Red Bull and VCARB’s suspicious 2024 similarities exposed

The sister team formerly known as Alpha Tauri, now rebranded as Visa Cash App RB, has made headlines with its significant technical advancements, edging closer to its powerhouse sibling, Red Bull Racing. This move has raised eyebrows in the paddock already, especially after Red Bull unveiled a 2024 car that daringly integrates elements of Mercedes’ previously abandoned design concepts.

Corriere dello Sport captured the mood perfectly, stating, “It’s fascinating and also a little disturbing,” highlighting the bold strategic pivot by Red Bull. The decision to perhaps soon even adopt features like the ‘no sidepod’ or ‘zero sidepod’ innovation, mirroring Mercedes’ earlier yet failed attempts, signals a bold departure from the norm and has sent ripples through the F1 community.

Yuki Tsunoda, the RB or VCARB driver, expressed his excitement about the new car’s performance, noting, “The feeling on the track is excellent. This is a big step forward compared to the same time a year ago.” This enthusiasm underscores the perceived leap in competitiveness the team anticipates from these technical updates – and possibly the new and closer colalboration with Red Bull Racing.

However, this closer technical symbiosis between Red Bull and RB has raised eyebrows, with McLaren CEO Zak Brown voicing concerns about the fairness and integrity of such A-B team relationships. “To have A-B relationships and co-ownerships of two teams on a level playing field, it’s not what the fans expect,” Brown remarked, urging the FIA to address the situation.

Auto Motor und Sport’s Michael Schmidt pointed out “a suspicious number of similarities” between the 2024 models of both Red Bull-owned teams. The similar slim nose profiles and sidepod designs of the cars have led to speculation and scrutiny, particularly since these features diverge from current trends and are challenging to replicate. “Since both features go completely against the trend, competitors will be asking themselves at the Bahrain test how so much agreement between the sister teams can be possible,” he said.

Schmidt elaborated on the technical marvels and the difficulty of passing the stringent F1 crash tests with such innovative designs, especially without collaboration. The shared adoption of these unique features by both Red Bull and RB not only showcases their technical prowess but also ignites debates about the competitive balance within the sport.

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