(GMM) AlphaTauri is racing away from its image as Red Bull’s ‘junior team’ in Formula 1 and hopes to make an impact on-track in 2024.
The Faenza based team is undergoing a total re-branding for 2024, with the name believed to be changing to ‘Racing Bulls’.
Long-time team boss Franz Tost has now stepped down, with his replacement Laurent Mekies – the former sporting boss at Ferrari – now getting started after a long period of gardening leave.
“When I realized that I would have to wait months to take on my new role, I thought it would be so frustrating,” the 46-year-old Frenchman is quoted as saying by Speed Week.
“But looking back, the break was good. I was able to pause, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Now I’m in the great position of being able to switch from one racing family to another, which I’m grateful for.”
As for AlphaTauri’s image as a ‘junior team’, owner Red Bull is racing away from that for 2024, as 33-year-old Daniel Ricciardo resumes the wheel and greater synergies between the outfit and Red Bull Racing are explored.
“I feel like this is not a junior team anymore,” Australian Ricciardo said. “We have a lot of plans for next year, hopefully we can prove that on track and get more points.”
New team CEO Peter Bayer agrees: “We certainly will not be a B-team.”
And Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner said: “AlphaTauri is owned by the same shareholders as Red Bull Racing, but is an independent team.
“They can use our parts as far as it’s allowed by the regulations – gearbox, suspension and so on. It’s the same as Williams getting them from Mercedes or Haas getting them from Ferrari.”
He continued: “Peter Bayer and Laurent Mekies are competitive guys, they both want to compete and push the team forward as a customer team for Red Bull Racing.”