Christian Horner rejects concerns about Red Bull/AlphaTauri links

Jaden Diaz
21 Jan, 2024

Amidst concerns being raised by rivals, Christian Horner denies suggestions that Red Bull and AlphaTauri’s partnership needs to be revisited. The Austrian outfit faces growing pressure from about the relationship with its second team.

Despite claiming last year’s F1 Championship in dominant fashion, there was no shortage of activity at Red Bull.

From driver swaps to infrastructural changes at AlphaTauri, last year was significant at several different levels. However, it is the latter of these evolutions that is sparking conversation at the paddock.

Red Bull was unsatisfied with AlphaTauri’s start to the 2023 season, with the Faenza-based outfit languishing near the bottom of the order.

This triggered a series of changes at the reigning Champion’s second team. Most significantly, the two squads will now collaborate more extensively in their development.

Rather than pursue its own philosophy, AlphaTauri will follow the proven concept of Adrian Newey’s technical team.

The final third of last season’s campaign – culminating in a floor upgrade at Abu Dhabi – was proof of the potential of this partnership.

Horner defends Red Bull and AlphaTauri partnership

However, Christian Horner maintains that this arrangement is within the regulations:

“AlphaTauri is owned by the same shareholders as Red Bull Racing,” he told Sky Sports. 

“But of course, the way they operate is independent from Red Bull Racing. 

“They take benefit of the parts that are allowed to be transferred, like the gearbox and the suspension and so on. 

“In the same way that Williams and Aston Martin have done so with Mercedes, or Haas with Ferrari.”

The Red Bull team principal is correct to point out that collaboration is a well-established part of Formula 1.

In this sense, his team and AlphaTauri are well within the bounds of the regulations.

Still, there will be questions about whether an outfit that is basically guaranteed to be slower than the first team is a positive for the sport.

This becomes especially significant as both manufacturer and customer teams show greater ambition than ever before to compete at the sharp end in Formula 1.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang