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Red Bull Racing

The techncial loophole that Red Bull and Visa Cash App RB could exploit

The intense collaboration between Red Bull and Visa Cash App RB, formerly known as AlphaTauri, has raised eyebrows in the F1 paddock. Paolo Filisetti, technical expert for RacingNews365, explains what is and is not allowed on the technical front.

Ricciardo Brazil
To news overview © XPBimages

After McLaren CEO Zak Brown repeatedly expressed concerns to the close cooperation between Red Bull and Visa Cash App RB, it could turn out to be a problem for rival teams. The fact that the Red Bull group owns both teams could create an obvious conflict of interest.

It is worth emphasizing that the competitiveness of Visa Cash App RB is not the only thing causing raised eyebrows in the paddock. It has much more to do with to what extent the cars of Red Bull and Visa Cash App RB are similar next season.

The team's set up with Red Bull will see some of Visa Cash App RB personnel moving to the Milton Keynes factory of the defending champions. While Faenza will remain the operational hub for the team, there is a more subtle threat to the rival outfits...

How Red Bull could benefit

It is not forbidden for two cars to be very similar in appearance, provided it is the result of an external observation of a rival car and it leads to an independent design process of the part in question.

Similar cars are not necessarily evidence of illegal behavior, but it can lead to it. If there is a great similarity between two cars, it may indicate a very similar aero concept between the two teams. It can be used in a clever way to circumvent the rules regarding intellectual property. That is related to specific developments.

If the general aerodynamic concept is the same, some aerodynamic developments can follow a common path. This is related to the new regulations around the wind tunnel and computer simulations. The number of hours will be based on the final ranking of the Constructors' Championship in the previous year, so those in last will get the most hours while the champions wil get the least.

Red Bull won the constructors' championship and thus has fewer wind tunnel and CFD hours compared to the other teams, while Visa Cash App can have almost double the number of hours. Therefore, Visa Cash App is likely to have wind tunnel and CFD time left in the second half of the season. They can legally use these resources to develop, but if the car is a clone of Red Bull, the legal development could be brilliantly shared as separate data.

It is very difficult for the FIA and the stewards, who are analyzing the drawings of the parts, to control. Visa Cash App continues to develop and something similar may occasionally be performed on the Red Bull car. In other words, Red Bull's amount of aerodynamics could be exceeded, without any evidence from the FIA and rival teams. This is quite apart from the strict control measures already in place.

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