In a significant shake-up for Formula 1, Alpha Tauri, the sister team to the juggernaut Red Bull Racing, has confirmed a major rebranding ahead of the 2024 season. This decision, arriving amidst strong rumors, marks a departure from the fashion brand identity associated with Red Bull, signaling a shift towards a more neutral branding and US-centric sponsors.
Peter Bayer, the new CEO at the helm in Abu Dhabi, indicated that this rebranding is aimed at fostering greater synergies with Red Bull’s main team, which has been dominating the F1 circuits. This strategic move, aligning more closely with the energy drink giant, is seen as a way to bolster the team’s presence and performance in the highly competitive world of Formula 1.
However, Jody Egginton, the technical chief of the team, was quick to dismiss any notions that the 2024 car would be merely a carbon copy of the current, highly successful Red Bull model. “Clone” was the word he explicitly refuted, emphasizing the team’s commitment to maintaining its unique technological identity despite the rebranding efforts and closer ties.
The choice of the ‘Racing Bulls’ moniker, leaked on social media and speculated upon by many, is believed to be a move to create a neutral platform. This would potentially attract major sponsors like Visa and CashApp, tapping into the lucrative and expanding US market, as noted by the Austrian publication Osterreich – a strategic maneuver to position the team more favorably in the global market.
This period of transition also coincides with the departure of a key figure in the team’s history, Franz Tost. The long-serving team boss is making way for former Ferrari sporting boss Laurent Mekies, marking the end of an era. Reflecting on Tost’s tenure, Daniel Ricciardo, who also had a stint at the team when it was Toro Rosso a decade ago, remarked, “It’s been everything that’s given him drive for so many years.” He expressed his hopes for Tost’s well-deserved rest and relaxation, a sentiment shared by many in the F1 community who have witnessed his commitment to the sport. “I hope he can enjoy putting his feet up a little bit next year,” the Australian added. “I’m not sure fully what that’s going to entail for him, but I really hope he’s able to enjoy some R and R.”
In a parallel development, Sauber’s partnership with Alfa Romeo is also drawing to a close. The Swiss outfit is set to revert to the Sauber name in 2024, with new title sponsors yet to be announced. This change comes as the team’s future owner, Audi, plans its entry into Formula 1 in 2026, though it won’t be part of the team’s name next year.
“Alfa Romeo has competition in its DNA. When the conditions are right, we will return to thrill our fans once more,” confirmed the Italian carmaker’s CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.