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Toro Rosso could adopt Renault-inspired livery

02 Apr 2015

Renault’s desire for more visibility in Formula One racing could lead Toro Rosso to adopt a yellow livery in the future, according to Red Bull's motorsport consultant Helmut Marko.

Renault have been linked with a possible purchase of the Italian team in recent weeks, with their F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul admitting in Malaysia that they are "looking at a lot of options". Marko however says that the most likely option would be a rebranding for Red Bull's sister team.

"Renault are spending a lot of money on this power unit - not as much as Mercedes but a significant amount - and are confronted with the same issues that we (Red Bull) have: their F1 involvement has to pay off," Marko told Formula1.com.

"Add to that that Renault feels under-represented on the marketing side so there are considerations to either buy Toro Rosso or more likely give them a yellow livery to have a better marketing platform. But of course the figures have to correspond."

Asked how that potential change might affect Red Bull, Marko added: "Such a scenario would only take off if the close relationship between Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso stays intact, within the rules. 

"Red Bull Racing's headcount is much higher, the equipment of the team is more sophisticated - so without the know-how of Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso would be hurt in its competitiveness. So as I just said, a close interaction of both teams is paramount to such a scenario."

In the official Friday press conference in Malaysia, Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost talked up a potential takeover of his team by Renault.

"I think this would be a fantastic opportunity for Toro Rosso to make the next step forward," he said, "because the team wants to be established in the future within the first five in the constructors’ championship. To be part of a manufacturer - to be owned by a manufacturer - would be exactly [the] step forward the team needs to be established in the first five."

In response, Abiteboul admitted that Renault are evaluating how they might improve their F1 representation "from a marketing and strategic perspective".

"We think that we are a credible player in the sport but we want to compete amongst the best brands," he added.

"We need to think about what else we can do to what we are doing. This is an open market, we have the capacity to have discussions with lots of parties. But as I've said, for the time being the focus is on engines."

Check back tomorrow for the full exclusive interview with Helmut Marko, including a candid assessment of Red Bull's start to the 2015 season and his reponse to rumours that the team could join forces with a new power unit manufacturer.