Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has played down the criticism of his squad's close relationship with the AlphaTauri team.
Media reports in recent weeks have suggested that there is dissatisfaction over the collaboration between Red Bull and AlphaTauri.
Red Bull has owned two Formula 1 teams on the grid ever since it purchased Minardi and rebranded it to Toro Rosso in 2006.
Next year's campaign is set to see the two squads work as closely together as the F1 regulations permit but in a recent meeting, other teams reportedly called for new rules to limit the extent of the ties.
However, Horner played down the significance of the partnership, pointing to other existing affiliations on the grid.
When asked if the collaboration between Red Bull and AlphaTauri could narrow the difference in performance, Horner told media including RacingNews365: “I have no idea.
“It's down to the quality of people that will be in the team. Of course, there are certain components that we can supply, as is the case with Ferrari and Mercedes who supply two Grand Prix teams with gearboxes, suspension, simulation tools and wind tunnel.
“That's an identical relationship between the companies. Of course, it's then down to them how they use those tools and you can see that McLaren has used the tools in certain respects better than their supplier has done in the second half of the year.
“So it's really down to them how they make use of what they're permitted within the regulations.”
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'Awful long way from the pink Mercedes'
In 2020, Racing Point (now Aston Martin) caused a stir when it unveiled a car that appeared highly similar to the dominant Mercedes car from the year before.
Horner has asserted that the current situation within the Red Bull family is far away from the copy that Racing Point produced almost four years ago.
“We're an awfully long way away from the pink Mercedes,” Horner stated.
“There are some transferable components that are clearly listed within the regulations that you're allowed to supply and that's what they get.
“When you look at the car, there's quite fundamental differences between that car and a Red Bull racing car.
“Arguably, there are other cars on the grid which are far closer in concept than the AlphaTauri is.
“You just have to look at Aston Martin or even McLaren. If you look around the rear suspension of the McLaren, it’s very close in concept to that of our own.”