JANUARY 29, 2024

Button bemused by F1 team's ridiculous rebrand

Red Bull has already benefitted from its "ridiculous" new name for the Formula 1 team formerly known as Alpha Tauri.

Daniel RIcciardo, United States GP 2023
© Red Bull

That is the view not only of a respected F1 journalist, but also 2009 world champion Jenson Button - whose job as a part-time pundit for British broadcaster Sky means he will have to utter the phrase 'Visa Cash App RB' throughout this season.

What's the new name? Button told AP news agency whilst racing in Daytona at the weekend.

Visa Cash App - what comes after that?

Already, F1 headline writers have struggled to know how to snappily refer to the Faenza based outfit, with team insiders said to already be using the unofficial acronym 'V-CARB'.

When asked what he will call Red Bull's second team on TV this year, Button smiled: Exactly what we're told to call it.

Michael Schmidt, the top correspondent for Germany's specialist Auto Motor und Sport magazine, also thinks Sauber's new name - after the departure of Alfa Romeo - is ridiculous.

Indeed, the Swiss based outfit is on the FIA entry list as: Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber. This is how Formula 1 makes itself a laughing stock, Schmidt said.

Imagine these tongue twisters in the results lists. Or on TV commentary. No one can remember that, he insisted.

"I personally won't call the teams those names. For me, they are still Sauber and Toro Rosso. Because that is their origin.

"I find it pathetic that the FIA and Formula One Management are playing along with this bad new habit of constant name changes. Tradition is an important marketing element in any sport.

If Real Madrid became Emirates Madrid or Bayern Munich became Qatar Airways Munich, the fans would riot. And rightly so. Because a piece of their identity would be lost.

As for Button, he admits that the marketing teams of both Sauber and Red Bull are at least clever.

People are talking about it, right? So that's good. It's obviously worked in getting people to talk about it, he said.