Helmut Marko has confirmed Red Bull won’t be selling AlphaTauri, but that doesn’t mean they’re all that happy with their junior team’s performances – both on the track and in its bank statements.
Earlier this year a report emerged claiming three parties were interested in buying the AlphaTauri F1 team, rumours that team principal Franz Tost was quick to deny.
Speaking ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, he said: “The shareholders will not sell Scuderia AlphaTauri, and that Red Bull will continue supporting the team in the future.
“All these rumours have no foundation, and the team has to remain focused for the start of the season to perform better than last year.”
Marko, having previously said the decision to sell or not would be up to the shareholders, has now also said the team is not for sale.
But, he added, that doesn’t mean Red Bull are happy with AlphaTauri’s performance, with the team slumping to P9 in the Constructors’ standings last season.
“It was always very clear that AlphaTauri would stay in-house,” he told Formel1.de.
“It’s true that AlphaTauri’s ninth place in the Constructors’ Championship is not what we expect. That means there has to be an improvement.
“It is also true that the financial commitment at AlphaTauri is too high, this means that we also have to do something on the sponsor side, on the revenue side.
“In the course of this process we also discussed the possibilities, but it was always very clear that AlphaTauri would remain in-house. That is an important part of our junior work.
“As mentioned, neither sporting performance nor financial performance meet Red Bull’s standards, so we have to do something to change that.”
Red Bull bosses laugh off latest Mercedes rumours: ‘That does not make sense’
Lewis Hamilton: Max Verstappen ‘will not slip up’ in latest title pursuit
Seven chaotic F1 race weekends: Missile strikes, COVID-19, track invaders and more
Tost is now under pressure to deliver on that.
“We have spoken to Franz Tost,” Marko said. “A clear procedure has been agreed with him on how this will happen over the course of this season.”
As for what Red Bull would consider a satisfactory result from their junior team, the 79-year-old said: “Anything between sixth and seventh is acceptable.”
The Red Bull motorsport advisor also weighed in on speculation Red Bull could move AlphaTauri from Faenza in Italy to England where it would be closer to Red Bull’s Milton Keynes headquarters.
“It’s obvious that we’re playing through various options, including England,” Marko said. “AlphaTauri already has over 100 employees in England. It’s a split between Italy and England because it’s much easier to find employees in England.
“But the idea that the entire team will immediately move over there is also an overinterpretation.”