Zak Brown has voiced significant concerns regarding the newly established technical partnership between Red Bull Racing and its sister team, AlphaTauri. Brown, at the helm of the Woking-based outfit, is optimistic about his team’s ability to close the gap on Red Bull but apprehensive that the collaboration between the two Red Bull-owned teams could pose challenges.
During the latter part of the previous season, McLaren emerged as a formidable competitor to Red Bull, with drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri consistently challenging at the front of the grid alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Despite McLaren’s progress, Brown remains wary of AlphaTauri narrowing the performance gap between themselves and the top-tier teams.
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has maintained that no regulations are being violated, and the FIA has conducted compliance checks. However, Brown continues to express reservations about the increasing ties between Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
In an interview with Motorsport.com, Brown raised questions about Red Bull’s 2024 campaign, stating, “The million-dollar question that none of us know is how early did they turn off this year’s car? We know we’ve outperformed the others in the development race, and we know we’ve closed the gap to Red Bull, but what none of us know is: did Red Bull stop, and we just caught up, or were they still developing?”
Brown emphasized his concerns about the partnership between Red Bull and AlphaTauri, stating, “It is two teams with common ownership, which you wouldn’t have in other sports. [They could benefit] a lot of different ways. There is a reason why they are moving a lot of their people from Italy. As Helmut [Marko] has said, they are going to do absolutely everything they can to benefit from having two teams. I get that because that’s what the rules say. But I think we need to look at the governance of the sport around technical alliances.”
The McLaren CEO is calling for a deeper examination of the relationship between teams with common ownership, highlighting the unique challenges this presents in Formula 1 compared to other sports. As the sport evolves, questions surrounding technical alliances and independence continue to be pertinent, and Brown’s concerns shed light on the need for a comprehensive governance framework in Formula 1.