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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Tsunoda: AlphaTauri F1 staff have refocused after concern over potential team sale

Yuki Tsunoda believes AlphaTauri personnel who were “concerned” about the Formula 1 team’s future can “focus completely” on racing now a sale of the squad has been ruled out.

Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTauri

Helmut Marko - the advisor to AlphaTauri team owner Red Bull - revealed earlier this week that, contrary to speculation, the Faenza team will not be sold but instead expand its UK presence.

Speaking to Autosport sister website Formel1.de, Marko explained that the team’s Italian base will remain the main hub of the operation but that the stature of its Bicester outpost, home to its aerodynamic department, will increase.

The Austrian said: "The decision has been made. AlphaTauri will remain fully owned by Red Bull and will continue to be run as a junior team.

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

Rumours concerning the future of the team - with a possible buyout seen as an easier way for a new entrant such as Andretti to enter F1 - have been exacerbated by ninth-placed AlphaTauri’s poor ground-effect-era form.

The security of its place in the Red Bull stable was also questioned in the wake of the 2022 death of the company’s co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

New Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff was reportedly unhappy with the team's performance and the failure to increase the brand identity of AlphaTauri via F1's popularity.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Tsunoda, who has been with the squad since 2021, said that "concerned" team staff could now busy themselves purely with on-track performance since the pressure over the future had been relieved.

Asked by Autosport for his reaction to Marko’s news, Tsunoda said: “It’s good for AlphaTauri, especially the engineers and mechanics.

“They now can focus completely on the racing.

“Definitely, most of the mechanics and engineers were a little bit concerned about it. So, it’s good definitely.

“I think it’s the right decision for Red Bull because, with Toro Rosso, they have history.

“It’s sad that you can just cancel those things. It’s a little bit different so it’s good.

"And obviously [it's good] for me - it’s at least one thing I don’t have to be concerned about.”

Red Bull is yet to decide if it will continue to use the AlphaTauri moniker to promote its in-house clothing brand in F1 or whether the squad formerly known as Toro Rosso will be renamed again.

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