There have been rumours in recent months that Scuderia Toro Rosso is again up for sale, with a price tag of around $30 million, although the buyer would also need to assume a certain amount of debt as well.
The team was up for sale a year or so ago but the economic climate was poor and at that point it made more sense for Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz to invest instead and build up the team so that it would fetch a better price when the world economy recovers. In the interim the team was used to train up young drivers. When Mateschitz bought the team at the end of 2005 there was a provision that teams would be allowed to use customer cars and it made sense to have two teams. This worked well until the 2008 Italian Grand Prix when Sebastian Vettel’s victory in a Toro Rosso alarmed the other teams and customer cars were banned, forcing Toro Rosso to become a constructor again in 2009, although the teams did allow Toro Rosso to use the Red Bull design that year and allowed the 2010 car to be based on the 2009.
Red Bull is obviously keen to concentrate all of its resources on the main team, rather than paying for a secondary team that is only really useful to run young drivers when it would be much cheaper for Red Bull to provide drivers with money if it wants them to be race-trained in F1.
The team has competed in F1 since 1985, when founder Giancarlo Minardi moved his Formula 2 operation into Grand Prix racing. The perpetual underdog, it gained a loyal following despite continued financial problems. Minardi was forced to sell the operation to Australian businessman Paul Stoddart in 2001 and he in turn was forced to sell to Red Bull, although during his ownership the team helped to develop the careers of both Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso.