The Formula 1 community experienced a mix of horror and amusement as Red Bull’s Alpha Tauri team unveiled its new official name on Wednesday. Anticipation had built around the potential incorporation of sponsors Visa and Cash App with the ‘Racing Bulls’ moniker, possibly shortened to ‘RB’. However, racingbulls.com merely redirects to the team’s official website, and the anticipated ‘Racing Bulls’ name was conspicuously absent in the announcement.
Instead, the press release introduced the name “Visa Cash App RB,” leading to a wave of reactions from fans, journalists, and insiders. Michel Milewski from Bild expressed disbelief with a succinct “I’m sorry – what?!” Finnish broadcaster MTV’s Ilari Savonen labeled the name “horrible,” and Germany’s DPA news agency acknowledged its “rather unusual” nature.
Spanish publications were equally taken aback, with El Mundo Deportivo calling it a “shocking name” and Marca deeming it the “ugliest name in F1 history.” In Italy, where the team is based, Corriere della Sera’s Daniele Sparisci humorously remarked, “Goodbye Alpha Tauri… The new name of the Faenza team is a credit card.”
Sky Deutschland and former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde also weighed in, with van der Garde commenting on the commercialization of F1 and questioning the appropriateness of the name for an Italian-based team. “Maybe they prove me wrong, but I don’t see us talking in the future about that awesome team that’s called Visa Cash App RB,” he said.
Tobias Gruner of Auto Motor und Sport revealed that Red Bull had to work hard to convince Liberty Media to allow the new name. He also pondered whether the name would be embraced by TV commentators and the media. Red Bull’s Dr. Helmut Marko admitted to the name being “a little tongue twister,” and rumors suggest that insiders at the Faenza-based team have already started referring to Visa Cash App RB by an acronym: “V-CARB.”