With Red Bull out to maintain their stranglehold on the titles in F1 2024, big plans are also afoot for their junior team with P5 in the Constructors’ Championship the target.
The world of Formula 1 still waits to know the identity of Red Bull’s junior squad for F1 2024 with the AlphaTauri name, which has been in use since 2020, set to bow out as Red Bull set about making the team more financially effective.
It is not only the name that will change as, for the first time, the team has a new team principal as former Ferrari race director Laurent Mekies takes over following the retirement of Franz Tost.
Red Bull target P5 amid rival concerns
Formu1a.uno report that Mekies met with the team’s engineers for the first time on January 8, where the ambitious target of a P5 finish in the F1 2024 Constructors’ Championship was laid out, as well as plans to expand and relocate as they strengthen their ties with the main Red Bull team.
Last season saw Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin battling for best-of-the-rest status behind Red Bull, meaning one of these teams would need to be muscled out for this P5 goal to be realised.
Off the track, it is claimed that the full aerodynamics team will have moved to Milton Keynes, where the main Red Bull team is based, by the end of 2024 with the goal to then be fully up and running the following year.
Meanwhile, the rumoured impending arrivals of former Alpine sporting director Alan Permane and ex-FIA technical director Tim Gross, expected mid-2024, are tipped to not be the end of the high-profile acquisitions.
But as the strength of Red Bull’s junior team grows, rival concerns have heightened, with McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown leading the calls for the FIA and F1 to address what he calls a “serious” situation.
“The thing I would like to see us as a sport focus is where we sit on the regulation side [with] the A/B team co-ownership,” Brown said at McLaren’s 2024 livery launch, as quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I believe it’s a serious issue for the fairness of the sport, for the fans. That’s why it’s pretty much not allowed in any other form of major sport.
“I’d like to see us, as an industry, focus on that before it gets to a level of being where Formula 1 once was, which is very out of balance because people are playing by the rules, but a different set of rules.
“AlphaTauri is, from what I understand, moving to the UK, which I think will benefit both teams.
“So this A/B team and co-ownership, which is a whole other level of A/B team, is a big concern to ours for the health of the sport, and the fairness of the sport.
“When these [team co-operation rules] were put in place, the sport was in a different place.
“We had a huge gap between people like ourselves, who had huge budgets, and smaller teams. Now everybody’s pretty much at the cap, if not at the cap.
“So I think everyone’s playing with the same size of bat, to use a baseball term, and therefore that’s not necessary.
“But it might give someone an unfair advantage, and I think that’s something we need to tackle with the sport quickly.”
AlphaTauri’s driver line-up will remain the same for F1 2024, Daniel Ricciardo continuing to partner Yuki Tsunoda as part of an entirely unchanged grid.