Videos by OutKick
It sounds as though this may be the final season that AlphaTauri appears on the Formula 1 grid.
AlphaTauri — Red Bull’s junior/sister team — has been in the news a lot recently. Mostly because of Red Bull’s reported unhappiness with the performance of rookie driver Nyck De Vries.
Rumors abound that the team has a laundry list of possible drivers to team with No. 1 driver Yuki Tsunoda. These are believed to include Red Bull stable drivers Liam Lawson and Ayumu Iwasa or Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher. Red Bull reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo is also in the conversation.
However, one of the drivers may not be the only thing changing next season; the team’s entire name seems to be on the chopping block.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said as much in a recent interview.
“AlphaTauri will have two new leaders in Laurent Mekies and Peter Bayer [the outgoing FIA general secretary] from 2024,” Marko told the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, per Autosport.
“There will be new sponsors and also a new name. The orientation is clear: based on Red Bull Racing, as far as the regulations allow. Do-it-yourself constructions are the wrong way.”
Big Changes At The Sister Team
Last year, Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz died, and according to Autosport, this led to new leadership taking over the company. Moves have already been underway with longtime team principal Franz Tost on the way out in favor of Ferrari race director Laurent Mekies taking his spot on the pitwall.
While Red Bull announced plans to keep the team, they will be moving their operations from Faenza, Italy to the UK. That will allow for more collaboration with the primary Red Bull team.
As Marko also touched on, it seems like Red Bull wants to make the team more competitive by using the big team’s resources to the extent that they can.
Just look at their current cars. The AT04 and RB19 are drastically different cars in both looks and design, even while they share some common elements. That said, the former is languishing toward the back of the field, while the latter is virtually unstoppable.
Shifting the team toward taking more cues from Red Bull will likely prove to be a good call.
So, with new personnel, a new design philosophy, and maybe a new driver, a new name makes sense, and fans have one they want to see make a return…
Fans Want To See AlphaTauri Morph Back Into Toro Rosso
Between switching to the current AlphaTauri name in 2020, Red Bull’s junior team was known as Toro Rosso.
Yes, that is Italian for “Red Bull.”
Red Bull purchased Italian team Minardi and christened it Toro Rosso ahead of the 2006 season.
The team has usually been used as a junior team allowing the team’s younger drivers a chance in Formula 1. However, that doesn’t mean the team hasn’t had some success under the Toro Rosso banner. The team earned its maiden win at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix thanks to Sebastian Vettel. Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Alex Albon, and Pierre Gasly are just a few of the names who drove for the team.
So there’s some great history there, but for a lot of fans, it’s the liveries that make them want to see the Toro Rosso name back on the grid.
I could see Torro Rosso coming back with some Ford logos on there. Not completely Ford as it’s too early. I’m gonna miss Alpha Tauri. Always liked their liveries. But Torro Rosso always looked better pic.twitter.com/rbyXaLxwwm— Michael Richards (@MichaelHleyden) June 28, 2023
There’s a lot of excitement about the prospect of Torro Rosso coming back, but…
If I had to put money on whether or not Red Bull brings the Toro Rosso name back, I’d throw mine down on the “not happening” side of things.
It seems like this is a new beginning, and Italian names like Scuderia Toro Rosso and Scuderia AlphaTauri paid tribute to the team’s Italian roots.
However, if it’s a new start, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a brand new name that has never been on the grid on the side of those cars in 2024.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle