McLaren Calls for Response Over Red Bull and AlphaTauri Relationship

McLaren's CEO, Zak Brown, has pressed the FIA and Formula 1 to urgently tackle worries over collaboration between Red Bull and AlphaTauri.


By Ben Bush
Updated on January 26, 2024

McLaren Calls for Response Over Red Bull and AlphaTauri

In an effort to enhance the performance of the AlphaTauri team, which is set for a rebranding, owner Red Bull is implementing changes in leadership and infrastructure.

This includes AlphaTauri receiving an increased number of customer parts from Red Bull and expanding its operations within Red Bull’s Milton Keynes campus.

READ MORE: Haas’ New Team Principal Points Out Operational Challenges

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has previously voiced concerns about the depth of this collaboration and believes it’s a critical issue that needs immediate attention from Formula 1 authorities.

“The thing I would like to see us as a sport focus is where we sit on the regulation side [with] the A/B team co-ownership,” said Brown, speaking at the launch of his squad’s 2024 season livery.

“I believe it’s a serious issue for the fairness of the sport, for the fans. That’s why it’s pretty much not allowed in any other form of major sport.

“I’d like to see us, as an industry, focus on that before it gets to a level of being where Formula 1 once was, which is very out of balance because people are playing by the rules, but a different set of rules.”

Brown mentioned that his concerns have intensified following speculations that the entire AlphaTauri team might relocate from its existing base in Italy to a location nearer to Red Bull.

AlphaTauri is, from what I understand, moving to the UK, which I think will benefit both teams,” he added.

“So this A/B team and co-ownership, which is a whole other level of A/B team, is a big concern to ours for the health of the sport, and the fairness of the sport.

“When these [team co-operation rules] were put in place, the sport was in a different place. We had a huge gap between people like ourselves, who had huge budgets, and smaller teams. Now everybody’s pretty much at the cap, if not at the cap.

“So I think everyone’s playing with the same size of bat, to use a baseball term, and therefore that’s not necessary.

“But it might give someone an unfair advantage, and I think that’s something we need to tackle with the sport quickly.”

Tensions between FIA and Formula 1 teams

Brown’s appeal for intervention occurs amidst a period of strained relations between the FIA and the Formula 1 teams. This tension arises partly due to some contentious decisions by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

One such decision by the FIA involved publicly announcing an investigation into a possible conflict of interest concerning Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and his wife Susie, only to drop the inquiry 48 hours later citing lack of evidence.

This move by the FIA has potentially paved the way for legal action from the Wolffs, who have been vocal about the damage to their reputation caused by the FIA’s actions.

Brown expressed his hope for improved cooperation between the FIA and Formula 1 in the future.

“As far as the FIA and Formula 1 [leadership is concerned], we just would like to see that relationship progress in a more unified way,” he said.

“I think they both want to do what’s best for the sport, which is a great place to be centred.”

Asked about any fallout from the Wolff incident, Brown said: “We’ve not heard anything since.

“We had never, ever officially or unofficially – because I see some people have chosen their words carefully – we never spoke with anyone at all about the Toto/Susie situation.

“We’re a big supporter of the F1 Academy and we’re excited to be part of it. I’ve known Susie a long time, she’s very high integrity. So, we have no concerns.”

Source: Autosport

Seen in:

About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

Latest Reads