McLaren boss Zak Brown has raised concerns over the slated increased collaboration between Red Bull and AlphaTauri for the 2024 season.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has voiced huge concerns that Red Bull’s increased collaboration with its junior squad AlphaTauri should be addressed going forward.
AlphaTauri is set to change its name in a bid to bring the team significantly closer to the technological level of its senior squad. Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko confirmed that the junior Red Bull team will use every component allowed by the regulations on their car starting in the coming season.
Rival teams are now concerned about how closely the two teams will be linked in light of Red Bull’s dominance at the front of the field, as the increased collaboration was brought partly as a result of AlphaTauri’s decline in performance over the previous two seasons.
Red Bull made their debut in Formula 1 in 2005 after purchasing the Jaguar F1 team. By the end of that year, the company had acquired Minardi and established Toro Rosso, which is now known as AlphaTauri, as a junior team.
Concerns have been raised after AlphaTauri’s rise from last place in the constructors’ championship in 2023 to eighth place after the team made bold upgrades that significantly improved their performance in slow-speed turns.
Although teams like Haas and Ferrari benefit from technical relationships, with Haas purchasing specific Ferrari parts as a result of its status as a power unit customer, Red Bull has made it plain that they want to bring AlphaTauri, or the renamed version of the team as close to a Red Bull as the regulations allow.
Despite the fact that Red Bull did not make any major changes to their car after August, some rivals have criticized AlphaTauri for how much faster it has gotten and how collaborating on resources may benefit the senior team.
The relationship between the two teams owned by the same entity should be looked into, according to Brown, whose McLaren squad became Red Bull’s closest rival in the second half of the season.
“The million-dollar question that none of us know is how early did they [Red Bull] turn off this year’s car?” Brown said to Autosport. “We know we’ve outperformed the others in the development race, and we know we’ve closed the gap to Red Bull but what none of us know is: did Red Bull stop, and we just caught up, or were they still developing?
“Also, we have some big concerns over the alliance between AlphaTauri and Red Bull. I think that is something that needs to be addressed in the future.
“So, I still think the sport has a way to go to make sure that everyone is truly independent. It is two teams with common ownership, which you wouldn’t have in other sports.
“It could benefit Red Bull in a lot of different ways. There is a reason why they are moving a lot of their people from Italy.
“As Helmut [Marko] has said, they are going to do absolutely everything they can to benefit from having two teams.
“I get that because that’s what the rules say. But I think we need to look at the governance of the sport around technical alliances.”
Since Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz passed away in October 2022, there has been a lot of debate on what the partnership between Red Bull and AlphaTauri will entail moving forward.
Mateschitz’s son, Mark, who is the company’s 49 percent owner, refused to give in to internal pressure to sell AlphaTauri claiming that his father’s goal had always been to run two teams on the grid.
Red Bull spent the better part of the year in discussions over a naming deal with a number of businesses including JP Morgan and Hugo Boss, according to ESPN. However, the talks have not yet resulted in a deal.
AlphaTauri will field Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo in 2024.