At the end of April, McLaren team principal Zak Brown caused quite a stir in Formula 1. In an open letter he expressed his concerns about the extent to which customer teams are linked to factory teams of the engine supplier, with certain outfits sometimes agreeing with the engine supplier against their own interests. An 'unhealthy development', Brown called it.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner stated this was Brown's way of pointing out that McLaren is feeling that kind of pressure from Mercedes, who supply the team with their power units. In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365.com he elaborates on the subject.
"I find it quite amusing because we see on so many occasions, there's a look down the line to see how an engine supplier votes, and then the hands go up accordingly. It's always like they're on a string," Horner said, though he is the first to admit that Red Bull and AlphaTauri also coordinate their votes. However he explained why there is no conflict of interest between the teams.
"AlphaTauri and Red Bull have 100 percent the same ownership, which is the only two teams in F1 that have that. So of course we will vote in common way that benefits the group, because we are subsidiaries of the group, so to expect anything different would be....yeah, not going to happen."
Incidentally, Franz Tost's words during Friday's press conference in Spain are somewhat at odds with those of Horner.
Tost was asked by RacingNews365.com if he votes in line with another team, which in the case of AlphaTauri would be Red Bull. His answer: "We vote for what is in the interests of AlphaTauri."
However, the interests of Red Bull and AlphaTauri look to be intertwined, at least according to Horner.