Red Bull to buy out Berger at Toro Rosso 26 Nov 2008
Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has announced plans to buy back Gerhard Bergers 50 percent stake in Toro Rosso, returning full control of the team to the energy drinks giant. Mateschitz had previously stated he planned to sell off his half.
Im very grateful to Gerhard for his enormous input, said Mateschitz. Together we have made Toro Rosso a team which, from 2008 onwards, will regularly qualify for the top ten and collect championship points.
Toro Rosso was created when Red Bull purchased the Minardi team in 2005 to serve as a junior squad to its main Red Bull Racing concern. Ex-F1 driver Berger took a 50 percent stake in 2006 and this season has seen Toro Rosso regularly outperform its senior sibling, scoring a maiden win at the Italian Grand Prix.
Full statement from Red Bull:
Subject to approval by competition authorities, Red Bull will again take over the 50% share of the Formula 1 Team Toro Rosso that has been owned by Berger Motorsport since 2006. The two friends Dietrich Mateschitz and Gerhard Berger have led their joint motorsports project, which emerged from the former Minardi Team, to its greatest success to date. The first win in the teams 25 year history was celebrated at the Italian Grand Prix together with Sebastian Vettel, one of the Red Bull Driver Search Programs biggest talents. In the Formula 1 World Constructors Championship, the Scuderia Toro Rosso achieved sixth (6) place in this years season.
Before Red Bull took over Minardi, the team regularly held the role of bringing up the rear on the Formula 1 track. The team had to be radically overhauled to fulfill the expectations of the new owners. As part of this reconstruction, the assignment of 50% of the shares to Berger Motorsport was necessary. With this transfer, Gerhard Berger brought all his Formula 1 knowledge and connections into the partnership in order to help further develop Toro Rosso.
I am very happy that I can support Didi - who has committed himself to Formula 1 with so much dedication - with the reorganisation of the team and in this process to make use of my knowledge so effectively, said Gerhard Berger.
Didi Mateschitz agrees: Im very grateful to Gerhard for his enormous input. Together we have made Toro Rosso a team which, from 2008 onwards, will regularly qualify for the Top Ten and collect Championship Points.
From the beginning, Red Bull was responsible for the financial and technical development of the Team, whereas Gerhard Berger focused on steering the athletic side.
A 100% financing of a joint project by one partner can only make sense, to my mind, at an initial stage, Gerhard Berger emphasised. This stage is over now. Thats why Red Bull will take over the shares again.
Red Bull will now run Toro Rosso alone on this basis, as well as remaining a partner of Berger Logistik, added Didi Mateschitz.