Scuderia AlphaTauri has been rebranded once again to the inelegantly named, Visa Cash App RB Formula One Team. A ridiculous name that will surely be interesting for pundits to say on the live feed. Ridiculous as it may be, Red Bull have told us that this rebrand also marks a change in the team’s goals, that being race wins.
When Red Bull purchased the Minardi team and rebranded it to Toro Rosso, it was designed to be a junior team in which they would place rookie drivers from their academy for a chance to drive for Red Bull. This strategy worked out too, jumpstarting the careers of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo.
Red Bull are moving away from that strategy with their new goal being race wins. Having been “launched as Scuderia Toro Rosso and charged with bringing future champions to the grid,” but the team is “now reborn with an expanded mission to battle for the sport’s biggest prize.”
This may be a tall order for the team who have only two race wins to their name – Sebastian Vettel’s in 2008 and Pierre Gasly’s in 2020. Though that was likely always going to be the case due to their high turnover, only holding onto rookies for a year or two before they were transferred to a higher performing team or left out to dry completely. Ultimately, the strategy has meant that Toro Rosso, or AlphaTauri, never finished higher than sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.
“The new identity is not simply a name change,” said Red Bull Technology’s chief marketing officer, Oliver Hughes. “It’s the start of a thrilling new journey designed to take the team to new levels of competitiveness.”
Sure, this isn’t the first time they’ve said something like this, but they do seem to have the necessary building blocks to reach their new goals.
For example, we’ve got a new team principal, Laurent Mekies, pinched from Ferrari. We’ve got the most experienced driver line-up the team has ever seen with Yuki Tsunoda becoming the first driver to stay with the team for four years and Daniel Ricciardo set to reach his 250th grand prix start this year.
They’ve got the personnel and they’ll also have greater cooperation with Red Bull Technology for their car design. This might be controversial, but per the current regulations, it’s allowed. This cooperation began last year and saw results towards the tail end of the season.
So will we see improvement in the 2024 season? We’ll have to wait and see, but their history suggests otherwise though their greater cooperation with Red Bull might see them finally reach the top five.