CEPSA to sponsor Toro Rosso amidst takeover speculation

Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed a major sponsorship agreement with Spanish oil firm Compania Espanola de Petroleos (CEPSA), which could be the precursor to a takeover of the entire team by the company’s UAE parent company.

CEPSA logos will appear on the race overalls of the team’s drivers, Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari, as well as on the nose, rear wing and rear wing endplates of the car from this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. No immediate financial details were available, but the sponsorship is likely bound up in discussions over the future of the Red Bull-owned team.

CEPSA’s parent company is the International Petroleum Investment Company, a UAE company that also owns another recent Toro Rosso sponsor, Falcon Private Bank. Details of any takeover remain shrouded in secrecy but CEPSA is said to be aiming for further expansion and market share across Europe, which helps to explain the decision to sponsor Toro Rosso.

Toro Rosso and Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has been open to offers for his second team, which he bought in 2005, for some time. Previously Minardi, he has since used the rebranded outfit primarily as a Red Bull driver development team. Sebastian Vettel, the world champion, famously won the team’s only race to date in 2008, before moving up to the Red Bull Racing team.

Recent Formula One regulations have, however, lessened the extent to which Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing can share technical know-how and resources. The team, based in Faenza, Italy, is understood to be upgrading its factory.

Further details are likely to be announced during the upcoming Grand Prix weekend at Monza

Source: Sports Pro