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Exclusive: Marko hints at possible AlphaTauri change

In an exclusive chat with RacingNews365, Helmut Marko insists that AlphaTauri are not for sale - but that does not mean changes won't be made.

Since 2006, four cars on the Formula 1 grid have been run and operated by Red Bull. Before you got anywhere near the World Championship winning squad, you would first need to serve an apprenticeship at the second team - Toro Rosso. Drivers would get a chance to impress at the outfit formerly known as Minardi and if they made the grade, promotion to the senior team was secured. Fail to and it would likely be the end of your Grand Prix career. For 2020, Toro Rosso was given a freshen up and a new name: AlphaTauri as Red Bull wished to push their clothing brand. This was also an opportunity for AlphaTauri to branch out from Red Bull and become more than just 'the Red Bull junior team' with standout moments in 2020 and 2021 coming from Pierre Gasly. However, all is not well at AlphaTauri as the 2023 season gets into its stride. There has been great change at the very top of Red Bull, with questions over AlphaTauri's future swirling, but in this exclusive chat with RacingNews365, Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko is firm about the future of the team.

Marko on AlphaTauri future

At the recent Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, long-time team boss Franz Tost was rather outspoken of his engineering team, saying he did not "trust" them any longer following a poor 2022 and slow start to '23. It came after big changes in senior Red Bull GmbH management following the death of chairman Dietrich Mateschitz in October 2022. Mateschitz's responsibilities have been divided up, with Oliver Mintzlaff taking up the role of leading 'corporate projects and new investments' - in short, the sports arm of Red Bull. While Marko admits that talks were held, he firmly says AlphaTauri will not be sold. "No, AlphaTauri is not for sale," he tells RacingNews365. "Internally, there were several considerations, though. "What is not satisfactory is that AlphaTauri costs more than Red Bull, so what do we do? "Do we restructure, do you stay in Italy? Do you move the team partially to England or maybe even completely? Do you sell the whole thing? "These were the considerations, when a new management comes in, you go through every possibility. "We need a second team, simple as that. "Especially also for the [Red Bull Powertrains] engines, it has to work. We have very good people here, the best. "But we also have to prove in practice that things are under control."

Different name for the team?

How to do exactly that is the question. Tost admitted in an exclusive interview with RacingNews365 that having the team based in Faenza made it tricky to recruit staff from the United Kingdom, where most engineers are from. He also believes the team need better infrastructure with which to compete, although one thing not needed is an engine as AlphaTauri bolt the RBPT unit in the back. This will have Ford backing from 2026, but one thing uncertain is whether it will be an AlphaTauri running it - as Marko explains. "It is something we are reconsidering," he replies when asked about the future of the name of the team. "It is logical too. The branding of AlphaTauri has been scaled back somewhat, because only in a few countries where we race, AlphaTauri is actually sold. "It is about three to four countries only. "The task is simple. More money must be brought in and results improved." When asked how to do that, Marko did not rule out the possibility of an external title sponsor being signed with the team, in a similar way to Oracle at the main squad."

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