Gerhard Berger could be set for a rapid return to formula one, mere days after it was announced he has pulled his 50 per cent share out of the Toro Rosso team.

Gerhard Berger could be set for a rapid return to formula one, mere days after it was announced he has pulled his 50 per cent share out of the Toro Rosso team.

According to speculation in the German-speaking press, the 49-year-old Austrian, and his countryman and Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost, have been linked with Force India.

Force India, led by the Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya, recently inked a wide-ranging technical partnership with McLaren-Mercedes, and ousted chiefs Colin Kolles and Mike Gascoyne.

The Munich newspaper TZ said Berger, a former McLaren driver, has met several times with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone in the past few weeks.

It is suggested that Berger could bring with him from Toro Rosso, which is likely to be sold or closed down by Red Bull, the highly experienced engineer Giorgio Ascanelli.

The final rumour, meanwhile, is that Berger could become the rising German talent Sebastian Vettel's manager. The pair collaborated closely at Toro Rosso in 2008 and are said keen to remain united.

Vettel has previously insisted he does not need a manager, but told TZ: "If the right person comes along, I would not say no."