May 26, 2024

Red Bull make divisive F1 2024 move as Christian Horner has two digs at Mercedes

Red Bull’s upcoming changes to their AlphaTauri sister team for the next season have raised concerns among some Formula 1 competitors regarding the extent of collaboration between the two teams. Red Bull’s top executive, Christian Horner, addressed these concerns and took the opportunity to criticize Mercedes while assuring that their collaboration with the rebranded AlphaTauri would adhere to the rules.

Horner: "Not one ounce of me" wants a closer F1 title fight

The team, currently known as AlphaTauri, is set for a rebranding next year, accompanied by significant operational adjustments. Red Bull intends to provide more components to its sister team than in the past, fostering increased collaboration in various areas. This has prompted worries about potential collusion from rival teams.

Horner emphasized that Red Bull’s collaboration with AlphaTauri would stay within the regulatory boundaries, referencing the 2020 Racing Point situation (now Aston Martin) involving the ‘pink Mercedes.’ Racing Point faced penalties for closely mimicking the Mercedes W10, violating F1’s intellectual property rules on design replication.

Horner: "Not one ounce of me" wants a closer F1 title fight

Despite concerns from competitors, Horner assured that the upcoming AlphaTauri car for the 2024 season would comply with intellectual property rules. He dismissed comparisons to the “pink Mercedes” situation, highlighting the permitted transferable components specified in the regulations.

Horner took a swipe at Red Bull’s rivals, particularly Mercedes, by pointing out that other teams on the grid, such as Aston Martin and McLaren, exhibit design similarities. He drew attention to McLaren’s rear suspension, stating that it closely resembled Red Bull Racing’s concept, while highlighting that Red Bull’s collaboration with AlphaTauri involved supplying permissible components, similar to the relationships between Mercedes and Ferrari with their respective customer teams.

Horner: "Not one ounce of me" wants a closer F1 title fight

In a final jab at Mercedes, Horner suggested that McLaren had utilized the tools provided by their supplier more effectively than Mercedes had during certain periods of the year, emphasizing that each team determines how they make use of the permitted tools within the regulations.

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