Red Bull decides against AlphaTauri F1 sale as it finalises plans

Helmut Marko says Red Bull has decided against selling AlphaTauri or moving it away from its Italian home base, but revealed the Formula 1 team will expand its UK presence.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

The future of AlphaTauri was unclear following reports new Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff was unhappy with the Faenza team's performance.

Amid a troubled season start, Marko acknowledged in March that AlphaTauri had to improve both its on-track performances and its commercial output.

The following month it was announced long-time team boss Franz Tost would depart at the end of the season, being replaced by Ferrari's Laurent Mekies. Former FIA secretary general Peter Bayer will become the team's CEO.

After weeks of evaluation, Red Bull has now finalised how the new-look AlphaTauri team will operate.

It had considered the sale of the team, but that has now been ruled out. AlphaTauri's current Faenza base near Imola will remain the team's main hub, but it will also employ more staff from its UK outpost in Bicester.

Currently Bicester houses AlphaTauri's aerodynamics department, but more staff will be deployed there to improve its synergy with parent team Red Bull.

"The decision has been made. AlphaTauri will remain fully owned by Red Bull and will continue to be run as a junior team," Red Bull advisor Marko revealed in a YouTube interview with Autosport's sister website Formel1.de.

But according to Marko, Mintzlaff asked the team to "use as many synergies with Red Bull Racing as are allowed by the regulations", which means moving more staff to Bicester, which is just down the road from Red Bull's F1 headquarters in Milton Keynes.

"The cooperation with Red Bull Racing will be closer, also in terms of cost cap and synergies." Marko clarifies. "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."

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

But Marko stressed that while "many options were considered", its Faenza site will not be abandoned and "the rest of the staff will remain in Italy", including Bayer and Mekies.

Outgoing team principal Tost felt a more even split between Faenza and Bicester was the right decision as the team tries to be more competitive on F1's job market, with a relocation to Italy often proving a stumbling block for experienced staff and their families.

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"It was always clear to me anyway that the team would stay in Faenza. We have all the infrastructure here," Tost explained in a separate, yet to be published YouTube 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."

What Red Bull has yet to decide is whether the AlphaTauri moniker, promoting Red Bull's in-house clothing brand, will be kept or whether the team will see another name change.

"That has not yet been decided," said Tost. "That is in the hands of Red Bull, what they then want to call the team in future."

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