McLaren CEO Zak Brown has reiterated his hope for the FIA and Formula 1 to look into the “serious issue” of co-ownership that will bring Red Bull and AlphaTauri closer together in 2024.
The two Red Bull-owned teams are set to be brought into closer alignment in 2024, with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko having previously stated the team will be taking every part they are allowed to take from Red Bull under the regulations, after an underwhelming 2023 season.
AlphaTauri are set to move certain operations to Red Bull’s Milton Keynes base in 2024 for closer alignment with the ‘senior’ team, with their main factory remaining at Faenza in Italy.
McLaren question increased Red Bull/AlphaTauri co-operation for 2024
Having been vocal on the subject before, McLaren CEO Brown explained his reasons for wanting intervention on ensuring teams are operating fully independently of each other moving forward.
With the cost cap playing its part in levelling out performance – the fight behind Red Bull in particular in 2023 looking as close as ever – the McLaren boss believes having two teams on the grid operating in such close quarters causes a “serious issue” for sporting fairness.
“The thing I would like to see us as a sport focus is where we sit on the regulation side [with] the A/B team co-ownership,” Brown said at McLaren’s 2024 livery launch, as quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I believe it’s a serious issue for the fairness of the sport, for the fans. That’s why it’s pretty much not allowed in any other form of major sport.
“I’d like to see us, as an industry, focus on that before it gets to a level of being where Formula 1 once was, which is very out of balance because people are playing by the rules, but a different set of rules.
“AlphaTauri is, from what I understand, moving to the UK, which I think will benefit both teams.
“So this A/B team and co-ownership, which is a whole other level of A/B team, is a big concern to ours for the health of the sport, and the fairness of the sport.
“When these [team co-operation rules] were put in place, the sport was in a different place.
“We had a huge gap between people like ourselves, who had huge budgets, and smaller teams. Now everybody’s pretty much at the cap, if not at the cap.
“So I think everyone’s playing with the same size of bat, to use a baseball term, and therefore that’s not necessary.
“But it might give someone an unfair advantage, and I think that’s something we need to tackle with the sport quickly.”