RB ignores criticism: ‘Red Bull does not want to play with the gray areas’

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RB ignores criticism: 'Red Bull does not want to play with the gray areas'

After a difficult start to 2023, Helmut Marko announced that the collaboration between Red Bull Racing and its sister team would be strengthened, and that Visa Cash App RB would acquire as many parts of Red Bull as possible. This led to outrage from McLaren CEO Zak Brown, among others, but new team boss Laurent Mekies does not care about the American’s words.

Although RB is now taking over more parts from Red Bull, this has not yet had the desired effect. Five teams currently stand out above the rest, meaning that of the other five teams, only Nico H├╝lkenberg was able to score a point in Saudi Arabia after Lance Stroll’s crash. So at RB the zero is still on the scoreboard. “Our car is not last year’s Red Bull, and if someone studies our car technically, they will see that too,” Mekies shares at the Italian branch of Motorsport.com.

McLaren itself is also looking at the Red Bull

Mekies finds Brown somewhat hypocritical: ‘All our competitors, without exception, looked at the RB19 and tried to draw inspiration from it. We have done that too, but we know from the history of Formula 1 that copying is nothing unusual,” says the man who previously worked for the FIA. “No two cars are identical, but I would like to add that visually ours is one of the cars that looks the least like the RB19.”

The fact that Brown questions the legality of the collaboration between both teams bothers Mekies. ‘No one from Red Bull is interested in playing with the gray areas, and fortunately the rules are very clear. We share certain components, but that applies to half of the grid,” reports the Frenchman, who also downplays the value of the acquired parts. ‘We also didn’t see a Williams in pole position, or a Haas on the podium. This is because the parts that you are allowed to take over are not parts that are significant for performance, but have high development costs. These rules have been introduced to give teams the opportunity to participate without investing heavily in certain parts, such as the transmission.’

Advancement of AlphaTauri in 2023

Last year, under the name AlphaTauri, the team got off to a poor start, only to accelerate after the summer break and shoot up to eighth place among the constructors. This was partly due to taking over the suspension from Red Bull. ‘That upgrade was more than just the suspension. The team had been at the back of the championship for a long time, and it was therefore decided to continue developing the car. Practically half the car was renewed, and the results were extra clear because this was the only team that continued to develop. That gamble paid off, because we won two more positions with the constructors, so that yielded sporting and financial gains.’

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