Long gone are the days when the brand new Brawn team cars rolled out onto the track with hardly a sponsors name in sight. In March 2009 the FIA. Officially agreed to change the name from Honda Racing F1 to Brawn GP.
However, a naming row had taken pace behind the scenes as Ross Brawn initially wanted to revive the historic Tyrrell brand. “Pure Racing” was also considered by Mercedes objected given the constructor would be listed in the FIA entry list as Pure Racing – Mercedes, implying this was the works team of Mercedes which at the time was McLaren.
Big team name change coming
With days to go before the first race in Australia Brawn GP had no named sponsor but Brawn succeeded to haul in a big bucks funder in Virgin something Honda had attempted for over a year.
There will be a big team name change coming in 2024 as the AlphaTauri team undergoes a number of significant changes.
Dr. Helmut Marko has already revealed the Faenza based team will be moving a number of its personnel and operations to England while the fabrication and assembly work will remain in Italy where there is a plentiful supply of expertise.
The Red Bull junior team was known as Toro Rosso from its inception until 2020 when it was rebranded as AlphaTauri in order to promote the Red Bull owned fashion brand. Simultaneously Dr. Helmut Marko announced the team would no longer be the ‘junior’ partner but become a ‘sister team’ to Red Bull Racing.
Adidas to sponsor Red Bull junior team
Both moves have proved disastrous for the Italian based team. The AlphaTauri brand is losing money and the team attempting to design and build its car completely autonomously from Red Bull Racing has delivered some of the worst results for the team formally known as Minardi.
Named sponsors for teams deliver 10’s of millions in funding a year and only the global brands with the deepest pockets can afford to perform this role.
Alfa Romeo are set to part company with Sauber next season and it is rumoured they will shift their funds and presence to Haas F1.
AlphaTauri too will be renamed, but at present the new partner has been kept a secret by the Reed Bull Group. Yet now Swiss based media publication Blick has reported Adidas are in the frame to enter the world of Formula One.
Hugo Boss snub
This controversial news is a slap in the face for Hugo Boss who were believed to have been in talks for the naming rights to the Faenza based team. The German brand already produce team wear for Aston Martin and were expected to vastly increase its exposure in F1 by becoming a team named sponsor.
Speaking to Blick about the title sponsor deal and Hugo Boss’ role, the team’s new CEO, Peter Bayer, confirmed: “They are also involved in the new project. But the new [team] name is much bigger!”
AlphaTauri will also lose the second longest standing team boss as Franz Tost is being replaced. Helmut Marko also revealed to Blick:
“AlphaTauri will have two new leaders in 2024, Laurent Mekies and Peter Bayer. There will be new sponsors and a new name. The orientation is clear: follow Red Bull Racing as far as the regulations allow. Own designs are the wrong way to go.”
Tsunoda on his way out
The Red Bull sister team will return to being the junior team as they change their philosophy and copy the Haas F1 model. Instead of designing all the components for their 2024 car they will use those allowed under the FIA regulations produced by Red Bull Racing.
Outstanding is the final driver lineup for 2024 as Yuki Tsunoda has failed to establish himself as the AlphaTauri team leader. Daniel Ricciardo replaced Nyck de Vries and was immediately as quick as the Japanese driver despite not having driven in F1 for 7 months.
When the Aussie broke his hand in Zandvoort up stepped Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson who also has been on the pace of Tsunoda now in his third season. Lawson out qualified Tsunoda this weekend in Singapore and his P9 finish added two points to the 3 already accrued by the team after 14 races.
Reading the tea leaves Red Bull will opt to put Lawson and Ricciardo in their junior team’s car in 2024. Tsunoda can only hope that Honda’s influence on Aston Martin as they become the team’s power unit supplier in 2026 will see him return to top flight racing.
Absolutely gutted now 😫
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 17, 2023