Mekies hits back at Red Bull critic Zak Brown

Wed, 28 February 2024, 09:00

Feb.28 (GMM) Laurent Mekies, the new boss of Red Bull’s rebranded second Formula 1 team, has hit back hard at suggestions the two outfits are now far too closely aligned.

Dropping the Alpha Tauri name and reverting to the awkward Visa Cash App RB moniker for 2024 has coincided with key changes at the latter – much of which is centred around created more synergies with the senior team Red Bull Racing.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has been the most outspoken, urging the FIA to clamp down on what he refers to as ‘B teams’ – but Mekies says Red Bull and RB are doing nothing wrong.

“We respect the regulations 100 percent,” he told Ouest France newspaper.

“If anyone has any doubts about this, let them explain their doubts. The FIA will carry out an investigation and show the results.”

Mekies notes that Red Bull having two teams now dates back a full two decades, during which time the rules have become “extremely clear on what a team can and cannot share with another team”.

“We are a sport where it is very difficult to copy another car, so sharing an engine, a gearbox, a suspension, does not allow us – unfortunately – to have the level of performance of the team that gives us these elements. Otherwise it would be too easy,” he said.

The Frenchman said Red Bull is being wrongly demonised for its A-B team collaboration.

“It’s a fear not in reality,” said Mekies, “because we have ten years of history which shows that it has never miraculously allowed a team to make a leap in performance.

“If we want to make this leap, that’s not what it’s going to happen through. It is through investments, recruitment, strengthening, organising the team in a sustainable way.”

One of Zak Brown’s biggest concerns, however, is that ‘A-B’ team collaborations hands Red Bull an advantage in other ways – like an effectively doubled political influence.

“It doesn’t change anything,” Mekies hits back, “neither in the work we have to do to become more competitive – hence the strengthening of the team which becomes more independent every day – nor in our freedom and duty to fight with the nine other teams on the track.

“We buy certain components from Red Bull,” he admits, “but we remain independent competitors.”

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