AlphaTauri experienced a tumultuous Formula 1 campaign this year, from Nyck de Vries being replaced by Daniel Ricciardo just before the summer break to team boss Franz Tost announcing his retirement.
Another major change that was confirmed during the campaign was the decision to leave behind the AlphaTauri name and compete under a new moniker for the 2024 season.
As of yet, it is not 100 per cent known what the name will be and the FIA's entry list has not offered a definitive answer.
Ricciardo and team-mate Yuki Tsunoda will drive for the team currently listed as Scuderia AlphaTauri RB in 2024, but it raises questions as to why the official new name is not yet known. In any case, the letters RB may well refer to its parent owner: Red Bull.
Peter Bayer, CEO of AlphaTauri, previously told RacingNews365 in an exclusive interview that all of the team's plans have already been approved, including by the powers that be at Red Bull. Bayer will work alongside Laurent Mekies, the new Team Principal, starting in 2024.
“We have a new name for the team, a new identity for the team has been developed,” he said. “In fact, we had the final approval of the shareholders last week.
“We had a meeting in Thailand where we agreed on global strategies and topics. So we're good to go. We have a completely new set of partners coming which is super exciting.
"We are also lucky, of course, that F1 is booming more than ever. In Vegas, you can feel and see the growth that F1 has gone through. So for us, it's exciting news. The important and significant partnerships, they simply take time to discuss all the details but ballpark figures, everything is agreed.”
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AlphaTauri has no agreement yet
Taking a look at Bayer's last sentence, it immediately raises the point that AlphaTauri has not yet reached a final agreement with a party. The team is still fine-tuning the final details and thus, to date, is not sure which direction it will take.
RacingNews365 reported in August that Hugo Boss was in the running for a possible title sponsorship, after which the Racing Bulls name also circulated through the paddock as a rumour. Confirmation of a new guise did not come, although several names were registered. Racing Bulls was one of them.
The process of finding a new title sponsor has been quite arduous. First there was talk of a possible sale of the team, which Red Bull quickly decided against.
RacingNews365 understands that a $1 billion bid was rejected, after which the main team increased its partnership with AlphaTauri.
The Italian sister team is buying as many parts as possible within the regulations to improve on-track performance in 2024, and Red Bull started looking for other potential sponsors on their behalf. Several brands passed by as potential sponsors or for the team name, but so far no final agreement has been reached.
The team, which previously went through life under the name of Toro Rosso, continues to live in uncertainty regarding its branding for the new season.
The future of the team is assured by the shared interests of Red Bull, but under what name the team will operate is unknown for now. It seems likely that the new name will be announced in January 2024, or possibly at the launch of the new season.
In 2023, the team was registered as Scuderia AlphaTauri. In 2024, it is now Scuderia AlphaTauri RB. Is 'RB' a reference to 'Racing Bulls' or just a link to Red Bull? Time will tell.