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F1 NEWS 

Berger wants car maker to partner STR

Gerhard BergerToro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger says his team are only interested in partnering with a car manufacturer when Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz sells his part of the Italian squad.

Some possible buyers, including F3 race winners Ultimate, have expressed their interest in buying into the team, who have been put up for sale because Mateschitz wants to focus on Red Bull Racing.

Berger said none of the names linked with the Toro Rosso buyout have been in serious talks with the team, and the Austrian admitted he is only interested in partnering with a car manufacturer.

"It's great to have a man like Dietrich as partner," said Berger. "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."

Despite his intention to sell, Mateschitz has promised that Toro Rosso's budget and structure will remain unchanged for 2009.

Berger says their plans for next season are well on schedule.

"We are fully on schedule for 2009, everything goes ahead as planned. We are working with Ferrari on KERS whereas RBR do this with Renault, of course."

The former grand prix winner said Toro Rosso have not began talks with their drivers yet, although he suggested Sebastian Vettel could be moving to Red Bull Racing next season, as speculation continues to indicate David Coulthard will announce his retirement soon.

"We have not discussed this yet," he said. "Bourdais is under contract for 2008 only and the team have an option on him for 2009. Vettel might be moving to Red Bull but it is not fixed yet.

"If we have to replace a driver than preferably by one young guy out of the Red Bull system but I am afraid the GP2 drivers do not have the level for F1 yet.

"If we take one out of GP2 he has to be champion there or at least a multiple race winner. Of course, (Bruno) Senna has moved into the spotlight by winning in Monaco. But ideally it should be a Red Bull driver."

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