Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has said AlphaTauri will be renamed for the F1 2024 season, for them to “follow Red Bull Racing as far as the regulations allow.”
The Red Bull junior squad has been on a downward trajectory in terms of performance over the past couple of seasons, and the senior team are looking to intervene by supplying AlphaTauri with as many Red Bull parts as possible from next season onwards.
This will mark a return to the original Red Bull-Toro Rosso dynamic from when the teams entered the sport in the mid-2000s, with Red Bull supplying their junior team with more parts than they currently do, with AlphaTauri competing more independently in the present day.
Helmut Marko: AlphaTauri to be renamed as part of brand alignment with Red Bull
After several years competing healthily in the midfield, AlphaTauri fell to ninth in the Constructors’ Championship last season and are currently bottom of the pile this season, with just two points on the board after eight races.
Marko has spoken of his displeasure surrounding the situation at the team, but with long-serving team principal Franz Tost set to retire at the end of the year and a new leadership team coming in, he feels the time is right for a change – including how the team will be known.
“AlphaTauri will have two new leaders in 2024, Laurent Mekies and Peter Bayer. There will be new sponsors and a new name,” Marko confirmed in an interview with Austrian publication Kleine Zeitung.
“The orientation is clear: follow Red Bull Racing as far as the regulations allow. Own designs are the wrong way to go.”
But when asked directly about whether drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries currently form a part of their plans for next season at the moment, he was non-committal.
“Basically, Yuki is having a very good season with unfortunate results and penalties, but the performance is right,” he added.
“With Nyck de Vries, however, we are not satisfied, we are looking at that as well.”
Helmut Marko predicts rivals could close in on Red Bull in Austria
Back towards the front of the field, where Marko’s focus has predominantly been this season, he believes that Red Bull’s rivals are slowly clawing their way back into contention.
With the way Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc beat Max Verstappen at the team’s home race last year and it being a sprint weekend, the 80-year-old is wary that the senior team will need to be on form to keep up their 100% winning record so far this season.
“We saw in Canada that the others are getting closer,” he said. “In Spielberg, there’s a sprint again, you only have one practice session to set up the car. If you miss it, the whole weekend is gone.
“Last year we had too much tyre wear, we didn’t quite realise that in the sprint. Then in the race we had no chance against Ferrari.
“The other story is the weather: changeable conditions are forecast. So success is by no means a given.”