The season is getting ever closer and we had another important milestone today as we learnt the new name of the AlphaTauri team for the first time.
The big news of the day was the rather unusual name coming out of Faenza with Visa Cash App RB the latest constructor on the grid.
As you can imagine, it didn’t go down well, including one ex-F1 driver who said such a name was not “appropriate” for the sport.
Red Bull confirm AlphaTauri rebrand
The rebranding of AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s sister outfit, was nothing unexpected having first been revealed last season by Helmut Marko but it was today that we got official confirmation as to what that name would be.
Instead of the heavily rumoured Hugo Boss linkup, Red Bull have partnered with Visa and Cash App for the new team with RB on the end.
As to what that RB stands for, that is currently undefined with PlanetF1.com understanding it does not stand for Racing Bulls.
Ex-F1 driver slams Red Bull’s approach
Former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde was the first to speak about the name change and went on to say it was not an “appropriate” name for an F1 outfit.
He said: “I know I’ve just retired so I don’t wanna sound like “everything in the past used to be so much better”, but to my opinion “Visa Cash App RB” isn’t an appropriate name for a Formula 1 team.
“We’re getting used to F1 being commercialised, as it should (!) so for commercial opportunities I’m all in, but this just sounds like a name an Italian based team shouldn’t carry.
“Anyway, maybe they prove me wrong – but I don’t see us talking in the future about that awesome team that’s called Visa Cash App RB…”
Max Verstappen predicts his own F1 downfall.
Speaking of Red Bull and away from Faenza, Max Verstappen has admitted that at some point his dominance of the sport will end.
“It cannot always be like this, I know that,” he told the Times. “The season we’ve had has been probably the best single season performance in F1, in terms of stats and records.
“So I know that it will be very hard to try and do better than that. I think I just have to manage my expectations from now on. That’s just something that you have to keep telling yourself.”
F1 detail contract plans for future races after Madrid GP confirmation
The news of the day on Tuesday was another confirmation in the form of Madrid officially being added to the calendar but F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali also revealed what the organisation is planning in terms of contract extensions to existing venues.
“I’m very pleased that it’s a deal that takes us to 2035 – it’s a long time,” Domenicali said of the Madrid addition.
“This is the objective as F1, with either new or more established promoters. It allows everyone involved to plan the future and invest in the future as it is a guarantee for the promoter, for our partners, for our teams and for our sport. It gives everyone long-term visibility.
“If you look at the past, the renewals were two years, three years or five years maximum. Now all our new deals are going in the direction of being very long. And if they are short, there is a reason.”
The price of Madrid’s addition revealed by Catalan media
As for how much Madrid paid to get on the F1 map, Catalan media reports a deal worth half a billion euros over 10 years.
A report from CCMA has claimed Madrid pulled together funding of around €48 million per year which would eclipse other European track figures, and puts it in the same ballpark of around €50 million as believed to be paid by the likes of Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
The publication states this figure is almost double what the Generalitat de Catalunya paid for the race in Barcelona, estimated at €25 million.
Sources familiar with the situation in both Madrid and Barcelona have told PlanetF1.com that the reported figures by CCMA are in the right ballpark.
Ferrari take up new racing challenge
Ferrari meanwhile are doing something a little different as they take to the seas.
They have hired former Maserati sailor Giovanni Soldini to head up the new sailing venture but have yet to reveal what competition they will take part in.