Peter Bayer expands on the name Visa Cash App RB along with the significance of ‘Racing Bulls’, as Laurent Mekies adds on changes at base.

One of the big news in the winter on the Red Bull side was the change from AlphaTauri to Visa Cash App RB for its sister F1 team based out in Faenza. After couple of years as AlphaTauri from Toro Rosso, there was going to be another name change.

There were multiple names suggested and eventually it ended up being Visa Cash App RB where Visa and Cash App are two different sponsors, while RB denotes ‘Racing Bulls’ – the company name which they created under an Italian license.

There has been confusion over RB short form with many noting it to be Red Bull, but team CEO Bayer clarified it to be Racing Bulls while explaining why they went for it. They are fine if the team is called just ‘RB’ and even ‘VCARB’ if the main name is too big.

Bayer explained the rebranding and how they came up with the name while addressing the fans and media questions about it. He also takes it back to ‘Flying Bulls’ name that was used when Dietrich Mateschitz did use in earlier days of Red Bull.

Bayer further spoke on the new identity and the launch event they had in Las Vegas, as team principal Mekies noted about their Bicester base shutting down and the team moving to Milton Keynes for its UK HQ along with the main Faenza factory.

Rebranding, name thing –

Bayer: “In terms of the team rebranding, I think that was a complex exercise that involved many stakeholders. But ultimately, we are very happy, because we had the amazing problem of having Visa and Cash App and Red Bull supporting us and saying we want to take this team to the next level. And so they’ve been joining us on this journey. And so that’s also partly the reason for the name, which is a bit of a mouthful. But at the same time it’s the reality: it’s Visa, it’s Cash App, and it’s Red Bull that supporting us as Racing Bulls, a company in Italy. What we’ve seen with fans is that yes, there was confusion, but they quickly picked it up. And we see a lot of people, especially on the younger side, calling us Visa Cash App RB, and it comes out quite easily. There is VCARB outside, and there is our company name, which is Racing Bulls. So I guess at the moment, we’re focusing on the car, and we’ll see where we end up with the name.”

Red Bull, Racing Bulls scene –

Bayer: “I think maybe to go back in history, the Racing Bulls name is actually part of the Red Bull philosophy. They have the Flying Bulls where Mr Mateschitz had his planes. And that seems to be like a logical consequence. And Racing Bulls is our company name in Italy. We’ve been discussing the different options, but we just felt that it’s a bit of a mouthful. If you imagine the Visa Cash App Racing Bulls Formula 1 team, you’ll be tired at the end of writing the article! So that was really where the idea came from to abbreviate Racing Bulls into RB. And to put that as a chassis name that simply remains as a sort of historic element that we want to carry forward if the partnership is going to change. Those of you who have children maybe had to choose a name for the kids. And then you will have a lot of people telling you, ‘Oh my god, how could you possibly come up with that name’, and other people say, ‘That’s a fantastic name!’ It’s something that we are trying to embrace, really, as a challenge.

“I think we are realistic enough that we cannot expect the media to continuously say Visa Cash App RB. But it’s also one way of opening ourselves as a team to try and get these partners on board. And I think – especially when they see the car on track, when they see the livery, when they see the exposure – that it’s creating a package. We need sponsors to make this work, because it’s a reality as well. We get support from the shareholders, we get money from F1. But it’s not enough to hit the cap, and ultimately, the cap is defining the competition. So how to close that gap? Well, yes, we have to sell our inventory. And we don’t think it’s a bad thing. I know it might be controversial, because it’s obviously easier to be Ferrari than RB, but mid-term, we believe that the RB Racing Bulls element is strong enough to cope with a strong commercial partner integration.

“Probably one of the main discussions we had with our partners was that we believe there is a small niche in the paddock, which is aiming at that whole new audience, which we are reaching out to through social media, and which is a younger audience. And so we believe that by adding what probably is that original Red Bull spirit, reinforcing that in this team, adding a bit of music – and if you look at the car launch, I think that that’s a bit of an example of what we think the storytelling of this team will look like. It’s about racing, obviously, and we want to be very serious and focus on the racing. But at the same time, we want this team to have some entertainment, we want to democratise the sport through the partnerships by inviting fans who cannot come to the race track, because maybe it’s not affordable or it’s sold out. To add events in the city centre, for example, we’re having a couple of ideas for the US events which will again feature big music acts. So that combination of on-track performance combined with off-track entertainment and that Red Bull spirit is what we want to give to the fans.”

Judgement from fans, media –

Bayer: “I guess we take some responsibility because we’ve been late with a lot of stuff. And it was a massive effort in getting everything signed, everything ready. And I’m talking about team kit and sponsorship agreements and all the bits and pieces that come with it. So I think we’ve learned some lessons definitely on the communication aspect of the launch, for example. I think we could have done better and we’ll happily take that up. The car launch itself, I have to say, was an amazing experience. And I think it was a bit like what I’ve seen as a fan 20 years ago. It was a big event in the middle of Las Vegas with Super Bowl there, NFL players, NFL TV, everyone was there. Two and a half thousand people, influencers, a completely new audience which we’ve attracted, which was part of the vision for this team. And it was also, I think, a big success because people saw the livery and the livery made up for a lot of what I’ve said initially. People were like, wow, finally, a good looking car and new emotions, new vision, new way of potentially running a Formula 1 team. So yeah, I’m not denying that it was hectic, but ultimately then coming here and seeing the driver, seeing the garage, seeing the car, it’s all here, it’s all ready. And we’re ready to go. So overall, very positive, I have to say.”

Plans for integration between Faenza, Bicester, Milton Keynes –

Mekies: “It’s super simple. We have a very good facility in Faenza. I think Franz has been doing a very good job with everyone there to modernize the headquarters. It’s quite recent, it’s been built in 2015, 2016. It’s good, we have fantastic production facilities and we think the base is very good to build on what we’ve just said earlier. We are not happy with what we have in Bicester today in terms of infrastructure. So we don’t think we put our guys in the best possible position today there, simply because of the history of it. It was a very small facility that got outgrowth and we are there because we are using our wind tunnel in Bista. Its not the case anymore, so what we have decided is that that site is going to close. That site today is effectively the aero department. We have the aero department, we have the concept department, we have a few other pieces there. So this is going to be discontinued and instead of that we are building a brand new headquarter in Milton Keynes outside the Red Bull campus.

“And that’s going to be a state-of-the-art facility in the same way that we have high-level facilities in Faenza. So the plan is then, to answer your question, to move the people that we have there from Bicester to Milton Keynes. And as we build a new headquarters we will have more capacity, meaning that if tomorrow we want to take the opportunity to go on to the job market and get somebody that wants to stay in the UK, regardless of what departments he wants to be working in. It can be race engineers, it can be a simulation engineer, it can be an aero guy, it can be a design guy. We want to think that it is now possible to get a single department to be split between two locations and with today’s technology to be working together.

“Historically it’s been a huge downside in F1 to do that and there are not many successful examples of it. We are conscious of that. So we are not disregarding the history of it. We are just thinking that the world has changed massively. It’s not only technology, it’s also people’s mindset. And we are trying to make that work. We think it could turn into an advantage. Sometimes we got already opportunities where we got people in because they wanted to be in Italy, and we got people in because they wanted to be in the UK. And we want to play that as a strength instead of as a weakness.”

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