Man City and Toro Rosso common ground

Sheikh_Mansour_bin_Zayed_Al_Nahyan

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Sep.7 (Reuters) The Toro Rosso Formula One team strengthened their ties with Abu Dhabi on Tuesday with the announcement of a sponsorship deal with Spanish oil company Cepsa.

Cepsa are owned by Abu Dhabi government fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), who also have a stake in carmaker Daimler through state-owned subsidiary Aabar Investments.

IPIC chairman Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nayhan also owns Premier League Manchester City, now the world’s wealthiest soccer club.

Aabar and IPIC own two other Toro Rosso sponsors – Swiss-based Falcon Private Bank and Canada’s Nova Chemicals.

Italian-based Toro Rosso, formerly Minardi, are owned by Red Bull but the Austrian energy drinks company has been looking to sell and there has been media speculation for some time about an Abu Dhabi takeover of the team.

Toro Rosso said the sponsorship agreement with Cepsa would result in the company’s logo being put on the drivers’ race suits and on the nose, rear wing and rear wing endplates of the cars from Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

Toro Rosso won at Monza in 2008 with Germany’s current champion Sebastian Vettel. That victory remains their sole triumph in Formula One to date.