Helmut Marko says Red Bull has decided not to sell the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team or relocate it from its Faenza base, but the Italian side will benefit from an increased presence in the United Kingdom.
The long-term future of Red Bull’s second-string outfit has been the subject of intense speculation over recent months since Marko admitted in March that AlphaTauri’s current on-track performance must improve for it to become more financially viable to run.
Despite a tough opening to the 2023 campaign that has the Italian team sitting ninth in the standings, the Austrian has confirmed that AlphaTauri will remain a part of the Red Bull motorsport stable.
“The decision has been made. AlphaTauri will remain fully owned by Red Bull and will continue to be run as a junior team,” Marko said in a YouTube interview with Formel1.de.
It was rumoured that new Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff was the driving force behind the rumours that the team could be sold.
But, according to Marko, Mintzlaff has since proposed that AlphaTauri “use as many synergies with Red Bull Racing as are allowed by the regulations”.
Marko asserts AlphaTauri will therefore enjoy a closer working partnership with the parent Red Bull racing division, with the Austrian camp looking to take advantage of the impending addition of Peter Bayer from the FIA to maximise the relationship within the bounds of the regulations.
AlphaTauri announced earlier this month that long-serving team principal Franz Tost will step down at the end of the season. The 67-year-old will be replaced by current Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies, with Bayer coming on board as the side’s CEO.
“The cooperation with Red Bull Racing will be closer, also in terms of cost cap and synergies,” Marko continued. “With his know-how, which he has acquired at the FIA, [Bayer] is very important. Of course, this will also flow into Red Bull Racing.”
Although Marko stated that “many options were considered”, he rectified that AlphaTauri would not be moving away from Faenza entirely. However, there will be an increased presence within its aerodynamics department housed in Bicester, England.
Tost, who will depart F1 after 17 years at the end of 2023, echoed Marko’s comments, acknowledging that being housed in Italy was a regular hindrance to attracting staff.
“It was always clear to me anyway that the team would stay in Faenza. We have all the infrastructure here,” Tost disclosed in a separate interview with Formel1.de.
“In England AlphaTauri already has a lot of employees. The whole aero team is in England. And what we will certainly do in the future is, if we want to sign engineers but they just don’t go to Italy, for whatever reason, that they can then work from that base in England.
“I think that will help the team in the future because it was just very, very difficult in the past to bring experienced engineers here to Italy. Experienced engineers, they’re like 35, 40 years old, they have families, they have children, and then they don’t want to go to Italy.”
Having previously been titled Toro Rosso since Red Bull’s takeover of the Minardi team in 2005, the Faenz constructor was rebranded to be named AlphaTauri in 2020 to reflect Red Bull’s in-house clothing brand.
However, Marko underlined in March that a change was under consideration, with Tost adding a decision has yet to be made.
“That has not yet been decided,” he declared. “That is in the hands of Red Bull, what they then want to call the team in future.”