Christian Horner makes subtle Mercedes dig amid copying concerns

Racing Point were docked points and fined in 2020 for copying Mercedes' car too much, resulting in the nickname the 'Pink Mercedes'.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has rubbished claims of working too closely with AlphaTauri by making a subtle dig at Mercedes and how similar their car was to an opponent’s in 2020.

There are some concerns amongst the paddock about how much closer AlphaTauri are set to work with their sister team in 2024, following their troubling couple of campaigns.

AlphaTauri are set to embark on a complete rebrand ahead of the new season, whilst CEO Peter Bayer has already confirmed that the side will take as many parts from Red Bull as they legally can.

This is allowed, with other powertrain suppliers like Mercedes and Ferrari often giving parts like gearboxes and rear suspension to their customer outfits.

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However, there is some worries that AlphaTauri could also adapt a similar development plan in 2024, to get them closer to the frontrunners.

AlphaTauri ran a new floor at the recent Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, resulting in some questions being asked as to whether the side were testing something for Red Bull’s next challenger.

Working too closely to another team can result in the FIA intervening, as was the case in 2020 when it was discovered that Racing Point – now known Aston Martin – had breached rules as to how similar their rear brake ducts were to Mercedes’.

As a result, the FIA docked them 15 points and fined them €400,000, with Racing Point’s car having been dubbed the ‘Pink Mercedes’ as a result.

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Horner has stressed that AlphaTauri’s and Red Bull’s relationship is a long way from that and insisted that AlphaTauri’s car was an “awful long way” from repeating what Racing Point did back in 2020.

“We’re an awful long way from a pink Mercedes,” Horner confessed, as reported by

“There are some transferable components which are clearly listed within the regulations you’re allowed to supply, and that’s what they get.

“When you look at the car, there are quite fundamental differences between that car and a Red Bull Racing car. And arguably, there are other cars on the grid that are far closer in concept (to the RB19) than AlphaTauri is.

“You’ve only got to look at an Aston Martin, or even a McLaren. If you look around the rear suspension of a McLaren, it’s very close in concept to that of our own.”

Whilst AlphaTauri’s design won’t be too similar to Red Bull’s, Horner does admit that they will receive some parts from the Milton Keynes-based side.

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However, the Red Bull boss has noted that it’s no different to what Mercedes and Ferrari already do with their customer outfits.

“Of course, there are certain components that we can supply, as is the case with Mercedes and Ferrari that supply current grand prix teams with gearboxes, suspensions and simulation tools, and wind tunnel (time),” Horner added.

“That is an identical relationship between the companies, and of course, it is then down to them how they use those tools.”