Could Toro Rosso be sold in a near future?
30th September 2010, 17:13 at 5:13 pm #128137
There’s a bird whispering around that while Dietrich Mateschitz swear that isn’t going to happen, Scuderia Toro Rosso team is indeed for sale. The values should stand around $30 million, even though the base price is supposed to be $60 million.
Why so low? Simple. First of all, the high costs of the team back in the tech partnership with RBR, extinct in late ’09, secondly it’s average results at best and third, Red Bull sales in ’09 fell $15 billion when compared to ’08, meaning a net loss of $5 billion.
Two potential buyers are already rumored to be interested in the team – Carlos Slim and Villeneuve-Durango. I got this piece of information just last wednesday from a trusted friend who’s an insider, so it’s pretty reliable even if I have no link to back me up due to it’s freshness. The future should tell us all…30th September 2010, 17:53 at 5:53 pm #146329
I’d be gutted. Especially if it was Villeneuve who took it over.30th September 2010, 20:26 at 8:26 pm #146330
STR is for sale, but only when it’s a right deal.
Redbull wanted to sell some years back but I believe they wanted it to be stand alone before they sell it. Or was it because STR won before RBR did.. It’s not so fresh in my head anymore, but I’m sure it will be sold in the next years.30th September 2010, 22:09 at 10:09 pm #146331
The problem any STR team has is Italians and Ferrari Fans. Traditionaly whenever Minardi got a little talent Ferrari would pilfer it, so the team has what you could call a strategic weakness.
HRT, if you could combine with Epsilon would be a far better deal for any propective buyer. Along with Sauber who still have top class facilities, an a talented core design team. STR just ain’t the most exciting propersition in F1 at the moment.1st October 2010, 2:58 at 2:58 am #146332
Is Toro Rosso a fully self contained team, or do they still rely largely on Red Bull. I know Toro Rosso drivers use the Red Bull simulators, and they share Daniel Ricciardo as reserve driver, but is that as far as the links extend? Do Toro Rosso have the in house ability to fully design and build a car, and run a team without assistance from Red Bull?
If not, I imagine it would be a fairly had thing to try and sell, especially if Sauber is also on the market. Who wants a partial F1 team?1st October 2010, 6:30 at 6:30 am #146333
I’ve never really been a fan of Toro Rosso, because they’ve never been allowed to compete in their own right. They have always used a Red Bull chassis, and they have always gotten upgrades once Red Bull are done with them. Look at the double-deck diffusers from 2009 – Red Bull got theirs at Silverstone, but Toro Rosso didn’t get to use it until Budapest, despite the RB5 and STR4 being the same car. Moreover, Toro Rosso was created for the express purpose of training young drivers for Red Bull. As soon as someone started showing talent, they were whisked away. Now, I know that when the team was Minardi, they often had their drivers picked up as soon as they showed talent, but the team was not established for that purpose. The nature of Toro Rosso means that while there are twelve teams on-track, there are only really eleven that are racing. Virgin, Lotus and even Hispania all stand a better chance of performing than Toro Rosso do simply because they are allowed to. Toro Rosso are really just a glorified GP2 team, and that’s where they should have been racing in the first plce: GP2.
It’s also getting to the point where the Red Bull Young Driver Program is a failure. There are too many drivers and not enough seats, and only one of those drivers that Toro Rosso has run – Vettel – has proven to be any decent. Heck, Red Bull themselves are only running one driver that they have been with since inception; Mark Webber was never involved with Red Bull until he started driving for them. Consequently, a sale of the team will be good for all involved.
As for who is going to buy the team, well, that’s another matter entirely. The way I see it, there are three potential candidates, and none of them are particularly good. Carlos Slim is the first, and probably the most credible candidate – but Telmex is pretty tight with Esteban Gutierrez, and Gutierrez has joined Sauber as testing and reserve driver, so if Telmex is going to get involved with anyone, it’s the Swiss. Talk of him joining forced with Toro Rosso is likely to be a baragaining chip.
The second candidate is Parris Mullins. He’s been very quiet of late, but he has talked of buying into a team, and he wants to run a Ferrari “B” team, much like Toro Rosso is the Red Bull “B” team. Mullins has connections to Ferrari, and Toro Rosso is an ideal candidate for him because it’s based in Italy, has a pre-existing Ferrari deal for engines, and is already structured as a “B” team, so not much will change. But I’m against the concept of “B” teams in general, and given their behaviour this season, I can’t imagine that giving Ferrari another two drivers to work with is going to go down well. This problem came up in the 2006 V8 Supercar championship when Craig Lowndes was racing Rick Kelly for the title. Kelly drove for Holden at the time, in their de facto factory team. The weekend was packed with incidents where drivers from the two teams were constantly blocking Lowndes, trying to slow him down to let Kelly catch up and so on. I have grave concerns that if there are two Ferrari “B” team backmarkers out there, Ferrari will use them to manipulate championships at critical points.
The third and final candidate is Jacques Villeneuve, who is either the most credible or the least credible potential buyer for the team. I’ve never understood the love for Villeneuve, especially since he scored more points in 1998 than he did for the rest of his career. If he’s considering buying Toro Rosso for the sake of giving himself a drive, the team is really going to suck since it’s going to be nothing more than a vanity project. It’s going to be even worse if he tries to be lead driver and team principal at the same time; Mark Skaife tried it a few years ago with the aforementioned de facto Holden team, and his pace dropped off immediately. It was simply too much for him to handle, and as Alain Prost so aptly demonstrated for us all, there is not a fine line between racer and principal, but a Berlin Wall between racer and principal – with armed guards every thirty feet. So if Villeneuve joins for the sake of giving himself a seat, the team is going to be even more of a joke than Hispania. At least Hispania is a funny joke; Villeneuve by Durango would be pathetic.
But: if Villeneuve buys Toro Rosso and intends to simply run the team and let someone else have a go, then I think the team will actualy be worth the time of day and more.1st October 2010, 8:46 at 8:46 am #146334
Do Toro Rosso have the in house ability to fully design and build a car, and run a team without assistance from Red Bull?
Yes they do. This is the first year they’ve built the car on their own without Red Bull technologies help. They’ve had to taken on a huge number of extra staff.
Although the car is essentially the RB5.1st October 2010, 11:27 at 11:27 am #146335
As long as whoever buys it gets rid of Franz Tost, I wouldn’t be too bothered who it was.1st October 2010, 12:03 at 12:03 pm #146336
$30M is cheap for a team. I wonder if the US investors that were behind the USf1 effort last year would be interested (Chad Hurley from YouTube et al)1st October 2010, 13:17 at 1:17 pm #146337
Interesting game of connect the dots:
Toro Rosso is for sale.
Toro Rosso have VW as a sponsor/partner.
VW own Audi, who have Red Bull as a sponsor in the DTM.
VW own Porsche, who are considering enterinf Formula 1.
Could VW buy Toro Rosso? I doubt it’s likely, and I wholly expect Porsche’s involvement in the sport to be limited to an engine program, and not before 2013.1st October 2010, 16:01 at 4:01 pm #146338
Please tell me Toro Rosso will live forever. =)2nd October 2010, 9:56 at 9:56 am #146339
It won’t.3rd October 2010, 17:19 at 5:19 pm #146340
It would be interesting to see VW buy Toro Rosso, maybe using the Lamborghini brand instead of Porsche due to TR being an italian team and all. With McLaren building their own stuff and Hyundai possibly joining the grid when the new motors kick in, we’d have diversity back in F1!3rd October 2010, 17:25 at 5:25 pm #146341
If it’s sold/when it’s sold. I hope it stays in Faenza to keep the teams Minardi DNA. That was the condition on it being sold it would be a shame if Dietrich doesn’t do the same.3rd October 2010, 19:03 at 7:03 pm #146342
If it’s sold/when it’s sold. I hope it stays in Faenza to keep the teams Minardi DNA. That was the condition on it being sold it would be a shame if Dietrich doesn’t do the same.
As much as the phrase “Minardi DNA” brings back horrible, horrible memories of James Allen, I agree with you. However I believe that the sale from Stoddart to Red Bull mandated that the team continue to be based in Faenza for a certain number of years, and that would still apply even if the team was further sold on (in order to protect the jobs of the Minardi employees, and to stop Red Bull from getting around that clause with some financial jiggery-pokery). So I think there is no danger of the team leaving Faenza in the near future.
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