Red Bull set for ‘handsome payday’ if they sell ‘irrelevant’ F1 team

Alex Albon is the last driver to have been promoted from AlphaTauri to Red Bull, something he did after replacing Pierre Gasly mid-season in 2019.

Despite Red Bull having only recently rejected the idea of selling sister side AlphaTauri, Formula 1 business expert Mark Gallagher is expecting the Austrians to put the Faenza-based team up for sale, potentially for $500 million.

Since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations, AlphaTauri have fallen-off considerably, with the outfit typically being towards the back of the field nowadays.

If you go back just a few years, though, the sister team were often battling comfortably amongst the points, with Pierre Gasly in particular having been a shining star for the side.

Even he struggled last season, though, with the Frenchman having jumped ship to Alpine.

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Whilst Yuki Tsunoda has improved considerably this season, AlphaTauri are still nowhere near being consistent points finishers, with the side sitting ninth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Another issue is that unlike in the past, AlphaTauri aren’t developing many Red Bull junior drivers, with the exception of Yuki Tsunoda.

Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, and Daniel Ricciardo are just a few of the names who developed amongst the sister team, before becoming successful drivers for Red Bull.

The whole concept of Red Bull having a sister team was to offer a place to young drivers to adjust to racing in F1, before making the move into the main team.

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The last driver to move from AlphaTauri to Red Bull was Alex Albon in 2019; however, he was dropped at the end of 2020.

With that in mind, Gallagher believes that AlphaTauri has lost its “relevance”, suggesting that it’s time for Red Bull to sell the outfit.

“The world has changed, Formula 1 has changed under new ownership. They can sell that team for a great deal of money,” Gallagher said on the Flat Chat Podcast.

“I personally will be surprised if that team belongs to Red Bull by the time the 2026 era of regulations start. I think it’ll have been moved on by then.

“That AlphaTauri brand doesn’t look like it’s achieving its goals and doesn’t seem to have relevance as a business.”

Gallagher also noted how when Albon was dropped at the end of 2020, Red Bull opted to sign Sergio Perez from Racing Point, rather than promote one of their drivers from AlphaTauri.

At the time, Pierre Gasly was racing for AlphaTauri having been dropped by Red Bull during 2019, whilst another ex-Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat was being replaced by Tsunoda at the conclusion of the season.

No driver was in a position to replace Albon, with Gasly having effectively been told that he’d never race for Red Bull again.

If Red Bull never planned to promote Gasly again, why did they return him to AlphaTauri in the first place, rather than promote a junior driver to take Albon’s spot in the sister team.

Gallagher ultimately believes Red Bull are spending a “sizeable amount” on drivers who will never be good enough, another reason why selling the side makes sense in his eyes.

“The last time I looked, pre-Covid, Red Bull put $83 million into the team,” Gallagher said.

“That’s a sizeable amount of money to be throwing into a team to develop drivers who will never actually make the grade.”

Should Red Bull decide to finally put AlphaTauri up for sale, Gallagher believes they could do so for potentially $500 million, given the current popularity of F1.

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Gallagher believes new CEO Oliver Mintzlaff could be tempted by this, given how “handsome” the money from the sale would look in the company’s account.

“You can imagine that someone like Oliver Mintzlaff will be looking at it thinking ‘We don’t need this, it’s surplus to requirements’,” said Gallagher.

“I think there will be a really handsome payday for Red Bull.”