For the second time in five years, the sister team of Red Bull has undergone a dramatic transformation after unveiling their new name, Visa Cash App RB, and Formula 1 fans are not happy with the results.
Visa have signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with both Red Bull and its feeder team, the formerly-known AlphaTauri, in a lucrative deal worth millions of pounds to both teams. While the agreement has been known for some time by paddock insiders, the news was only made official on Wednesday.
Visa Cash App will become the title sponsor of the team formerly known as AlphaTauri, which changed from Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2019 after 13 years with its Italian moniker. Visa will also become the global sponsor of Red Bull Racing as part of the agreement.
The new livery of the Visa Cash App RB team will be shown to the public for the first time on February 8 during a live event in Las Vegas, with drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo set to drive under the new name in 2024.
“This agreement marks the beginning of a new phase for our team in Formula 1,” Peter Bayer, the team’s CEO, said.
Ex-F1 driver takes swipe at Visa team name
But not everyone is as excited as the credit card company, with former F1 drivers among those to question the decision to rebrand with a name that is not exactly verbally friendly.
Giedo van der Garde, who raced 19 times for Caterham F1 in the 2013 season and also was also a test driver for Super Aguri and Spyker, made his feelings clear with a long post on social media.
“I know I’ve just retired so I don’t wanna sound like “everything in the past used to be so much better”, but to my opinion “Visa Cash App RB” isn’t an appropriate name for a Formula One team,” Van der Garde wrote on X.
“We’re getting used to F1 being commercialized, as it should (!) so for commercial opportunities I’m all in, but this just sounds like a name an Italian based team shouldn’t carry. Anyway, maybe they prove me wrong – but I don’t see us talking in the future about that awesome team that’s called Visa Cash App RB…”
F1 fans have joined the Dutchman, 38, in criticising the decision to replace the stylish AlphaTauri name with one that is commercially-loaded and seemingly lacking any sporting context. It also left some supporters questioning what they would call the team when describing the car on track.
One user claimed they would revert to calling them “Toro Rosso” while others stayed loyal to “AlphaTauri“. Some users on the X platform – formerly Twitter – even suggested it should be called Minardi, one of the teams replaced by Red Bull in 2005 after going into administration.