AlphaTauri reveals controversial Red Bull strategy

AlphaTauri is looking to move towards closer collaboration with Red Bull after the RB19’s dominant season.

AlphaTauri plans to incorporate more parts from Red Bull into its car design for the 2024 season. 

This strategic shift comes as AlphaTauri looks to improve its performance, having struggled during the 2023 season.

Despite Red Bull Racing’s dominant performance in 2023, winning all but one of the 16 races, AlphaTauri finds itself at the bottom of the championship table with just five points. 

The team is at risk of achieving its worst championship result since Red Bull’s ownership began 18 years ago.

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The two teams have been using the same power units, known as Honda RBPT, since 2019, and have shared some components. 

However, AlphaTauri opted for a divergent approach in certain areas of car design this year, prompting Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko to advocate for a closer alignment between the teams.

AlphaTauri’s Technical Director, Jody Egginton, confirmed this change in approach, stating, “Since we started this synergy in 2019, the parts we’ve selected off the menu have been different, and for next year, it’ll be slightly different again.” 

He explained that the selection of parts would align more closely with Red Bull’s design for the 2024 season.

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Egginton also emphasised the importance of budget considerations when selecting parts from the supplying team but assured that AlphaTauri would maximise the available options to enhance their performance.

The decision to align more closely with Red Bull’s design philosophy has received support from the top management of both teams. 

Egginton stated, “The bottom line is there’s three sets of regulations – sporting, technical, and financial – and headquarters are saying ‘maximise what you can do.’ 

They’re encouraging us to maximise what we can do.”

He further explained that this shift in strategy has become more apparent due to AlphaTauri’s less competitive performance in the 2023 season, which has led to increased scrutiny of their approach.

AlphaTauri’s technical director clarified that the team had always sought to maximise the support from Red Bull but noted that the recent attention stems from their current challenges: “We’re less competitive so people are saying, ‘well, you’re not quick enough, what are you doing?’”

While Egginton did not specify whether the parts from Red Bull for 2024 would be current or older specifications, he highlighted that AlphaTauri had used two-year-old designs previously.

The team has brought several updates to its car in recent races and achieved its best result of the season in the Singapore Grand Prix. 

Egginton expressed satisfaction with the team’s progress, stating, “We appear to be in a good direction now, putting regular updates on the car.”

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However, the focus for AlphaTauri is on the substantial overhaul planned for the 2024 car. 

Egginton explained, “Our aerodynamic concept, although we haven’t got the highest performing car on the grid, is not a stand-out different one to anybody else.” 

He stressed that the chassis would undergo significant changes to align with the team’s vision while aiming to achieve their objectives more successfully.