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Horner: Red Bull deserve to be ‘applauded’ for owning two teams

Row over Red Bull's ownership of sister team RB is deepening on eve of new season

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Red Bull CEO and Team Principal Christian Horner has hit out at recent criticisms of its two-team operation in F1.

Yuki Tsunoda testing the RB VCARB 01 in Bahrain (Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images)
Yuki Tsunoda testing the RB VCARB 01 in Bahrain (Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images)

Red Bull Racing CEO and Team Principal Christian Horner has rebuffed concerns that owning two teams provides a competitive advantage. McLaren CEO Zak Brown became the most vocal critic in recent weeks, asking for the FIA to intervene.

Concerns over Red Bull’s close ties with the team now known as VCARB RB have escalated in recent months. Red Bull confirmed a partnership between the teams for 2024 over the winter.

The team will share components with RB, including the rear and front suspension, clutches, gearbox, and rear impact structure. This agreement is based on 2023’s RB19, one of F1’s most dominant cars of all time.

Speaking on Wednesday to motorsport.com, Horner said that he could not understand the concerns. Defending his team, he said it was a “non-issue”:

 “I don’t understand the fuss about it. I don’t understand the noise that’s being created about it.

“And I think Red Bull should actually be applauded for the support and the commitment and the jobs that they’ve provided through the good times, and particularly the bad times. So for me, it really is a non-issue.”

Support for ‘separate team’

Horner confirmed that Red Bull’s commitment to its sister team never wavered through its challenging years or the COVID-19 pandemic:

Red Bull remained resolute, and they continued to support both teams through that difficult period.”

“The regulations then evolved, obviously, and the Faenza-based team had to become their own manufacturer. And so further investment was made in the infrastructure in Faenza.

“We then had COVID, where Red Bull once again stepped up and stuck by both teams in its entirety. In fact, Red Bull, were responsible for getting F1 going again after COVID with two races [in Austria] that were introduced, to get the sport going again following the pandemic.”

“So the commitment that Red Bull has made to F1, the commitment that Red Bull has made to these two teams, is outstanding and should be applauded. [We should] be grateful for it rather than derided and try to compromise.

“The two teams are totally separate. One is based in Italy. One is based in the UK, the one that is based in Italy has a far larger turnover of staff that end up in Maranello than end up in Milton Keynes. They have different personalities, they have different characters, and they comply continually with the regulations.

“Indeed, the relationship is far less tight than some of the teams that enjoy very tight relationships with their engine manufacturers.”

Horner also believed that the scrutiny over RB’s push forward up the grid was probably a sign that the team was doing the right things.

“I would take it as a compliment if I was Laurent [Mekies, team principal], that this issue is being raised now because, with a change of stewardship, the team has the opportunity to get its act together.

“They’ve got two quality drivers, they’re introducing quality people into that team, and we expect them to be a competitor, not just of the rest of the field, but indeed, of Red Bull Racing.

“We’re a team of racers. And there are no preset rules and there are no agreements between the teams.”

 

Feature Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images

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