Red Bull are ‘not interested’ in AlphaTauri sale to Andretti

Sam Cooper
Close-up of Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri. Interlagos November 2022.

Close-up of Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Interlagos November 2022.

Michael Andretti said Red Bull have no interest in selling AlphaTauri to them despite reports the team is up for sale.

2022 was the worst year in AlphaTauri’s history with the misfiring AT03 proving to be a difficult conundrum for the team to solve.

In his final year with Red Bull’s sister team, Pierre Gasly finished P14 in the Drivers’ standings while his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda ended the campaign in 17th.

The team also slumped down three positions from 2021 to end the first season with new regulations in ninth.

This form was in remarkably different contrast to that of their sister team with the RB18 winning all but five of the 22 races.

With that in mind and following the death of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz in October, rumours have begun to surface that the Austrian outfit is open to offers for AlphaTauri.

There were also ominous words coming from the mouth of Helmut Marko who said that it would make little sense to break up Red Bull Racing but there was a “need” to do so at AlphaTauri.

“There have been initial talks with our new boss [following the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz], Mr Mintzlaff, and there is agreement that it would not make sense to restructure a successful package like Red Bull Racing,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“Where there is a need is AlphaTauri. That was not satisfactory last year.”

Given F1’s popularity, there would presumably be no shortage of owners willing to buy AlphaTauri and in Andretti it seemed like the perfect customer, but Michael Andretti has revealed Red Bull are “not interested”.

“No, they’re not interested,” Andretti told IndyStar of Red Bull’s willingness to hold talks on Alpha Tauri. “But we’re working every day (to earn clearance for their own team). I’m still confident. We’re getting close. We haven’t gotten the ‘OK’ yet, but we’re getting really close.”

Andretti previously said he hoped for confirmation as a “nice Christmas present” but that has yet to materialise.

Is now the right time to sell for Red Bull?

Andretti’s pursued interest in entering Formula 1 even after their setbacks shows just how much everyone wants in on Formula 1 so, for a company that has two entries, the only to do so, is now a good time to consider offloading the underperforming one?

AlphaTauri and before that Toro Rosso was used as a springboard for young drivers in the Red Bull academy to earn their stripes before a move to the senior team but it has been a long time since that has happened.

Alex Albon was the most recent Red Bull academy graduate to be given a shot but he lasted a year and a half before being turfed out for the experienced Sergio Perez.

There were further clues that Red Bull do not have as high a level of faith in their academy as they once did when a replacement was needed for the Alpine-bound Gasly. Red Bull chose to look to Colton Herta and then Nyck de Vries, two men who had zero connection with Red Bull.

2023 will be a big season for AlphaTauri especially with the veteran Gasly out the door but should they endure another campaign like they did this year, Red Bull may not think twice about pulling the plug.

Read more: Brazil clash ‘set a marker’ between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for 2023