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Red Bull take over Toro Rosso F1 team

November 26, 2008 10:07 IST

Red Bull have taken back total control of the Toro Rosso Formula One team, the energy drink company said on Tuesday.

The company said in a statement that they had re-acquired co-owner Gerhard Berger's 50 percent holding "subject to approval by competition authorities".

Austrian Berger, a former Ferrari [Images] and McLaren driver with 10 Formula One wins to his credit, had controlled Toro Rosso jointly with Red Bull's billionaire founder and compatriot Dietrich Mateschitz since 2006.

Mateschitz, who already owned the Red Bull Racing F1 team, bought the struggling Italy-based Minardi outfit at the end of 2005 and renamed it. Toro Rosso means Red Bull in Italian.

Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso out-performed Red Bull this year, winning the Italian Grand Prix in September with 21-year-old German Sebastian Vettel.

"Red Bull will now run Toro Rosso alone...as well as remaining a partner of Berger Logistik," said Mateschitz, referring to Berger's family-owned haulage firm which is half-owned by Mateschitz's company.

Toro Rosso's future had been in doubt, with Mateschitz saying in March that Red Bull wanted to sell their stake before 2010 when the current regulations require all teams to build and design their own cars.

The 2008 Toro Rosso and Renault-powered Red Bull cars were both designed by Red Bull Technology under the guidance of former McLaren technical director Adrian Newey.

It was not immediately clear what had brought about Mateschitz's change of heart, although there has been talk recently of relaxing the 'customer car' rules, at a time when teams are under pressure to cut costs.

Toro Rosso have yet to announce their 2009 driver line-up, with France's [Images] Sebastian Bourdais saying last week that the team needs money and are looking for a driver who could bring funds with him as well as talent.

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