Scott Speed and Team Toro Rosso seem to be at odds, with the smart money being on Speed making an exit, either soon, or at the latest at the end of the year.
Both team co-owner Gerhard Berger, and team manager Franz Tost appear to have been less than supportive towards Speed, and at the German Grand Prix there was some pushing and shoving between Speed and Tost.
After the incident Speed has been quoted as saying:
After the race Franz spent 15 minutes apologizing for his behavior, because it was clear to everyone that he was way out of line,” Speed said. “But after coming out and denying this stuff, it’s just another very dishonest thing that Franz or Gerhard (Berger) have said in the media to damage me and Tonio (Liuzzi). And at this point, I’ve had enough. I know that it’s going to hurt Red Bull, and that’s definitely not my intention, because Dietrich Mateschitz and Red Bull have been a huge support to me. They’re the reasons I have achieved everything I have in motor racing. But Franz Tost, in particular, is out of control.
I was furious,” Speed said. “I walked to the pit wall and wanted to inform everyone that this happened. So I looked at my team manager, the technical director, and Gerhard Berger, and told them that if my team chief ever touches me again, I’m going to knock him out. They said, ‘OK, let’s try to calm this whole situation down.’ I said ‘Fine’ and went back in my room and I stayed there until the end of the race. At which point Gerhard and Franz both came back. Franz was calmed down and spent 15 minutes apologizing for his behavior.
“Obviously Franz Tost and Gerhard Berger have been pushing the same dishonesty to the media, and I’m worried that might have ruined my relationship with Red Bull,” he said. “Because Red Bull has been amazing to me, and I think we fit together really good, and it’s a shame to let these two people ruin the whole thing. As far as my future in F1 is concerned, you couldn’t pay me enough money to race for those two people again. If it was with a different team, that would be great, but I would also like to do something else with Red Bull, even if it was outside F1.
Waiting in the wings to possibly take over the 2008 seat is 3 time Champcar Champion Sebastion Bourdais.
If Speed is dropped it would mean that there would be once again no American in F1, which these days after Formula One recently turned it’s back on the US by not extending the contract of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Bernie Ecclestones comments that maybe America is no so important to F1, maybe it does not matter that no Americans are racing in F1.
On the other side, Red Bull has a huge investment in the Red Bull young driver program, which was started with the aim of getting an American into F1, and to help Red Bulls marketing in America, it seems odd that there is so little support for Speed from Red Bull, but then the Red Bull team itself does have drivers David Coulthard and Mark Webber, neither of who have come through any of the Red Bull driver programs. As with all things in motorsport, only time will tell what happens.