McLaren urge FIA to act on key Red Bull relationship with ‘wider F1 interest’ highlighted

Oliver Harden
Zak Brown and Christian Horner in an FIA press conference with prominent badges of McLaren and Red Bull alongside them.

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown has taken aim at Red Bull.

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown has urged F1’s governing body the FIA to act on blocking close bonds between teams like that between Red Bull and their junior outfit.

Red Bull have owned two teams on the F1 grid since 2006, when the energy drinks giant took over the Faenza-based Minardi outfit.

The junior team – formerly known as Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri – have historically been used to train young drivers including the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, but the new-look RB squad have grander plans heading into the 2024 season.

McLaren target Red Bull link with FIA urged to take action

RB are set to strengthen their technical ties to Red Bull for the new campaign in an arrangement similar to that between Haas and Ferrari, which sees the American team compete with as many Ferrari-built parts as is permitted under F1’s regulations.

Having finished a disappointing eighth in the 2023 Constructors’ standings, the Red Bull junior outfit are expected to enjoy a much-improved season as a result.

Brown has been a vocal critic of such close links between the teams, claiming they are no longer appropriate in F1’s cost cap era. recommends

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After RB chief executive Peter Bayer dismissed the McLaren chief’s complaints as “paranoia” on Tuesday, Brown has insisted he has the best interests of the sport at heart.

Asked if he is paranoid about Red Bull’s relationship with their sister team, Brown told Sky Sports: “No, I’m actually speaking in the wider interest of the sport.

“If you look at every other major sport, you’re not allowed to own two teams – and I’d even go further.

“There’s A-B team relationships and when these started 15 years ago it was because there was a huge gap between the top teams and the bottom teams.

“Now that there’s this great budget cap in place, all 10 teams are pretty much running to the cap so we have an equal playing field.

“So to have two ownerships, I can tell you from sitting in the FIA and F1 Commission meetings the voting is always the same even when, in theory, it shouldn’t be in one of the team’s best interests.

“We’ve seen it on track, some collaborations going on, and then technically they’ve been very forthright in where they’re going to take the suspension, etc.

“The definition of a constructor is a team who develops their own IP, so I just think the sport’s now moved on to an equal playing field.

“To have A-B relationships, to have co-ownership of two teams, I think isn’t a level playing field.

“That’s not what the fans expect and so the FIA really needs to do something about it.”

Red Bull are poised to become the final team to formally launch their 2024 car on Thursday after the new RB20 was spotted during a shakedown at Silverstone earlier this week.

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