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RB hits back after renewed Brown criticism of Red Bull links

The McLaren Team Principal has urged changes to be made to the F1 rules around team ownership.

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To news overview © XPBimages

RB Team Principal Laurent Mekies has hit back at Zak Brown's criticism of the links enjoyed by the team with the senior Red Bull team.

Brown has become increasingly concerned in recent months over the fact that Red Bull GmbH owns both Red Bull Racing and the RB squad, which was AlphaTauri.

RB is set to open a facility on the Red Bull technology campus in Milton Keynes, and the team is enjoying a closer technical alliance with the reigning World Champions by taking as many transferable components (previously non-listed parts), such as gearboxes and the suspension as the rules permit.

At the F1 Commission meeting in Abu Dhabi at the end of last season, team bosses reportedly raised concerns about the two teams using the same wind-tunnel facility, with Brown calling on the FIA to step in and outlaw such an ownership model which he believes is out-dated.

What exactly did Brown say?

"The sport continues to evolve and we now have the budget cap in place, which was intended to and is working for the most part to bring a level playing field to the sport fiscally and in every other manner," Brown told media including RacingNews365.

"No other major sport, to my knowledge, allows co-ownership of teams that compete against each other, so I think the sport now as moved to where we are trying to have 10 independent teams, from a sporting, political or technical point of view.

"They're playing by the rules, and I have an issue with the rules, and believe that by addressing this, and as Helmut [Marko] has stated, he is going to maximise the opportunity, which is what you'd do if you have two teams and the rules are as they are today.

"But the intent of all sports is to have an equal playing field, and the way the rules are currently written, it is not.

"You could have pockets of teams or A/B teams, and that doesn't have that level playing field - so I think we now need to address it, the FIA needs to address it in the rules."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

The RB response

"There are a few aspects there, and what Zak is saying, there are undoubtedly regulations and advice around the regulations," Mekies added.

"It is also good to remember why we have these regulations to allow us to share some of the components. There are two major reasons for it.

"The first is that as a sport, we wanted to have a closed-up field, less time between the guy who is winning and [and the field].

"It [was done] by allowing some components to be shared to avoid having too much spread between the top and bottom of the grid.

"If you look at the results of the championship last year, if you add up only the scores from the bottom four teams (Williams, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo and Haas), we didn't even make up what [Alpine] did for sixth position (83 points vs 120, respectively).

"So if you look at the championship, there is still quite a large spread, which means the cars are struggling at the back to get a few points.

"The second reason why the regulations were sought in this way is to offer whoever wants to take it a more sustainable business model.

"Yes, we are in a very good [place] commercially and the investment in Formula 1 is fantastic, however, there's a simple reality that most of the teams shareholders are putting money into it.

"Before removing what is a more sustainable business model, we need to have a long-term view on what is is going to do for the sport over the next few years."

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