about the sale, but made it clear that he would only sell a quality buyer.
"We will only sell the team if it is put into safe hands," he said.
Toro Rosso was formed at the start of 2006, after Mateschitz bought the team off Minardi boss Paul Stoddart.