Toro Rosso set to lose major sponsor

CEPSA

Spanish media are reporting that CEPSA (Compañía Española de Petróleos) is set to withdraw from its F1 sponsorship of Toro Rosso. CEPSA is a Spanish based multinational petroleum company producing oil and gas along with manufacturing bio-gasoline and is an active leader in the field of environmentally friendly plastics and green energy. The relationship between CEPSA and Toro Rosso began in 2011 though the company’s parent organisation IPIC is now reported to want to focus its marketing on Real Madrid.

IPIC recently financed the renovation of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and is believed to be committed to assisting Real Madrid in opening their own brand ‘museums’ worldwide.

CEPSA are a significant contributor to the Toro Rosso budget funding around $15m of the total spend which was reported by Autosport to be around $135m in 2015. Speculation has been rising in Spain of the split between CEPSA and Toro Rosso since the Spanish truck racer Antonio Albacete (2006 and 2010 European champion), revealed recently that his and all other CEPSA motorsport funding was being withdrawn.

Further ‘evidence’ of the Spanish Oil Company’s intentions has been drawn from the fact on their website, the following celebratory article was recently published entitled “Mission Accomplished: We at Cepsa are proud that we have helped Carlos Sainz reach his goal – Formula 1.”

Toro Rosso have also been the subject of recent speculation that they could be the imminent target for a FIAT-Chrysler acquisition. The team would be rebranded Alfa Romeo and be supplied with Ferrari power units.

17 responses to “Toro Rosso set to lose major sponsor

  1. Withdrawing sponsorship money from F1 is nothing special, especially in the curent state F1 is in. What interested me much more is the suggestion of STR becoming Alfa Romeo. This actually makes a lot of sense in the context of having a supply of Ferrari power units, however the first thing that popped into my mind after reading this is that Red Bull want to decrease their footprint in F1. Are they on the way out? I mean, sure, they do have a legally binding contract until, what was it, 2020? But could those be the first steps towards not-extending it? Besides, should they decide to bail out early, they would obviously be obliged to pay a hefty sum of money, now, does anyone know if this penalty would be per team? If so, getting rid of one of the teams would make an early exit significantly less painful.

    • Given how best estimates now reckon Ferrari’s F1 team has all its costs covered by a combination of sponsorship and various income streams direct from FOM.

      They’ve further advantaged themselves via the maneuvering of staff, wind tunnel time plus various other unrestricted activities – ostensibly carried out by Haas, seemingly paid for by Haas, for the official benefit of the new Haas team entering the field this season, yet with unknown capability to increase Ferrari’s 2016 car which we will never be able to properly measure.

      After all this, Ferrari still have an effective B team in Haas – whose realistic ambitions are to challenge the established midfield teams initially. With such limited ambition, they present no threat to Ferrari whilst offering various ongoing benefits – most notably for the coming season: the ability to assess Grosjean via familiar telemetry, to determine his suitability to replace Kimi in 2017, with the team reverting to their previous tactics of having established number 1 and number 2 drivers.

      Given how keen they were to get Vettel, we know they anticipate a long and fruitful association leading to multiple WDC and WCC titles.

      They’ve shown how much they are willing to pay to keep Vettel comfortable, in the undeserved salary Kimi continues to earn this season.

      As previously stated – Ferrari are currently in a very healthy financial position. Haas are no threat and offer them virtually all the same benefits FCA would get for paying the large amount of money it would cost to buy and run Torro Rosso, under the Alfa Romeo brand. Hence it makes no sense for FCA to invest in an official B team – especially for the high price DM is clearly asking for STR, after all why have there been no substantiated rumours of genuine buyers coming along since STR has unofficially been up for sale? (I don’t regard gossip from places like this as substantiated; no offence Judge!)

      • Marchionne has indicated he’d like Alfa to be present in F1. Haas…I personally don’t think he would be building up his entry into F1 like he was, if his plans were to roll over in a couple of years and abandon the Haas team name. I think he’s going to remain closely tied with Ferrari, he may become a feeder team, but I don’t think he would like to become “Team Alfa Romeo”. Introducing Alfa into F1 is something to build up the brand name, I mean, right now, when I think “Alfa Romeo” I see a beautiful car, sitting broken on the side of the road. They want to make this brand more marketable, a proper premium brand. For that they’d need a team that can generate consistent and at least decent results. Haas may/will get there. STR IS there. And they use Ferrari power (…and they have Scuderia in their name… 😉 ). Of course, this is pure speculation but as I said, it seems like a possibility.

  2. TR has been for sale for years now.
    What is interesting is that yet another mayor sponsor is leaving the sport. They are not switching teams, no, they want a football sponsorship contract. Apparently the ROI on F1 is not good enough.

  3. ” …we have helped Carlos Sainz helped reach his goal – Formula 1″
    One might have hoped that a company operating on this scale could afford to employ a proof reader.

  4. more indication that the FIA/FOM/F! circus is coming apart at the seams faster than the stakeholders can plug the dikes. Torro Rosso likely got the third or forth most press and positive comments in 2015, yet it was not enough for an International sponsor…

  5. No problem Royal Dutch SHELL is knocking on the door.
    But bad for Carlos now his big sponsor is gone. Not nice after he was given a seat.
    Perhaps a chance for STOFFEL VANDOORNE.

    • Why would they?
      They are long term partners of Ferrari and they sponsor a few races if I’m correct. No need for them to sponsor another team, is there?

    • Royal Dutch Shell is having a hard time justifying spending extra money on marketing in F1 when the oil price is as low as it is now. Pretty soon it could lead to trouble for quite a few oil companies expenses.

  6. As rumor has it, CEPSA was kickt out by motor deal Ferrari/Shell. Note the date!
    And Carlos is now become a big question mark for me. But I think Franz Tost will not go back on his word.

    • Being kicked out is logical, but Shell doesn’t sponsor Manor or Sauber, so I don’t see why they would sponsor Toro Rosso and their year old engine.

      • AFAIR neither Manor nor Sauber have a prime sponsor who competes with Shell though, I think that is the point here.

      • Toro Rosso is for sale and does a great job with new young drivers. Ferrari likes to have a second team to train young talent. The car is great, Max is great and the engine is Ferrari. What else do you need?

  7. In my opinion, Red Bull would be the perfect team for Alfa to take over. Mateschitz has been a highly valued, cashed up customer of Ferrari for many years via Toro Rosso so he already has the ear of the powers-that-be in Maranello.
    From the sound of the rumblings this year, Ferrari would have been quite happy to have supplied Red Bull with PUs for this year if they had accepted the offer of the year old 2015 spec units.
    At present Ferrari are quite chuffed to have six cars using there PU this season, as it makes them at least look like they are beginning to claw back Merc’s dominance both on the track themselves and in the sales of their PU to customers. I can’t see how they would want to take a step back in that area so quickly after establishing such a powerful footprint.
    After all, Renault will only have two cars on the grid with there PUs in them next year which is even better for Ferrari.

    Red Bull are an extremely professional, front running outfit (except for 2015) which has a majority of the best chassis and aero engineers on the grid. Don’t forget, with only a half decent PU in 2014, their chassis beat Merc three times and belted Ferrari on many occasions. Add to that the fact that Red Bull’s premises in England are now set up to accommodate engine building and it all looks like a great proposition.
    This all makes for a somewhat seamless transition into the top echelon of F1 and makes perfect sense for a respected European brand like Alfa. I just wish Maserati and Lamborghini would do the same and bring back some of the Euro glamour that was prevalent in the glory days of F1.
    The only stumbling block in this idea will be the astronomical asking price to buy Red Bull out. That problem could be solved by negotiating a major sponsorship deal where Red Bull still has a share of the prominent advertising space on the cars. Alfa are looking to find a new market share and what better than to utilise Red Bull’s younger, more sporty audience.
    If they do come back, I just hope they don’t paint them red! Metal flake / pearlescent darkish blue Alfa’s look a lot more stylish and would help them distance themselves from the Ferrari brand in front of an international audience.

    • Lamborghini is part of the VW stable. Along with Porsche and Audi (and via Audi, so is Ducati bikes). And Bugatti of course…

      Maserati, along with Alfa Romeo, is part of FCA – dunno where they exactly sit following the Ferrari floatation.

      Actually, thinking aloud: maybe the whole Alfa thing is a way to keep FCA involved in F1 considering that Ferrari is not 100% in the family now, so to speak…

  8. Presumably, a team with such F1 heritage as Alfa Romeo would qualify for historic payments? 🙂

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