AlphaTauri rebrand and reveal new-look F1 car: 5 things to know
It's all change at the team formerly known as Red Bull's Toro Rosso
Formula 1 is among one of the fastest - and most expensive - sports on the planet. Given the vast sums of money involved, team makeovers have become a regular part of the racing experience - entire rebrands, however, are a little rarer. Which is why the birth of AlphaTauri - replacing existing F1 team Toro Rosso - is something of a big deal.
As the car unveilings get underway ahead of 2020 pre-season testing at Barcelona-Catalunya, it’s time for the racing world to be introduced to Red Bull Racing’s new little brother. Named after Red Bull’s clothing brand AlphaTauri, it’s safe to say looks were at the forefront of the launch event.
Taking place at Red Bull’s Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Austria, the event was hosted by Formula 1 legend David Coulthard. Incorporating the unveiling of the all-new AT1 car and distinctive new livery, the brand decided to throw in a full blown runway event showcasing the AlphaTauri SS20 collection and brought out none other than current AlphaTauri drivers Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly to showcase the driving suits.
Rebranding an F1 team off the back of Red Bull's fashion brand is certainly a unique selling point. As it turns out, the collection is pretty pleasing on the eye - and so are the price tags. F1 is a sport known for its lucrative spending and large-scale investment - it seems AlphaTauri has taken a leaf out of that book, with some garments, like this Technical Packable Parka, coming in at €599. Eye-watering for some, perfectly affordable for others, the designs, in the scheme of things (fashion), well and truly position the brand as a luxury name worth paying attention to.
Technical knits and innovative fabrics were definitely the focus of the evening's catwalk, with outwear and knit layers at the fore. From parkas to bomber jackets, there was plenty of block colouring, with cashmere, merino and performance yarn also thrown into the mix.
Needless to say, there were also a few surprises. Here are five things we learnt direct from the AlphaTauri unveiling and AT1 car launch:
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1. The AT1 unveiling was a star-studded affair
Hosted by British Formula 1 legend David Coulthard, the show saw a host of famous faces helicoptered into Red Bull Hangar-7. Alongside drivers Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly, actor and F1 fan Patrick Dempsey, Red Bull's Christian Horner and Red Bull Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann were also in attendance. We could go on, but we don't like to brag...
2. The car boasts a Distinct new livery
As expected, the livery was always going to steal the show. Moulded around Red Bull’s fashion label AlphaTauri, the colour scheme is a minimalistic white and navy. In many ways it's a look reminiscent of the BMW livery of seasons past. It's also a move that clearly distances AlphaTauri from its big brother, Aston Martin Red Bull. As for whether the rebrand seen on the car will result in more podium finishes similar to 2019's Brazil result, only time (and pre-season testing) will tell.
3. the AT1 was showcased on the side of an italian department store
Navy and white dominated the catwalk at the launch event, but over in Italy, AlphaTauri unveiled the car in spectacular style. Following on from last season's STR14, this season the car will be known as AT1. The parallel event in Milan's Piazza Duomo saw a replica of the car showcased on the side of the Rinascente department store. It's a location widely considered to be the home of fashion, so why not?! It's certainly a unique display by the newly rebranded team, one capable of catching the wider fashion world's attention.
4. AlphaTauri has focussed heavily on Design and innovation for SS20
Featuring a helmet painter named Bobo who took it upon himself to paint upside down portraits of drivers Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly live on stage, the event was certainly a creative affair - and that's before the catwalk even began.
Overseen by AlphaTauri general manager, Ahmet Mercan, the SS20 collection aims to push the technology angle when it comes to fashion - ensuring the new season collection is fit for temperature extremes - rather handy when you live in the UK.
Function is most definitely a priority, with transitional jackets for men at the fore, alongside a range of outerwear for women that's ideal for layering, alongside the brand's use of innovative, technical materials developed to cater to a variety of conditions. Think neutral tones with vibrant accents, an easy transition to the outfits worn by the team's drivers across the 2020 season.
When it came to the racing suits, the drivers will predominantly be dressed in white with navy accents for the 2020 season, while the car is designed to match. According to team principal Franz Tost, the new racing suits feature plenty of advanced design features. "It's impressive how much effort they put into textile innovation and premium materials" he noted.
5. Red Bull’s Hangar-7 Is An Adrenaline Junkie’s Dream
Taking place in Red Bull’s Hangar-7, the aerodrome - located at Salzburg Airport - is owned by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz. Home to the Flying Bull’s fleet, helicopters and a host of legendary Formula 1 cars (including the latest AT1 offering), the venue also incorporates a restaurant, two bars and (for one night only) a giant open top bus.