Red Bull F1 team AlphaTauri could be sold before 2026

Red Bull F1 team AlphaTauri could be sold before 2026

Formula 1 business expert Mark Gallagher predicts that Red Bull may seek to sell their struggling AlphaTauri team before the implementation of major rule changes in 2026. Red Bull, known for their dominance in the sport, expanded to a two-team presence on the grid in 2006 by acquiring the Italy-based Minardi team and rebranding it as Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Over the years, the team has nurtured talented drivers such as Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel, achieving notable successes including Toro Rosso’s first-ever Grand Prix victory at Monza in 2008. However, in 2020, the team was rebranded as AlphaTauri, named after Red Bull’s in-house clothing brand. Despite Pierre Gasly securing another win for the team at Monza, AlphaTauri has struggled to maintain its form and currently sits second-bottom in the 2023 Constructors’ standings with only two points from the first five races.

While Red Bull has consistently denied reports of intending to sell the team, speculation has persisted, particularly following the passing of founder Dietrich Mateschitz. Gallagher, speaking on the GP Racing magazine podcast, believes there is no longer a need for Red Bull to have a second team.

Gallagher explains, “AlphaTauri is an outlier. Why did they create it? They did it because not only did Dietrich have this idea, this vision of driver development with Helmut [Marko], but also politically it gives them an extra seat at the table in the Ecclestone era of Formula 1. That’s no longer relevant.”

With the changing landscape of Formula 1 under new ownership, Gallagher suggests that Red Bull could sell the team for a substantial amount of money. He estimates a figure of half a billion dollars or more to buy a Formula 1 team outright. Gallagher highlights the interest from potential new investors in entering Formula 1, some of whom possess the financial means to make it a reality.

Regarding the AlphaTauri brand, Gallagher notes its perceived lack of relevance as a business and the shortcomings of its driver development program. He cites the example of Sergio Perez, who joined the team as a second driver to Max Verstappen but is not considered a genuine contender for the top spot.

Gallagher concludes that he would be surprised if Red Bull still owns the team by the time the 2026 regulations come into effect. He believes that selling AlphaTauri could bring a handsome payday for Red Bull and benefit Formula 1. He points to the potential success that could be achieved by a serious buyer, citing Lawrence Stroll’s transformation of the Aston Martin team as an example.

Gallagher suggests that IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti’s interest in joining the F1 grid indicates the possibility of AlphaTauri’s future success in the right hands. He adds that the financial impact of running the team has been reduced by factors such as the fairer distribution of prize money and the budget cap. He believes that Red Bull’s leadership, led by Oliver Mintzlaff, may see the team as surplus to requirements.

In closing, Gallagher expresses his optimism about the potential sale, stating that it would be great for Formula 1 to have two teams in Italy. He believes it would be wrong for all teams to migrate to the UK and highlights the positive effects a passionate new owner could have on the AlphaTauri team, similar to Lawrence Stroll’s impact on Aston Martin.

As the sport looks ahead to the 2026 regulations, Gallagher predicts that Red Bull will likely no longer have two teams in Formula 1. The future of AlphaTauri remains uncertain, but the possibility of a sale presents an opportunity for the team to undergo transformation and flourish under new ownership.

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