Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko says the energy drink company has opted not to sell or relocate its AlphaTauri team in Faenza.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Red Bull’s new top brass, which had succeeded co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz in the wake of the latter’s passing last October, had put the company’s investment in F1 under scrutiny.
While Red Bull Racing was immune to any winds of change, an internal report commissioned by Oliver Mintzlaff, Red Bull’s newly appointed CEO of Corporate Projects and Investments, shed a dim light on AlphaTauri and on the team’s marketing value.
In March, AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost dismissed the rumors and insisted that Red Bull would continue to support the Faenza squad. However, Marko acknowledged that the outfit had to improve its performance on the track and boost its commercial value.
In an interview this week with German website Formel1.de, Marko confirmed that Red Bull has now taken an outright sale of AlphaTauri off the table.
“The decision has been made. AlphaTauri will remain fully owned by Red Bull and will continue to be run as a junior team,” said the Austrian.
However, Mintzlaff has ordered AlphaTauri to “use as many synergies with Red Bull Racing as are allowed by the regulations”, which means transferring more staff from Faenza to the team’s UK base in Bicester which houses its aero department.
- Tost happy to hand over the reins to Mekies: “It’s time”
AlphaTauri will also undergo management changes at the end of the year, with former FIA man Peter Bayer assuming the role of CEO while current Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies will pick up the baton of team principal from Tost – who will head into retirement.
“The cooperation with Red Bull Racing will be closer, also in terms of cost cap and synergies.” Marko explained.
“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.”
Tost believes that boosting its workforce in Bicester will help AlphaTauri in the future.
“It was always clear to me anyway that the team would stay in Faenza. We have all the infrastructure here,” he told 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.”
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