AlphaTauri: Everything you need to know about Red Bull’s Sister team

AlphaTauri 

Full Team Name: Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda

Base: Faenza, Italy

Team Chief: Franz Tost

Technical Cheif: Jody Egginton

Chassis: AT02

Power Unit: Honda

First Team Entry: 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix

First Points: 2006 United States Grand Prix

World Championships: N/A

Highest Finish: 1(X2)

Pole Positions: 1

Fastest Laps: 2

Current Drivers: Pierre Gasly(10), Yuki Tsunoda(22)

Scuderia AlphaTauri is an Italian Formula One racing team and constructor. The team was first established in 2006 when Red Bull bought and rebranded the team previously known as Minardi into Scuderia Toro Rosso(Italian for Red Bull). The team was set up so that drivers from the Red Bull Junior Team could develop their skills as an F1 driver so that they could eventually be promoted to the sister team, which is Red Bull Racing.

Since the team was used as a training ground for Red Bull junior drivers, it meant that the team has always been in the lower half of the pack. The highest they have ever been in the World Constructor’s Standings was 6th in 2008 and 2019.

Even though the team has always been part of the lower half of the grid, it hasn’t stopped them from winning a total of 5 podiums, which includes two victories also. The teams first victory was achieved by non-other than four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel (he won all of his four titles with Red Bull) when he won the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. During the weekend, which was heavily affected by rain, Vettel managed to get pole position during qualification and then converted that into a stunning victory during the race. The triumph in Monza put the team on the map, as they had gotten a victory even before their senior team, Red Bull could get one. It wasn’t their only victory in Monza, as current AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly won the 2020 Italian Grand Prix. 

Over the years, the team has developed many drivers that have gone on to get multiple podiums and victories with Red Bull and other teams also eventually. Out of the six drivers promoted to Red Bull from Toro Rosso, 5 of them were able to get podiums with Red Bull- Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Alex Albon. Out of the 5, 3 have won an F1 race- Vettel, Daniel and Verstappen. Carlos Sainz is the only Red Bull junior driver to not win a podium with either Red Bull or Toro Rosso. 

Sebastian Vettel is the only Red Bull junior driver graduate to win a drivers’ championship. However, that might change soon because of current Red Bull driver Max Verstappen who is having a close battle with Lewis Hamilton in this year’s Drivers’ Championship.

The team has changed its engine supplier multiple times over the years. From 2007-2013 they used to have a Ferrari engine. Then for 2014 and 2015, they switched to Renault engines but went back to Ferrari engines in 2016. Then again, in 2017, they switched to Renault engines and then finally switched to Honda, which is what they have used since 2018.

For the 2020 season, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz rebranded Toro Rosso to AlphaTauri, to reflect his company’s venture into the fashion world.

Team Drivers

Pierre Gasly(age 25)

Gasly on the podium after his victory in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix

Pierre Gasly is a French Formula 1 driver, born in Rouen on 7th  February 1996. He made his debut in F1 with AlphaTauri, then known as Toro Rosso, in 2017 at the Malaysian Grand Prix, replacing Daniil Kvyat. At the end of the season, he earned an entire season with the team for 2018.

Gasly was promoted to Red Bull after a season at AlphaTauri to replace Daniel Ricciardo left the team for Renault. After a series of poor performances for the team, Gasly was sent back to AlphaTauri and was replaced by Alex Albon. In the second half of the season, Gasly performed very well and even scored the first podium of his F1 career.

His excellent performance in the second half of the 2019 season put him in contention for the second Red Bull seat, but he would end up staying at AlphaTauri for 2020. In September of that year, Gasly won his first F1 victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The team retained him for another season. So far this season, Gasly has had a few good performances, especially during qualifying. He also got his third career F1 podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Yuki Tsunoda(age 21)

Yuki Tsunoda

Juki Tsunoda is a Japanese Formula One driver, born in Sagamihara, Kanagawa on 11th May 2000. Tsunoda has been a part of the Red Bull Junior Team since 2019 and was promoted to AlphaTauri in 2021. The first time he drove an F1 car was a 2018-spec Toro Rosso car at the Imola.

Tsunoda replaced Daniil Kvyat at AlphaTarui for the 2021 season. On his debut race at Bahrain Grand Prix, Tsunoda scored points finishing 9th place. Even though it’s only been half a season, it looks like he is adapting well at the top tier of single-seater racing. 

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