Peter Bayer Counters McLaren’s Call for Rule Changes Over Red Bull Alliance

The partnership between VCARB formerly known as AlphaTauri and Oracle Red Bull Racing is taking a significant step forward, coinciding with a notable rebranding for the team formerly known as AlphaTauri over the past four years.

The unveiling of RB’s 2024 car, named VCARB-01, last week, drew attention for its philosophical parallels with Red Bull’s approach.

Formula 1’s rules rigorously limit data exchange among independent teams, though certain components can be acquired from others.

Red Bull’s pledge to align the operations of the two teams as much as permitted by the regulations has sparked concerns among competitors.

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren, has advocated for amendments to the regulations to prevent such collaborations from being permissible, aiming to preserve competitive equity.

In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365, Bayer indicated that the recent expressions of concern stem from a fear of a shift in competitive dynamics.

He explained, “In Formula 1, success quickly makes you a target of envy,” highlighting that a team’s visibility is directly tied to its performance.

“As long as you’re last, people will not even realise you’re there. As soon as you start knocking on the door, they will throw everything at you that they can.

Having previously served as the Executive Director of Formula 1 at the FIA, Bayer is well-acquainted with the level of scrutiny teams face, particularly when collaborating closely.

“I’m coming from the FIA [where he held the role of Executive Director Formula 1] and I know how much scrutiny there is on all of the teams.

“Certainly, there is even more scrutiny when it comes to the teams working closer together. The rules are very clear.

“You might have seen the statement of the FIA, when they looked at our car, [they said] ‘this is a different concept’. There is nothing that concerns us.”

Historically, the team has struggled to break beyond sixth place in the annual standings under its previous incarnations as Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri.

Bayer argued that for RB to rise to the forefront, assistance from a well-established constructor is essential. He emphasized the importance of competing fairly but vigorously.

He noted that the cumulative points of the lowest four teams fall short of the sixth-place team’s tally, illustrating the significant resource and efficiency battle in Formula 1.

Bayer advocated for the necessity of support, particularly financial and material, for lower-ranked teams to remain competitive against those with superior qualifying performance and financial capabilities.

“It’s important for us because we want to be tough but fair competitors,” he said.

“The other thing I keep saying is if you look at the World Championship rankings from last year, you add the points from the bottom four teams, they have less than the team in P6.

“So what does it mean? It means that ultimately Formula 1 is a battle of resources [and] nowadays, also efficiency. And I believe that the teams which are further back in the rankings, they need a certain amount of support.

“That’s mainly through financial [means], pieces of product supply to actually remain competitive.

“The others, they will out-qualify and out-pay, be it on drivers, be it on certain investments on the CapEx side. In my eyes, it’s the wrong approach.

“The financial reality is a given today, and it’s not that all the 10 teams are making money. We have to be careful [not] to overreact to the paranoia of certain people.”