Laurent Mekies, the team principal of the newly rebranded RB team, pinpointed the downside of his team's close collaboration with Red Bull.
RB. or Visa Cash App RB (formerly known as AlphaTauri
) is a sister team of Red Bull Racing. Quite uniquely, the two teams are 100% owned by the same parent company - Red Bull GmbH.
Red Bull Racing has had a very dominant car over the course of the last two seasons, and the CEO of RB, Peter Bayer, stated his team plans to fully take advantage of the relationship with Red Bull going into 2024.
This means that RB will take as many transferable parts from Red Bull as possible. During the recent launch of his team's new car, VCARB 01
, Laurent Mekies told the media:
"We are in a situation where we have one owner of two teams, and of course we are asked – ‘what can we share?’ We should share. We look at the rules and do the sharing that we can do."
"It also comes with a down side. For example, if you take someone else’s gearbox, which many teams do, you have to wait until the team has designed the gearbox to understand where your suspension points will be – which affects your aerodynamic decisions. There are compromises."
"The rules are crystal clear about what you have to do yourself and what you can buy. Historically, for example, it is accepted that you buy your power unit from a third party."
There are, in fact, more teams on the F1 grid that buy power units compared to those that produce them as of the season 2024. However, power units are not the only components that can be shared.
"Along with the power unit, you can buy the gearbox and suspension – those are the main parts you can buy if you choose to do so."
Nevertheless, Mekies highlighted that his team still has to build most of the car and suggested that is where the main differences are made.
"The rules ensure that you do the rest of the car yourself – your chassis, your aerodynamics, your cooling systems, everything that affects performance – that is something that defines manufacturers and the rules are very clear."