AlphaTauri reveals new approach towards signing  drivers that could put Red Bull junior’s career in jeopardy

AlphaTauri is known for its development and harboring of Red Bull junior drivers such as Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, and Pierre Gasly.


AlphaTauri reveals new approach towards signing  drivers that could put Red Bull junior’s career in jeopardy

Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo (Via IMAGO)

AlphaTauri has always been a team to harbors talent fresh from the Red Bull Junior Academy, a set of drivers competing under the Red Bull program. AlphaTauri, formerly known as Toro Rosso has mostly been a stepping stone for rookie Red Bull Juniors to display their talent to justify a Red Bull seat. Every Red Bull driver in recent years except Sergio Perez went through this rigorous program.

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However, in 2023, the Faenza team took a slightly different approach to their driver signings. Nyck de Vries joined the team though being part of the Mercedes academy, after a display of talent with a points finish in 2022. However, after his departure due to poor form, AlphaTauri hired Daniel Ricciardo, far from a junior driver but a former member of the Red B

AlphaTauri CEO Peter Bayer said the team plans to go forward with a similar lineup, partnering a senior, more experienced driver with a junior one to help the younger athlete develop his talent. This move could jeopardize the career of Red Bull juniors, as there will be only one seat available of the four spots across both Red Bull teams.

I think we'll still try to fulfil one of the other strategic directives, which is to fulfil the junior development program, but we'll do it slightly differently.We will not race with two juniors, we will always have one experienced driver who will take one young driver under his wings and help him to develop.
Peter Bayer said, as reported by racingnews365

There are currently several junior Red Bull drivers waiting in the wings, the most notable being Liam Lawson, who scored points in his first-ever F1 stint in 2023. Another rising Red Bull star is Ayumu Iwasa, who is having a competitive F2 campaign that will continue in 2024. 

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FIA confirms more stringent overseeing of Red Bull-AlphaTauri ties

The FIA has announced an audit for teams that are associated with or owned partially or wholly by another team on the grid to prevent common development or illegal sharing of information. 

Red Bull via F1 Chronicle
Red Bull via F1 Chronicle

Nikolas Tombazis, the director overseeing single-seater regulations for the FIA, has acknowledged that while the FIA currently doesn’t express concern about the collaboration between Red Bull and the soon-to-be-renamed AlphaTauri team, there’s a different sentiment within the F1 community. As a response to this, the FIA is set to provide updated guidance.

Despite sharing common ownership and AlphaTauri serving as Red Bull’s junior team, both entities have been adhering to independent operations as stipulated by the regulations. However, AlphaTauri’s attempts to carve out a distinctive path have faced challenges in recent seasons as they have managed many good results.

In light of this, Helmut Marko, the senior advisor for both Red Bull and AlphaTauri, has initiated efforts to strengthen the ties between the two teams, allowing AlphaTauri to leverage Red Bull’s support within the bounds of the regulations. So far, AlphaTauri’s comeback in 2023 looks promising, but the FIA regulations could dent this progress.

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