Le Mans winner Richard Bradley believes it is not out of the question that Red Bull could find a legal way to give their RB19 challenger to AlphaTauri for next season.
With Red Bull’s junior team struggling once more in F1 2023, scoring only three points across the opening 12 rounds, high-profile changes have been announced for the Faenza-based outfit, with more to come.
It is already known that former Ferrari race director Laurent Mekies will take over from the retiring Franz Tost as team principal, with Peter Bayer arriving as CEO. The team will also be renamed and will be required to use as many synergies with the main Red Bull team as allowed under the regulations.
AlphaTauri to run Red Bull RB19 in F1 2024?
The rumour was started recently that Red Bull’s junior squad would inherit the dominant RB19 for next season, the challenger which was won all 12 grands prix so far in F1 2023.
At first glance such talk seems wild, considering teams are not allowed to simply copy a rival car, never mind use one in the following season, though Bradley, an LMP2 class winner at Le Mans in 2015, can see how the regulations may allow that to happen.
While making it clear that only the FIA will know for sure whether this could come to pass, Bradley suggested the fact that Red Bull own and fund both teams could allow a loophole to be exploited whereby AlphaTauri, or ‘Hugo Boss Bulls Racing’ as is being teased as their next identity, could take over the RB19.
And if they do, Bradley says to expect that challenger to remain “very, very competitive” considering the stability of the regulations between 2023 and 2024.
“Honestly, with the regulations staying fairly stagnant next year, it really won’t make that big a difference,” he said on the On Track GP podcast. “So this year’s Red Bull will still be very, very competitive next year, no question, because of the level it’s at.
“It’s a different one with Red Bull and AlphaTauri slash Hugo Boss, or whatever it’s going to end up becoming, because Red Bull actually is the funding thing behind AlphaTauri.
“I don’t know how the licencing works. I don’t know how the naming of the licencing works and that’s something that only the FIA will know. But there might be a loophole there, whereby they can get away with giving it to AlphaTauri purely because they literally own and fund the team.
“So then you could argue that it’s actually coming from their own source and everything and it’s not a copycat thing. The copycat thing would be literally where someone just takes a lot of pictures and does a direct copy of it. So there could be some loopholes.
“If they do take that Red Bull next year, they will be seriously competitive, no question at all.”
It will now take the most incredible of turnarounds for Red Bull to be denied consecutive title doubles, with Max Verstappen 165 points clear of nearest non-Red Bull rival Fernando Alonso, while the Austrian outfit are 256 points clear of Mercedes at the top of the Constructors’ Championship.