In a year-end letter to their fans, McLaren F1 CEO Zak Brown said, “The sport is not perfect, and as we look ahead to negotiating the next Concorde Agreement to unite the governing body with the teams and commercial rights holders, we should prioritize some of those rules that currently impact the impartiality between competitors.
“For example, most other major sports prohibit the ownership of two teams (like Red Bull owning Red Bull and AlphaTauri) within the same league because of the obvious potential damage that it does to competition. It’s an unhealthy situation because it impacts decisions made both on and off the track. Whether it’s a case of having access to more data, sharing components/personnel, or even having influence over a strategic vote, it’s not in the spirit of the regulations.
“It’s important to stand up for independence, competition and fairness, and I’d like to see changes in the regulations to ensure that in future, they stop influence spreading from one team to another through strategic alliances and especially through ownership. Formula 1 should be true to its brand, and every team – except Power Units – should be totally independent of each other.
“I believe Formula 1 fans universally believe in fairness in competition and a level playing field, and would reject any actions that compromise the true spirit of competition within Formula 1. Part sharing of information, shared ownership models, and strategic alliances within the sporting fabric of Formula 1 will only serve to undermine the fans’ belief in fair and fierce competition.”
In an interview with RaceFans ahead of the United States Grand Prix, Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner also addressed the issue (of Red Bull owning Red Bull and AlphaTauri). “I think, right or not right, it needs to be discussed,” said the Haas boss. “Obviously, there is a lot of other sports where that is not allowed. But up to now there was not an issue with this.”
December 22, 2023
(GMM) Rival Formula 1 teams will be keeping a very close eye on AlphaTauri next year, and now they prefer Red Bull sell the team to Andretti.
Red Bull’s second team began the year with a highly uncompetitive car amid rumors of sale – and ended the season with a much closer relationship with Red Bull Racing.
“At 18 of the 22 grands prix, AlphaTauri showed up with new parts, eight times to such an extent that one could almost have spoken of a B, C or D version,” said Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt.
But it’s not just the rate of progress that competitors are finding alarming, as Red Bull’s junior team even ended the season with the rear suspension of the title-winning RB19.
“No one can do the slow corners better than them now,” says McLaren boss Andrea Stella.
Then known as Toro Rosso, the Faenza based team could have reignited similar synergies with its parent team several years ago, “but the engineers had their pride and believed they were as good as (Adrian) Newey”, said Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko.
That is now changing, with AlphaTauri engineers to even have their own building at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes campus.
And that is what the competitors are most worried about – that AlphaTauri’s progress actually helps the already-dominant Red Bull Racing team.
The FIA’s Nikolas Tombazis, however, says the governing body has a close eye on working relationships between teams. “We visit each team every two to three weeks,” he confirmed.
Christian Horner’s increasing power is also a concern to rivals, as he is believed to have championed Daniel Ricciardo’s return to F1, Laurent Mekies’ installation as AlphaTauri boss, and a new major sponsor for the junior team – Visa.
“If AlphaTauri competes for fifth place next year, there will certainly be calls for us to sell the team,” one unnamed Red Bull official said.
Michael Andretti said he wanted to buy the AlphaTauri team, but it was not for sale at the time. Instead, Red Bull decided to make it closer to their ‘A’ team with the ‘B’ team buying as many parts from Red Bull as possible in 2024.
If Andretti agreed to run the Red Bull-Ford Power Unit and buy as many chassis parts as the rule book allows from Red Bull, then perhaps Red Bull might view the idea of selling it differently.
If such a scenario had played out, then Andretti might have been able to strike a deal, but that is now water under the bridge.