AlphaTauri says the number of parts it purchases from Red Bull will increase only modestly for 2024 relative to this season.
Since 2019, AlphaTaurti has leveraged its affiliation with Red Bull Racing through the synergy programme that links the two teams.
In recent years, the Faena-based outfit has increased the number of parts it is allowed to purchase from its Milton Keynes-based sister team, although that number has always remained below the threshold permitted by F1's technical regulations.
Currently, AlphaTauri’s AT04 uses a Red Bull-designed rear suspension and shares the same engine and gearbox, but it designs its own front suspension.
Earlier this year, after mulling an outright sale of AlphaTauri, parent company Red Bull ultimately opted to restructure the team on several fronts.
A reshuffling of its aero department took place last spring, but in a bid to crucially reduce costs – in line with F1’s budget cap – an increase in synergy parts usage was also planned for 2024, leading to speculation that AlphaTauri could run a ‘clone’ of RBR’s dominant RB19 in 2024.
However, AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton has clarified the magnitude of the collaboration between Red Bull’s two outfits next season.
“Since we started synergy in 2019, the parts we’ve selected off the menu have been different, and for next year will be slightly different again,” he explained, quoted by Autosport.
“Relative to this year, a bit more. Relative to a couple of the previous years, probably about the same.
“At the end of the day, there’s a notional value consideration for customer teams. So, when you start purchasing parts from supplying teams, you’ve got to keep an eye on the budget. But we’ll maximise what’s available to us as we try to do as much as we can.”
Following Red Bull’s scrutiny of AlphaTauri’s management and the decisions it engendered, the outside perception was that the team had lost part of its autonomy, especially on the engineering front.
Although Egginton understands where that impression is coming from, he denied that the Italian outfit was now marching to Red Bull’s orders.
“I’ve read on occasions how it is communicated through the press, but the bottom line is, there are three sets of regulations, sporting, technical, and financial,” he said.
“[Red Bull] headquarters are saying maximise what you can do.
“It has become a bit more public lately, for various reasons, and we’re encouraged to look at everything and explore every area. But there’ll be some things that we can’t take.
“It has become a bit more of a thing. We’re less competitive, so people are saying ‘You’re not quick enough, what are you doing?’
“In 2020 and 2021, when the car was competitive, it wasn’t really talked about. We took some Red Bull bits, so be it.
“So yeah, we’re being encouraged. But it’s not really a case of control.
“But it’s good to know that the guys in headquarters have got our back and are encouraging both teams to really maximise what they can do under the regulations.”