Helmut Marko responds to rumours that AlphaTauri is up for sale

Henry Valantine
Helmut Marko talks to Sergio Perez. Bahrain February 2023.

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko speaks to Sergio Perez at testing.

Helmut Marko has said any decisions surrounding the future of AlphaTauri will be left in the hands of Red Bull shareholders, amid rumours that the team may be put up for sale.

A report from Auto Motor und Sport in Germany on Saturday claimed that three potential buyers – Andretti, HitechGP and Mumbai Racing, would be interested in purchasing the Faenza-based team if it becomes available, with Red Bull reportedly looking for a way to make it more economically viable – including the potential to open up a team headquarters in the UK, near its Milton Keynes headquarters, to reduce costs.

Given the team’s drop-off in pace last season and the team not having filled one of its seats with a new Red Bull junior since Yuki Tsunoda in 2021, rumours have begun to circulate on the future of the team moving forward, but Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko would not go into detail surrounding the latest reports.

“In general, we don’t comment on rumours,” Marko said on Sky Deutschland.

“It’s understandable that AlphaTauri can’t be satisfied with what it achieved last year – ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

“But such a decision is entirely up to the shareholders – these are rumours that we do not comment on in detail.

“You think about how you can increase efficiency. If you have a team that wins the World Championship and the other one is only around ninth place, the synergies don’t seem to work properly.

“The overall result is not satisfactory. As proper business people, our shareholders will make the right decision.”

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AlphaTauri began in Formula 1 as Toro Rosso back in 2005 when Red Bull bought the back-marking Minardi team, with the aim of using it as a de facto junior team to prepare their young drivers to move to the senior Red Bull squad.

A host of Formula 1 drivers have come through the team and two have achieved World Championship success in Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel, but Red Bull opted to break with tradition when it chose Sergio Perez to partner Verstappen in 2021, and brought Nyck de Vries in from outside the programme to race for AlphaTauri in 2023, with the current crop of Red Bull juniors not deemed ready for Formula 1 just yet.

“It is part of our philosophy,” Marko said of the history of the team. “Vettel and Verstappen all came to us through AlphaTauri, but if the team doesn’t perform properly, it doesn’t help.”