Formula One Scuderia Toro Rosso (Italian for Team Red Bull) has been put up for sale by joint-owners Dietrich Mateschitz and former F1 driver, Gerhard Berger. The recent announcement has put an end to rumors that have been circulating in auto racing circles for some time with regard to the fate of the team.
Dietrich Mateschitz is the man behind the successful Red Bull Formula One team, and Scuderia Toro Rosso has been considered to be Red Bull’s “B” team. With amendments to the Concorde Agreement, which will come into effect at the beginning of 2010, the collaboration between Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso will no longer be feasible. The Concorde Agreement amendment will prohibit Red Bull Racing from building cars for Scuderia Toro Rosso, prompting the decision to sell the team before 2010.
The Concorde Agreement is a contract between the motor racing events governing body, FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile), Formula One teams and Formula One Administration. The agreement dictates the terms under which F1 teams compete in races, as well as the share split of television revenues and prize money. The main purpose of the Concorde Agreement is to promote the commercial success of Formula One in a professional manner. This is achieved largely through each team meeting its obligation to participate in every race of an F1 season, thereby making the sport financially viable for broadcasters who invest a great deal in the television broadcast rights.
Confirmation of the team being up for sale has led to much speculation as to who would be in the market to buy Scuderia Toro Rosso. Possible buyers include Nicolas Todt, the manager for Sauber driver Felipe Massa and son of Ferrari’s CEO, Jean Todt, as well as A1GP chairman Tony Teixeira. The current owners have made it clear that Scuderia Toro Rosso will only be sold if it is being put into safe hands.
Scuderia Toro Rosso made a notable start to the 2008 F1 season at the Australian Grand Prix, with Sabastien Bourdais featuring prominently throughout his F1 debut race. He narrowly missed fourth-place when his car suffered engine failure with two laps to go, but nevertheless was classified in seventh place. Auto racing enthusiasts agree that with performances of this caliber, Scuderia Toro Rosso should have no problem in finding a buyer.