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RB defends fresh onslaught against Red Bull ties

The collaboration between Red Bull and RB has been a major talking point throughout the winter.

Mekies Bahrain testing
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

RB Team Principal Laurent Mekies has again defended the team's close collaboration with parent team Red Bull and has invited any doubters to to ask the FIA for an investigation.

The Faenza-based outfit, formerly AlphaTauri and Toro Rosso, has opted to change racing philosophy for the new F1 season and has decided to create closer ties with Red Bull whilst also running a more experienced driver line-up in Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo, rather than junior drivers.

But the move has come alongside continued criticism, particularly from McLaren CEO Zak Brown, who has questioned the ability to own two teams out of 10 on the grid.

Offering a latest defence of his team, Mekies - who moved to RB from Ferrari - told media including RacingNews365: "There is a clear set of regulations and we operate 100 per cent within that set of regulations.

"We have to take every single extra precaution with the FIA to make sure they have zero doubt about how much we are operating within these regulations.

"I invite anyone, if there are any doubts on sporting, technical or financial regulations and whether we comply with them... they can go to the FIA and ask them to further investigate anything.

"This is the state of play in terms of the regulations as they are today - I am not saying they are right or wrong - but certainly I am saying we are operating in a black and white manner within these regulations."

Are the regulations fit for purpose?

A number of teams collaborate within the confines of the regulations across the F1 grid, with independent teams taking on a number of components from manufacturers.

Addressing whether the current regulations are fit for the sport, Mekies explained: "They mean that we are an independent team, that all the developments we are doing to make the team stronger tomorrow is to make the team more independent.

"So we are growing the team, we are growing our infrastructure, we are growing our facilities in order to be more and more independent tomorrow because that's the way we go faster.

"We are here to compete with the nine other teams that may be owned by the same shareholders or not. We compete as high as our competitiveness will allow us to do so.

"Are the regulations fit for purpose? We have said many times why we can share components, to avoid having too much of a spread between the guys at the top and the bottom three or four teams.

"We share some components in order to make sure we have a more sustainable business model for the guys that are at the bottom.

"For those at the bottom, it is a very different equation in terms of balancing accounts.

"If the regulations change tomorrow, if we thing that we don't want close racing anymore, it is ok to have a more spread-out field and if we feel the business is so good we can ask every single team to be bigger because they should do everything - suspension, gearbox, PU - it feels strange to be that optimistic about the economics of the years to come."

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