The F1 scandal brewing over Red Bull’s technical twinning

The team once known as Alpha Tauri, under its new CEO Peter Bayer, stands firm on the legitimacy of its deepened ties with Red Bull Racing, amidst swirling controversies and accusations from rivals. Spearheaded by McLaren’s Zak Brown, the outcry over “A-B” team dynamics points directly at Red Bull’s strategy to forge a tighter technical alliance between its two squads for the 2024 season.

Brown, the outspoken CEO of McLaren, has thrown the spotlight on the essence of what it means to be a constructor in F1, emphasizing the development of proprietary intellectual property. His call to action for the FIA to intervene underlines the brewing tension.

The intrigue deepened following the unveiling of Red Bull Racing’s 2024 car concept, which bore an uncanny resemblance to the now abandoned Mercedes design, sparking speculation over the similarities observed in the newly christened Visa Cash App RB (VCARB) car.

Yuki Tsunoda, a driver for the ‘RB’ team, welcomes the closer collaboration with the leading Red Bull Racing team, highlighting the regulated framework that governs their partnership. “Obviously there are rules about the extent to which we can work together, and the rules are the same for everyone,” Tsunoda asserts, acknowledging the potential benefits of drawing insights from the championship-winning team.

Bayer, stepping into his role as CEO, counters the criticism with assurances of compliance, emphasizing the scrutiny all teams face regarding collaboration limits. “Of course Red Bull Racing and Visa Cash App RB cooperate, but within the limits of what is permitted. And the regulations are very precise,” he maintains.

Reflecting on the team’s early struggles in 2023, Bayer points out that success and failure draw varying degrees of attention and scrutiny in F1, because “when you’re behind, no one in Formula 1 is interested”.

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