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Zak Brown

Brown calls for swift changes to Red Bull/AlphaTauri alliance

Zak Brown has previously been vocal about Red Bull and AlphaTauri's close Formula 1 alliance, and the McLaren CEO has now called for rapid changes to be made.

Zak Brown
To news overview © XPB

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has called for “swift” changes to be made to Formula 1’s rules regarding how closely two teams can collaborate.

Brown wrote an open letter late last year in which he took aim at the relationship between Red Bull and AlphaTauri, which is set to strengthen this year.

Red Bull has owned AlphaTauri (previously known as Toro Rosso) since 2006 and has often used it as a team to field its junior drivers.

A closer technical alliance is set to be undertaken by the two teams this year, with AlphaTauri purchasing as many parts from Red Bull as allowed by the technical regulations.

Brown has doubled down on his disagreement with the relationship by labelling the set-up as “outdated” amid the introduction of the budget cap in 2021.

"I think everything is pretty clear what the rules are," Brown told media including RacingNews365.

“However, I think the rules need to be reviewed and modified quickly. I think the A-B team ownership is now outdated for the reasons they were put in place many years ago.

“It was before we had a budget cap and had a huge disparity between our budget, Mercedes’ budget and the Force Indias of the world. It was intended to help the smaller teams.

“Now that we have a budget cap that I believe everybody is pretty much running at, it's a much more financially fair [and] equal playing field.

“Therefore we need to maintain fairness for the fans and fairness for the sport. To have teams teaming up, I think is against the spirit of what the definition of a Constructor is.”

Red Bull also benefitting

Red Bull enjoyed a highly dominant campaign last year with 21 Grands Prix wins from 22, as Max Verstappen cruised to his third World Championship.

As McLaren looks to make gains towards the head of the field, Brown added that Red Bull, not only AlphaTauri, is benefitting from the close collaboration.

“I think not only does it help the B team, I believe it also helps the A team. This isn't about one team benefiting, I think both teams benefit. Every other major sport, to my knowledge, does not allow it.

“You can imagine if an A and a B team and the final game of the year of the Premier League where if the B team loses, they get relegated.

“That's not a position you want to have [in] sport and where the fans question what's going on on the field of play and [if] it's fair.

“So there are the rules, which I think need to be reviewed quickly. F1 always has rules and I wouldn't want to say because I don't know who pushes the envelope, that’s got a long history, not just around A-B team relationships, but a variety of rules.

“But I think they need to be addressed quickly to make sure that we have 10 independent Constructors.”

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