Peter Bayer goes through the reasoning behind AlphaTauri taking up a relatively experienced pair for F1 2024.
When Toro Rosso was born, the idea was to rope in young drivers and help them towards the senior Red Bull F1 team. They have done that for long until the recent change to AlphaTauri, they started to move away from the original idea of a junior outfit.
They still play a role in that for Red Bull but on a larger scale, they are trying to be their own team as well on the grid. The new identity of AlphaTauri was done to make it a ‘sister’ level team rather than remain as a junior outfit in a competitive field.
The name AlphaTauri will go away in 2024 with a new sponsor set to come on board, but the idea of it being a sister team will remain. This is one reason why they went for Daniel Ricciardo alongside Yuki Tsunoda rather than bring in Liam Lawson.
The experience of Ricciardo is needed for the team to extract the results which has dropped for them in recent times and it affects the financial structure too. “We had lots of discussions about the future of the team and our shareholders said, you know, ‘we want you to continue and educate young drivers, but we also want you to be successful’,” said Bayer.
“And I think, ultimately, you can’t have both. You can’t have two young, inverted commas, drivers in the team. And we were looking at what do we need to deliver that purpose and we finally came to the conclusion that, first of all, we only have two seats and Daniel is offering a lot of expertise, especially when it comes down to the set-up of the car, which is something that we were struggling with.
“Yuki, over the years has grown and is now coming to the pinnacle of his performance curve. And so we thought that those two make the right team. On top of that, I think it’s also good to have somebody like Liam just behind them to keep the fire warm under their seats and to make sure that we progress as a team.
“It is still a team to educate young drivers, but not absolutely. I think the reality today is if you’re looking at the grid, it’s so competitive, it’s so tight, that every 10th of a second is being fought for by our colleagues here, and we came to the conclusion that in order to be contenders for the top midfield, we need one experienced driver but we’ll continue to grow young talent that ultimately shall end up in Red Bull Racing,” summed up AlphaTarui CEO.
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