Red Bull should be applauded, not criticised, over two-team ownership

The close alliance between the Red Bull squad and its sister RB operation has come under the spotlight recently, amid calls from McLaren boss Zak Brown for F1 to re-evaluate the regulations regarding co-operation between competitors

Brown believes that in the budget cap era, the time has come for F1 to ensure that all squads are independent, as he thinks this will avoid potentially unfair political, sporting or competitive advantages.

While Brown is clear that the issue relates entirely to the regulations that are in place right now, rather than anything that Red Bull and RB are doing, his public stance on the matter has not gone down well with Horner.

Speaking on the penultimate day of F1 testing about the team collaboration topic, Horner said: “I don’t understand the fuss about it. I don’t understand the noise that’s being created about it.

“And I think Red Bull should actually be applauded for the support and the commitment and the jobs that they’ve provided through the good times, and particularly the bad times. So for me, it really is a non-issue.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Horner emphasised that the effort and commitment that Red Bull had made to F1 over the years it has been involved, including through the financial crisis in 2008, was not something that should be overlooked.

Reflecting on how Red Bull helped save the former Minardi team and invest it in over the years, Horner said: “Red Bull remained resolute, and they continued to support both teams through that difficult period.

“The regulations then evolved, obviously, and the Faenza-based team had to become their own manufacturer. And so further investment was made in the infrastructure in Faenza.

“We then had COVID, where Red Bull once again stepped up and stuck by both teams in its entirety. In fact, Red Bull, were responsible for getting F1 going again after COVID with two races [in Austria] that were introduced, to get the sport going again following the pandemic.”

He added: “So the commitment that Red Bull has made to F1, the commitment that Red Bull has made to these two teams, is outstanding and should be applauded. [We should] be grateful for it rather than derided and try to compromise.

“The two teams are totally separate. One is based in Italy. One is based in the UK, the one that is based in Italy has a far larger turnover of staff that end up in Maranello than end up in Milton Keynes. They have different personalities, they have different characters, and they comply continually with the regulations.

“Indeed, the relationship is far less tight than some of the teams that enjoy very tight relationships with their engine manufacturers.”

Horner also believed that the scrutiny over RB’s push forward up the grid was probably a sign that the team was doing the right things.

“I would take it as a compliment if I was Laurent [Mekies, team principal], that this issue is being raised now because, with a change of stewardship, the team has the opportunity to get its act together.

“They’ve got two quality drivers, they’re introducing quality people into that team, and we expect them to be a competitor, not just of the rest of the field, but indeed, of Red Bull Racing.

“We’re a team of racers. And there are no preset rules and there are no agreements between the teams.”

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