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Red Bull Ownership Debate

Red Bull’s Dual Ownership Stirs F1 Paddock

01/03/2024

The shared ownership of Red Bull and RB F1 raises concerns over fairness in Formula 1, sparking debate among team leaders.

The ties between Red Bull and RB F1 continue to stir discontent within the Formula 1 paddock. McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes that the dual ownership by the same company poses a problem for the premier category’s goals.

“We’ve now implemented the budget cap as planned, which essentially works to level the playing field financially and in all other aspects,” Brown stated.

“I think the sport, in the era of the budget cap, has moved to a stage where we’re trying to have ten teams that are independent from a sporting, political, and technical standpoint. I believe they adhere to the rules, but I have an issue with the rules themselves, and I think the FIA needs to address this.”

Brown acknowledges the advantage the two Red Bull teams have, as Helmut Marko mentioned, but he calls for a revision of the regulations: “As Helmut stated, he will maximize the opportunities, which you would do if you owned two teams under the current rules.”

“However, I think we’re going to realize that, if the goal of the cap and all sports is to have a fair playfield, the way the rules are currently written isn’t the same for everyone.”

“The whole A-B team situation, those aren’t fair play rules. So, I think we now need to look into this issue, and the FIA must do so through the rules.”

Room for Technical Sharing?

Laurent Mekies, the director of RB F1, believes the technical regulation allowing part sharing works well and could be even more effective: “As a sport, we wanted a tighter field, with less lap time difference between the winner and tenth place.”

“It was estimated that by allowing the sharing of certain components, we would avoid a too significant gap on the grid. If you look at last year’s championship results and add up the points scored by the four least performing teams, we don’t even catch up to the points scored by Alpine in sixth place.”

“So, if you look at the championship results, there’s still a quite significant gap between the guys fighting at the back for a few points and what is actually the heart of the midfield.”

This also aids in financial health: “Yes, we are in a very good commercial period regarding Formula 1 interest, and it’s fantastic. However, there’s a very simple reality: most team shareholders continue to inject money into Formula 1.”

“So, before incorporating what is a more sustainable alternative into the teams’ economic model, we need to have a long-term vision of what this will bring to the sport in the coming years.”

Vasseur: No Issue with F1 Alliances

Ferrari director Fred Vasseur doesn’t see a problem with technical alliances and believes Red Bull and RB F1 comply with the regulations: “I think there are two points: the first is team ownership and the second is the technical regulations.”

“One can imagine collaboration even if not belonging to the same company; it’s possible. There’s a clear distinction in the regulations, and it’s up to the FIA to decide if it’s black or white. For me, it’s clear and has been respected so far.”

Red Bull Ownership Debate. Red Bull Ownership Debate

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