AlphaTauri’s Franz Tost: There’s ‘no foundation’ to report F1 team could be sold by Red Bull

The boss of AlphaTauri, Franz Tost, has denied the Formula One team could be sold by Red Bull, saying recent rumors have “no foundation.” Here’s what you need to know:

  • AlphaTauri is the sister team of Red Bull Racing and is owned by Red Bull.
  • It has launched the F1 careers of future Red Bull drivers including reigning champion Max Verstappen. The team finished ninth in last year’s championship.
  • A report in the German media last week claimed it could relocate or be sold.

What Tost said

“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,” Tost said. “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.”


During F1’s pre-season testing in Bahrain last week, German publication Auto Motor und Sport reported that Red Bull shareholders were considering selling or relocating AlphaTauri.

The team entered F1 in 2006 as Red Bull’s junior squad — its name “Toro Rosso” translated from Italian as “Red Bull” — and has been based in Italy. Its primary purpose was to act as an entry point to F1 for Red Bull’s young drivers and helped start the careers of Verstappen, four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel and grand prix winner Daniel Ricciardo.

The team was rebranded for 2020 as AlphaTauri, the name of Red Bull’s fashion label, and set its sights on moving up the championship. It has just two F1 wins, the latest coming in 2020 courtesy of Pierre Gasly.

Following the death of Red Bull’s founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, last October, there has been a shift at the top of the company, with a new board of directors formed to make decisions in the future. This includes Mintzlaff, who is the CEO of Corporate Projects and Investments.

AlphaTauri finished ninth in last year’s championship, marking its worst finish since 2018. The Auto Motor und Sport report stated Red Bull management was unhappy with the costs of the AlphaTauri team given its F1 results, meaning the team could be sold or relocate part of its operation to the UK to enjoy closer synergies with the parent Red Bull team.

Why selling an F1 team would be a big step

If Red Bull was looking to sell AlphaTauri, it would have no shortage of interested buyers. F1’s governing body, the FIA, is currently in the process of trying to expand the number of teams that are on the grid. One of the biggest parties interested in joining is Andretti Global, which has signed a partnership with General Motors and promises to be an all-American team.

But the existing 10 teams are uneasy about the financial impact of expansion, as it would mean the prize money that is paid to teams each year — around $1 billion — is split between 11 instead of 10, meaning they all get a smaller amount. For this reason, F1’s commercial agreement includes a franchise fee of $200 million that must be paid by any new team to enter. But the current teams believe this figure was set too low, prior to F1’s recent boom, and should be at least tripled in the future.

The last team to change hands was Williams in 2020 when it was sold to American investment company Dorilton Capital for around $200 million, but team values are since accepted to have increased significantly.

It means buying one of the current teams would be an easier way for anyone to try and join the F1 grid, as they would not have to pay the franchise fee, nor would it change the share of revenue paid to the 10 teams.


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