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formula-1-news-2023-hugo boss racing team2

AlphaTauri closer to becoming Hugo Boss F1 team

formula-1-news-2023-hugo boss racing team2

Hugo Boss are said to be the next title sponsor of Red Bull’s B-Team, Scuderia AlphaTauri, as the iconic German fashion brand extends its investment in Formula 1 with the goal of turning it into a winning outfit.

Hugo Boss CEO Daniel Grieder told Reuters last year: “Formula 1 is also back, better than ever. It’s a global sport … and they also have commitments to a more sustainable world and races.”

“I think the sport is even more relevant than ever and the whole world is watching and so many fans are into it and it’s so exciting at the moment. I think the balance they found now is perfect,” said Griedel, of the F1’s Netflix Drive to Survive-inspired boom in the United States

At the time a company spokesperson added: “Hugo Boss is realigning its existing commitments in sports and we will concentrate only on Formula 1 in the future.”

Since then speculation has been rife regarding the future involvement of Hugo Boss branding in F1. The company has a rich history with McLaren, their multiple championship-winning cars featuring the “Boss” logo, driven by their world champions Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.

The McLaren-Hugo Boss partnership dated back to 1981 and ran to 2015 before the clothing manufacturer switched to Mercedes. Since 2022, Hugo Boss are part of Aston Martin’s partner portfolio until 2025.

But talk, in the F1 paddock much of this season, is that the plan is to take over AlphaTauri, and rebrand the Faenza operation to Hugo Boss Racing Team or Scuderia Hugo Boss or whatever they name the operation, starting in 2024.

Red Bull young driver pipeline took some strange turns over the years

Carlos+Sainz+Max+Verstappen+Scuderia+Toro

Hence this is the last year of Red Bull’s AlphaTauri project which began in 2020. Before that the team was Toro Rosso (Red Bull in Italian) having morphed from F1 minnows Minardi. It became the hotbed for RBR young driver talent development programme. The likes of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen, among several drivers on the F1 grid today, did stints in the junior team.

Unlike in the early days and it’s reason to be, the team is no longer a F1 driver development platform, as Pierre Gasly was given refuge in the team after his Red Bull promotion failed. And remained there for six seasons.

Eventually, Gasly departed, whereby they put in Nyck de Vries – not from within their driver development pipeline – who also failed and was sent packing after ten races,  Yuki Tsunoda is in the other car for three seasons now and is theoretically next in line to be promoted to Max Verstappen’s teammate.

De Vries made way for Daniel Ricciardo the team’s prodigal son and down-on-his-form and now veteran. Hardly a young gun needing seat time and assessing, but he got the nod to trigger his comeback. He was solid as expected, if a bit underwhelming.

Marko: The synergies are to be used as best as possible

senna hugo boss f1

Until, of course, Dan broke his hand and was replaced by Liam Lawson, which ironically returns the team to its original ethos of providing a testbed for aspiring F1 drivers for eventual promotion to the Red Bull senior team.

Going forward, a Hugo Boss ‘takeover’ of AlphaTauri is on the cards (and apparently imminent) will mark a shift in focus, turning the new team into a force in itself, although closely aligned to Red Bull with maximum technology shareable within the F1 rules. Their goal will also be to win races and championships.

In other words, as independent as a co-owned team can be according to Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko:
“AlphaTauri sometimes had designers who believed if they had the financial means of Red Bull, they would actually be better. This conflict smouldered throughout this cooperation.

“That’s why it’s now being restructured. There is a very clear instruction. Everything that is permitted by the regulations must be adapted by AlphaTauri. No more in-house constructions, no more peculiarities in Faenza. The synergies are to be used as best as possible,” explained Marko.

As for AlphaTauri, it can be assumed the F1 foray did not deliver the required exposure for the obscure fashion brand otherwise it would be ditched after such a relatively short spell as a title sponsor, of an F1 team its parent company owns!

Expect an announcement of sorts closer to the end of the season, but word from a couple of credible sources (and several less so) is that the deal is done and dusted. The work is now on what will emerge when AlphaTauri mutates into the Hugo Boss F1 project.