Mateschitz explained that Toro Rosso, which since the Minardi buyout two years ago has raced effectively as a chassis customer of Red Bull Racing, will not become a full constructor by 2010, as has been requested by the governing FIA.
Mateschitz and fellow shareholder Gerhard Berger have until now always scoffed at regular rumours about their Faenza based outfit being for sale.
"It is no big secret that the Toro Rosso team is on the market," Mateschitz has now admitted. He said the new regulations for 2010 will make it illegal for "design and construction synergies" to be shared between Red Bull and Toro Rosso. "Therefore, I see the need for us to have only one team," Mateschitz explained. "We will not sell Toro Rosso during 2008, but (it will be done) before 2010," he added.
He would not be drawn on the identities of any prospective buyers, but Russian vodka magnate Roustam Tariko - who a few years ago looked into buying a team with Eddie Irvine - was a Toro Rosso guest in Melbourne last weekend. Also at Albert Park was the Faenza based team's previous owner Paul Stoddart, and South African businessman Tony Teixeira is believed to still be in the market for an F1 team.
Motorsport Aktuell cited a possible sale price of 80 million euros. More information will reportedly be divulged by Toro Rosso on the verge of the Malaysian grand prix this week.