Red Bull’s RB19 could be back on the grid next year but with a different team with David Croft revealing there’s a rumour that AlphaTauri, or whatever they’ll be called, will “run this year’s Red Bull next year”.
This season’s Red Bull’s RB19 has been the pick of the field with 12 wins from 12 races, five of which have been 1-2 results with the Milton Keynes squad cruising toward a second successive double.
In sharp contrast, the AlphaTauri AT04 has often been labelled the slowest car with the results pointing to that with just three points on the board compared to ninth-placed Alfa Romeo’s nine.
‘It would definitely work for AlphaTauri. But that’s just the paddock rumour’
That’s led to several key changes at AlphaTauri with Nyck de Vries dropped in favour of the experienced Daniel Ricciardo, Franz Tost will soon be saying farewell with Laurent Mekies replacing him as team principal, and the team will even have a new name next season.
And in the midst of all that, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko says the “co-operation with Red Bull Racing will be closer, also in terms of cost cap and synergies.”
But could that cooperation extend to AlphaTauri running an RB19 next season?
“AlphaTauri is the one that interests me,” Croft said on the Sky F1 podcast. “Where do AlphaTauri go from here?
“Yuki Tsunoda is driving okay, scored all their points this year, Nyck de Vries didn’t work but I would’ve liked to have seen him given a bit more time. I understand the reasons why as were explained they got rid of him.
“I think Daniel Ricardo has come in as a motivation, not just for Yuki, but for Checo as well. And that seems to have worked in the last couple of races too.
“But does Danny Ricardo want to be racing really for AlphaTauri next year? Potentially, if AlphaTauri is a much better car.
“And there are lots of reports that the plan is under whatever name they’re going to be, maybe Toro Rosso once again, that they run this year’s Red Bull next year.
“Which has happened before. Super Aguri ran a year-old Honda for instance. It works at the start of the season and you’d quickly get out-developed.
“But it would definitely work for AlphaTauri. But that’s just the paddock rumour.”
AlphaTauri running an RB19, a car they didn’t design and that includes parts they don’t own the IP for, would be a very grey area for Formula 1 to wade through as customer cars were banned from the sport in 2010.
Based on the breakdown of the listed team components (LTC), transferrable components (TRC), standard supply components (SSC) and open source components (OSC) the team would either buy the IP for some parts from Red Bull, or change bits and bobs on the car.
Given that the LTC list relates to “components whose design, manufacture and intellectual property is owned and/or controlled by a single competitor or its agents on an exclusive basis” that all but prevents the junior team from taking all the Red Bull parts.
Simply put, the design of these LTC parts must be all the team’s own work and not taken from rival outfits, and the definition also includes any historical work on the parts that acted as a foundation for them.
Given that three years ago the FIA took steps to eliminate so-called ‘copycat cars’ in Formula 1, four Red Bulls on the 2024 won’t go down well.