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Renault, Red Bull insist they`re not leaving F1.

It has been suggested that the return of 'junior' squad Scuderia Toro Rosso back to the parent concern by STR co-owner Gerhard Berger was the first step in a move to facilitate a sale of the two sister teams as one single package.

“The funding of Toro Rosso has always been fully provided by Red Bull,” Horner stressed in an interview with the official Formula 1 website, “so therefore the 100 per cent take-over has no foreseen impact on Red Bull Racing.

“Thankfully a can of Red Bull doesn't cost the same as a car, so people are still buying and enjoying the product during these times!”

Ferrari star Felipe Massa, meanwhile, has argued that Honda will not be followed out of the sport by any other team – and expressed his support for compatriot Rubens Barrichello, who has now almost certainly seen the curtain descend on his record-length grand prix career.

“I don't think so, at least not next season,” the Brazilian told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked if he believed others were also in danger. “The economic crisis is very serious and it affects us all, but the situation can only improve.

“In any case, I hope someone can buy Honda, maybe even a Brazilian firm. It would be very interesting to see a Brazilian team with Brazilian drivers in F1. If the situation stays like this there will be only Nelson Piquet and me as Brazilians in F1. It's really sad.

“Honda's pull-out was a nasty surprise and a really horrible thing for F1. It's better to have lots of competition, but now it's important to continue, working together and finding the right solutions. Formula 1 has to remain a team competition, but still considering reality.”

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