Christian Horner has come out strongly along with Laurent Mekies after Zak Brown once again floats the Red Bull-owned two F1 teams topic.

The press conference once again saw a similarly tuned question asked to McLaren’s Brown after his recent worry about Red Bull GmbH owning two F1 teams. In his post-2023 letter, he noted about this to be discussed and seemingly not allowed by the FIA.

His worry is about the global nature of the sport and them allowing two teams being co-owned by the same company, which he hasn’t seen in any other major competition. He knows the component sharing is allowed within the rules, but he is not after that per se.

He is mostly against the idea of two teams competing against each other in the public, but is co-owned by the same parent company. Brown got a ready answer from Visa Cash App RB’s Mekies and even Red Bull’s Horner on the matter.

Mekies cited about the need for component sharing as a rule to survive in F1, since it is a bit more sustainable way to remain in the sport. Horner, meanwhile, took the media into historic land where he noted why and how this co-ownership came about.

In fact, he thinks Red Bull should be applauded for consistent presence even in dire times and helping F1 in many ways other than ownership of teams. Horner rubbishes Brown’s claim as he doesn’t know what the fuss is about this topic.

Brown: “The sport continues to evolve. We now have a budget cap in place which I think was intended, and is working for the most part, to bring a level playing field to the sport, fiscally and in every other manner. No other major sport, to my knowledge, allows co-ownership of two teams that compete against each other. So I think the sport, as we’re now in the budget cap era, has moved on to where we’re trying to have 10 independent teams from the sporting and the political, from a technical point of view.

“Simply, I think they’re very much playing by the rules, I have an issue with the rules. I believe the FIA needs to address this. As Helmut has stated, he’s going to maximise the opportunity, which is what you would do if you owned two teams and the rules are what they are today. But I think we’re going to find, if the intent of the cap and in all sports is to have an equal playing field in the way the rules are currently written, aren’t the same for everyone. You have pockets of teams, also the whole A/B team situation – that doesn’t have that level playing field. So I think we now need to address it, and the FIA needs to address it for the rules.”

Mekies: “I think there are few aspects there as he is saying, the first is undoubtedly, there are regulations. Our job is to maximise things within these regulations. I think it’s also good to remember why we have these regulations that allow us to share some of the components. There are two major reasons for that. The first one is that, as a sport, we wanted to have a closer field, and less lap time difference between the guy who is winning, and the guy who is 10th. It was felt that, by allowing some components to be shared, it would avoid having too much spread between the top and the bottom of the grid. If you look at the results of the championship last year, and if you add up the points scored by the bottom four teams, we don’t even make it up the points that the team made in the sixth position.

“If you look at the face of the championship results, there is still quite a large spread between the guys struggling at the back to get a few points and what is happening in the midfield. The second reason why the regulations were sought in this way is to offer to whoever wants to take it, a more sustainable business model. Yes, we are in a very good string of years now, commercially, and in terms of Formula One, it’s fantastic. However there is simple reality that most of the team’s shareholders are still losing money, I think before removing what is a more sustainable alternative, we need to have a bit of a long-term view on what it’s going to do for the sport in the next few years.”

Horner: “Firstly, Red Bull owns two football teams [RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg] that compete in the Champions League – which is one of the biggest sporting competitions in the world. One has to take a look back at the history of where this started, where and why the ownership is as it is now. Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley approached Dietrich Mateschitz back in 2005 to acquire what was then the Minardi Formula 1 team which was perenially struggling and on the brink of bankruptcy. Dietrich stepped in, he acquired the team, shored it up, and then invested significantly in their Faenza facilities in Italy. We then faced the financial crisis in 2008, as other manufacturers chose that opportunity to leave the sport. I think four of them left at that point, but Red Bull remained resolute and continued to support both teams through that difficult period.

“The regulations then evolved and Faenza had to become its own manufacturer, so investment was made in the infrastructure. We then had COVID, where Red Bull again stepped up and stuck by both teams. In fact, Red Bull was responsible for getting F1 going again after COVID with two races that were introduced after the pandemic. So the commitment that Red Bull has made to F1 and these two teams is outstanding and should be applauded and be grateful for rather than derided and trying to compromise. The two teams are totally separate. One is based in Italy. One is based in the UK, the one that is based in Italy has a far larger turnover of staff that end up in Maranello than end up in Milton Keynes. They have different personalities, they have different characters, and they comply continually with the regulations.

“Indeed, the relationship is far less tight than some of the teams that enjoy very tight relationships with their engine manufacturers. I would take it as a compliment if I was Laurent, that this issue is being raised now because, with a change of stewardship, the team has the opportunity to get its act together. They’ve got two quality drivers, they’re introducing quality people into that team, and we expect them to be a competitor, not just of the rest of the field, but indeed, of Red Bull Racing. We’re a team of racers. And there are no preset rules and there are no agreements between the teams. And I think you can pick out many highlights or scenarios where that has been the case over the years, with even Toro Rosso cars parking in our pit garage during a championship-deciding race.

“So I don’t understand the fuss about it, I don’t understand the noise that has been created about it, and I think Red Bull should actually be applauded for the support, the commitment and the jobs they have provided through the good times and particularly the bad times. So for me, it really is a non-issue.”

Here’s last from Zak Brown on this topic

Here’s Toto Wolff on Christian Horner’s case

Here’s F1 wanting quick clarification

Here’s Red Bull trio on current situation

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