At the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, Marko spoke with the Austria Press Agency in an article published by Kleine Zeitung from his home town of Graz. And among his remarks, Marko confirmed that Red Bull is discussing selling Scuderia Toro Rosso to Renault. "It is true that we're speaking with Renault about another form of cooperation regarding Toro Rosso. It may be that the cars go completely in yellow or it may even be taken over by Renault" entirely, said Marko.
The development would be a radical shift for both Renault and Toro Rosso. The French automaker won back-to-back world championships when it fielded its own team with Fernando Alonso at the wheel before selling it to Lotus and Genii Capital. It has been participating solely as an engine supplier ever since – and only to Red Bull and Toro Rosso this season after Lotus switched to Mercedes power and Caterham dropped out – but has reportedly been considering fielding a works team once again.
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso hit the grid in 2006 after Red Bull took over Minardi as its second team in partnership with Gerhard Berger. It ran under Cosworth power in its first season, followed by seven years with Ferrari before switching last year to Renault. Reports of Red Bull looking to offload STR have been circulating ever since Berger sold his half of the team back to the company in 2008, leaving it saddled with the cost of fielding two Formula One operations that the rules mandate can having nothing to do with one another.
Just what Toro Rosso's potential purchase by Renault would mean for Red Bull, however, is another matter. The team doesn't just run Renault engines but is title-sponsored by the French automaker's affiliate Infiniti. Rumors have linked Audi and the Volkswagen Group to partnering with either Red Bull or Toro Rosso, bringing the German auto giant onto the grid in similar fashion to how McLaren has rekindled its partnership with Honda, but Marko denied any such deal was currently afoot.