Gerhard Berger recently sold his 50 per cent share of the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 team back to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz. There had been a series of rumors that Mateschitz wanted to offload his 50% Toro Rosso share, because of the tightening rules about non-constructors. Now that he has full control of the entire team, it will make it easier to sell outright.
Red Bull now owns 100% of two F1 teams: Red Bull Racing (RBR) and the “junior” team, Scuderia Toro Rosso (STR), both which race cars designed by Red Bull Technologies. The practice of a team racing a car that has been built by another team is controversial, and the FIA has decided to outlaw the practice entirely by 2010. This means all teams must build their own cars by then, or cease to exist.
The question is, what will happen to Toro Rosso? The supposed “junior” team actually surpassed Red Bull Racing this year and finished in first place at Monza in September, finishing in a higher position in the constructors’ championship. At this point, Toro Rosso is an established force in F1, it’d be a shame to see them just vanish when 2010 rolls around. More likely, they’ll either be absorbed by the RBR team, or bought and financed by some unknown party so they can become a legitimate constructor.
As for Toro Rosso’s golden boy, Sebastian Vettel: he’ll be racing with RBR for 2009, and after that, most likely on to one of the “major” teams like Ferrari or McLaren.