The new Racing Bulls team has left its past as AlphaTauri behind and begins a new era in the 2024 Formula 1 season
Visa Cash App RB – Formula 1 fans should get used to this name, as should the unusual launch by former team AlphaTauri. Because the presentation of VCARB 01 took place in the late afternoon in Las Vegas, similar to the Grand Prix a few months ago. For European The conditions meant getting up early!
Because the launch in this country was scheduled for 7:30 in the morning. Fans didn't see an exciting performance, just a short video on social media.
And what was shown were the new RB team colors, although new would be an exaggeration. Because with the blue, white and red you are basically wearing the same colors as in the last days of Toro Rosso; They also match the colors of the Red Bull Group.
However, the color arrangement is different than before: the car has a blue base tone, which is significantly brighter than in the AlphaTauri era. There are also numerous white areas where the most important sponsors are presented. In addition to the namesakes, there are Orlen and Hugo Boss.
By the way: Boss was also a name that was talked about in this context for the racing team.
From a technical point of view, it is striking that the Racing Bulls have made a change in concept with the VCARB 01. The car was equipped with a pull rod suspension on the front axle, following the line of Sauber, which also made this change.
This is in line with sister team Red Bull, which, like McLaren, also relied on the pullrod solution last year. At the rear, however, the pushrod arrangement remains the same as before.
Otherwise, the car has a fairly thin nose and a noticeable side panel that does not descend abruptly, but continually descends like a kind of bulge.
Many new things in Faenza.
The Faenza racing team will begin a completely new era in 2024. Gone is the name AlphaTauri, which after its former identity as Toro Rosso was used to promote the Red Bull Group's fashion brand of the same name.
The new name was kept secret for a long time, but was intended to break with usual conventions. Initially the name Racing Bulls was leaked, but only the abbreviation RB was found in the official registration list, in addition to the two main sponsors that the racing team was able to obtain for 2024.
These are the financial services provider Visa and the payment service Cash App, which together form the new name of the team, which, however, is not well received by everyone.
There are also many other new developments in the former junior racing team Red Bull: the team wants to say goodbye to this image a little, but at the same time strengthen the bond with the sister team Red Bull. For this reason, the aerodynamics department in Bicester, United Kingdom, will move closer to the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes.
“The Milton Keynes Performance Center is necessary because the Bicester facility has become too small,” managing director Peter Bayer explained last year. “The advantage of being closer to Red Bull Racing and its campus is that it is easier for us to work in the wind tunnel and in the simulator.”
Drivers of everything but juniors
The proximity to Red Bull and the simultaneous move away from junior status are also reflected in the choice of drivers, which remains unchanged compared to the end of the 2023 season. Yuki Tsunoda is already in his fourth Formula 1 season with the racing team and therefore no longer has a junior category.
This can be said even more for Daniel Ricciardo, who at 34 years old hopes to find his way back to the top, preferably at Red Bull itself, where he drove for five years before heading into the cosmos. renault and then left McLaren.
The Australian was preferred to Liam Lawson, who was allowed to replace Ricciardo in 2023 when he injured his hand in Zandvoort. The New Zealander did a pretty good job and, according to many, would have earned the driver's spot for 2024, although he will have to settle for the third driver's spot again and hope to get a chance at it in the future.
A lot of power from the old FIA
Some personnel changes at the command post also caused a stir. Franz Tost ended his career as crew chief after 18 years at the helm of the racing team. The Austrian had led the team since he took over the Minardi racing team after the 2005 season, but now leaves his place to someone else.
And his name is Laurent Mekies. The 46-year-old comes from ferrari, where he started as sporting director last year before being removed from daily operations due to the impending change. Previously he was French He worked as head of security and deputy race director at the FIA. The 2024 season will be his first as team leader.
He is supported by CEO Peter Bayer, another former FIA man, and other well-known names in the team, such as technical director Jody Egginton and chief engineer Jonathan Eddolls. Under Tim Goss, they were recently able to bring another former FIA employee into the team as technical director.
The 2023 Formula 1 season finished in eighth position after a difficult start and a good recovery race, in which updates were made until the last race. In 2024 it should be at least one place better.
By Norman Fischer