JANUARY 31, 2024

Ex-Alpha Tauri team still independent of Red Bull

Dr Helmut Marko insists that the Red Bull-owned Formula 1 team formerly known as Alpha Tauri and Toro Rosso remains "independent" of Red Bull Racing.

Daniel Ricciardo, Brazilian GP 2023
© Red Bull

Now with the clunky new official name Visa Cash App RB, the Italy-based team has been causing a stir recently as it moves certain operations to the UK to create new synergies with the premier team and hire British-based talent.

And the new name and logo, with the 'RB' (Racing Bulls) acronym cleverly linked to Red Bull and featuring the familiar bucking bull logo of the energy drink, has only raised further suspicions of a new closer relationship to Red Bull Racing.

Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt explained: "Finding the new name had a difficult birth.

"Originally, Racing Bulls was supposed to be more prominent - a generic term that is also used by Red Bull for other sporting activities.

But Formula 1 wasn't particularly happy with sponsor names appearing before the chassis manufacturer, which is why Racing Bulls ended up abbreviated to 'RB', he added.

Top Red Bull consultant Marko told the magazine of the former Alpha Tauri outfit: "It remains an independent team with its own leadership.

It should also remain a junior team, even if this year we're going with an experienced driver, he added, referring to 34-year-old Daniel Ricciardo.

Australian Ricciardo is clearly a candidate to replace Sergio Perez at the top team for 2025.

The good thing for us, said Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner, is that we have options both outside and inside the team.

He is referring to Mexican Perez's expiring contract. As long as the car is competitive, we will be in an advantageous situation to calmly decide what we want to do next, Horner added.

If Perez is moved along at the end of the season, or perhaps even before, that would open up Ricciardo's place in the team for impressive youngster Liam Lawson.

The more pressure he had, Marko said of the 21-year-old New Zealander, the better he became.