SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP)The team principal of AlphaTauri denied Wednesday the group would be put up for sale following a report that energy-drink giant Red Bull might seek to offload the less successful of its two Formula One teams.
German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reported last week that Red Bull would consider selling AlphaTauri, which has developed drivers for the championship-winning Red Bull team, or move its headquarters from Faenza, Italy, to Britain.
“I had some very good meetings with Oliver Mintzlaff, who confirmed that the shareholders will not sell Scuderia AlphaTauri, and that Red Bull will continue supporting the team in the future,” team principal Franz Tost said in a statement. “All these rumors have no foundation, and the team has to remain focused for the start of the season to perform better than last year.”
Mintzlaff, a former soccer executive, oversees Red Bull’s sprawling empire of sports investments. Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, a driving force behind the company’s move into F1, died in October at the age of 78.
When asked about the reported sale or relocation plans last week, Red Bull auto racing adviser Helmut Marko did not comment on specifics, but suggested AlphaTauri had underperformed with a ninth-place finish of 10 teams last season and said there was an effort to improve the “efficiency” of the company’s F1 involvement.
AlphaTauri, which was known as Toro Rosso until a rebranding for the 2020 season, has had two race wins since Red Bull took over the struggling Minardi team ahead of the 2006 season. Champions Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen both raced for Toro Rosso before being moved to the main Red Bull team. AlphaTauri’s drivers for 2023 are Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda.
The first race of the new season is the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
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