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Berger acquires half of Toro Rosso 09 Feb 2006

Gerhard Berger (AUT).
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, 3 September 2005

The motorsport company owned by former Grand Prix driver Gerhard Berger has taken a 50 percent stake in the Red Bull-owned Scuderia Toro Rosso team. At the same time Red Bull has acquired an identical stake in Berger’s shipping business.

The deal takes effect immediately and will see Berger become personally involved in the running of Toro Rosso. He will also be available as an advisor to Red Bull's overall Formula One programme. Berger has a strong and longstanding relationship with fellow Austrian and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz.

"Three birds with one stone!” said Berger of the new arrangement. “The involvement of a company like Red Bull is an important milestone for the Berger shipping company and for its successful future development. On the other hand, I am aware that my Formula One know-how is very much valued by Red Bull in general and by the Italian Toro Rosso team in particular.

“Last but not least I'm looking forward to not only continuing to have a great time with Dietrich Mateschitz, but also to being able to implement serious and visionary business developments together in the future."

An enthusiastic Mateschitz added: "I have known and admired Gerhard for 20 years. 18 years ago, he was the first top athlete to drink Red Bull and therefore to make a significant contribution to our growth and to the brand in Austria. I am particularly pleased that we will now be able to take advantage of the synergies that undoubtedly exist between us also for joint business activities."

Berger, now 46, competed in 210 Grands Prix between 1984 and 1997, with stints at teams including Ferrari and McLaren. He recorded ten victories and made the podium 48 times. From 1998 to 2003 he was Motorsport Director at BMW, where his successes included winning the Le Mans 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours and leading BMW back into Formula One with Williams in 2000.