Dr Helmut Marko has lifted the existential pressure off Red Bull’s second Formula 1 team Alpha Tauri, off the back of rumours suggesting the outfit will be sold.
Marko says it is clear that the Italian-based team is still proving its worth as a training ground for Red Bull’s premier outfit.
“We are not satisfied with Alpha Tauri’s current performance and neither are they,” he told f1-insider.com.
“But the main task is still to train our young talents so that they can take the next step. That worked well in the past and the current example of Yuki Tsunoda shows that it still works today, despite the performance problems,” the 80-year-old Austrian added.
Indeed, whilst just 17th overall in 2023 so far, Japanese Tsunoda is now considered a serious future candidate to succeed Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing teammate.
And F1 legend Gerhard Berger, a former co-owner of Alpha Tauri’s predecessor Toro Rosso, thinks Red Bull is already lining up the next F1 rookie.
“I think very highly of the young New Zealander Liam Lawson,” he said. “He’s doing a great job in the highly regarded Super Formula in Japan.
“He is the next one from the Red Bull pool that we will see in Formula 1,” Berger predicted. “But without the junior team, that would hardly be possible.
“I first noticed him (Lawson) two years ago in the DTM in the Ferrari sponsored by Red Bull,” he added. “He was faster than his then teammate Alex Albon, and we can see what he (Albon) can do at Williams in Formula 1.”
As for the performance problems, Marko says Red Bull will make some operational changes at Alpha Tauri.
“For the future, it is planned that the cooperation with Red Bull Racing will be expanded,” he said. “Of course that will be within the permitted framework of the regulations.
“But we want to be able to use more resources efficiently. It is planned that parts of the team will go to England, for example.”