F1 news outlets have detailed Red Bull and AlphaTauri’s evolution ahead of 2024. According to McLaren CEO Zak Brown, this “alliance” is worrying.
Zak Brown believes that Red Bull will benefit from their relationship with AlphaTauri in 2024 and beyond. Although ownership between these outfits hasn’t changed, Red Bull is committed to enhancing collaboration with its second team.
The final rounds of 2024 saw the potential consequences of this increased collaboration. Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo quickly propelled the Faenza-based team up the standings, falling just short of P7 overall. This was largely thanks to a sequence of updates (first arriving in Singapore) that improved the AT04’s performance.
Crucially, these upgrades represented a shift in AlphaTauri’s direction. Rather than following their own path, the team began working more closely with Red Bull. From a sporting perspective, this is perfectly logical. It was somewhat paradoxical that AlphaTauri languished at the back whilst Red Bull dominated.
This is especially true given the team’s responsibility in developing young drivers. Becoming at least reasonably competitive became a key objective, generating plenty of F1 news headlines from Helmut Marko and other senior Red Bull figures.
However, rivals are not so amused by this growing inter-team “alliance”. McLaren’s Zak Brown told motorsport.com about his concerns:
“We are very concerned about the alliance between AlphaTauri and Red Bull.
“I believe this is something that will need to be addressed in the future. So, I think our sport still has a long way to go to make sure everyone is truly independent.
“These are two teams with common ownership, which is not the case in other sports. Red Bull could benefit from this in many different ways. There’s a reason they’re moving a lot of staff from Italy…
“I think we need to look at the governance of the sport, with regards to technical alliances.”
To be clear, Red Bull and AlphaTauri have stressed their collaboration will be within the F1 regulations. In this sense, nothing extraordinary should be expected on this matter in the short term.
Several teams across the field, albeit to varying degrees, work together. Haas and Ferrari, for example, share parts and enjoy a relatively well-established relationship. This is not an uncommon phenomenon in Formula 1.
Still, it cannot be said that Red Bull won’t be raising some eyebrows with its latest shift. Their recent dominance makes an increased partnership with AlphaTauri particularly threatening to rivals. This issue will likely become an area of contention when the 2024 season begins.