‘Down side’ of Red Bull-VCARB partnership revealed amidst rivals’ worries

Henry Valantine
The VCARB01 launch photo.

Red Bull's junior team will be known as Visa Cash App RB for the 2024 F1 season.

Visa Cash App RB team principal Laurent Mekies revealed that Red Bull have shared what they are allowed to share with their sister team on their new car, but there also comes a “down side” with that.

Mekies moved across from Ferrari to Faenza to take up the role as team boss after Franz Tost stepped back at the end of the season, with Mekies stepping into his first job as team principal.

There are concerns from rivals about how Red Bull might use their sister team’s car, however, with Red Bull having insisted they want to bring the cars as close together as possible within the rules.

Laurent Mekies: Closer Red Bull collaboration also brings ‘down side’

The drawback, according to Mekies, is working as a customer team to Red Bull means they have to wait for the team to finish the requisite parts they need to implement them on their own car.

With only a limited set of parts able to be transferred from the Red Bull to the RB, or VCARB, anything that changes from above has a material effect on how they can go about designing their car.

This complicates things from their point of view, according to the new team principal.

“We are in a situation where we have one owner of two teams, and of course we are asked – ‘what can we share?’ We should share. We look at the rules and do the sharing that we can do,” Mekies told reporters at the team’s launch, as quoted by the Dutch edition of GPFans.

“It also comes with a down side. For example, if you take someone else’s gearbox, which many teams do, you have to wait until the team has designed the gearbox to understand where your suspension points will be – which affects your aerodynamic decisions. There are compromises.

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“The rules are crystal clear about what you have to do yourself and what you can buy.

“Historically, for example, it is accepted that you buy your power unit from a third party. Along with the power unit, you can buy the gearbox and suspension – those are the main parts you can buy if you choose to do so.

“The rules ensure that you do the rest of the car yourself – your chassis, your aerodynamics, your cooling systems, everything that affects performance – that is something that defines manufacturers and the rules are very clear.”

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