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FIA reveal new measures to prevent 'heavily illegal' F1 collaboration

FIA reveal new measures to prevent 'heavily illegal' F1 collaboration

FIA reveal new measures to prevent 'heavily illegal' F1 collaboration

FIA reveal new measures to prevent 'heavily illegal' F1 collaboration

FIA single-seater chief Nikolas Tombazis has said that there is no evidence that Alpha Tauri and Red Bull were working together to fast-track solutions to their cars in 2023, but wants to audit teams in the future to ensure such laws aren't being broken.

AlphaTauri's resurgence at the back end of the season is widely believed to be down to a number of aerodynamic updates that led many to question whether Formula 1's dominant force were helping their sister team a little too much.

In fact, the Faenza-based outfit managed to pick up 20 points in the final five races of the season, having picked up just five in the first 17.

Although this increased performance didn't enable them to catch up to seventh-placed Williams in the constructors' standings, Daniel Ricciardo's brilliant showings led to rumours swirling around the possibility of him replacing Sergio Perez at Red Bull.

AlphaTauri, formerly known as Toro Rosso, have been Red Bull's sister team on the grid since 2006
AlphaTauri experienced a late-season resurgence during 2023
Racing Point's 2020 car was labelled a 'pink Mercedes', with some complaining that the car was too close to the world champions' 2019 car

Red Bull cleared of breaking rules

Now, Tombazis has said that there was no foul play found in the collaboration between Red Bull and AlphaTauri, but that more attention will be paid to close collaborations in the future.

“We check teams that are in close proximity to each other a lot more closely than we check completely independent teams, exactly to make sure this thing doesn't happen,” he told Motorsport.com.

“It has been a concern not only between the two teams mentioned, but also among other pairs of teams.

“We believe that AlphaTauri specifically does have quite different aerodynamic solutions to the other company, and we don't think there's any sign of any direct collaboration.

“Clearly, they are working hard and they have made a step forward. But I don't think it can be said it's due to collaboration. That said, collaboration, or making sure that no such thing happens, is one of the tricky parts of policing teams.

“We do need to audit and make sure that all of these teams are well segregated and so on. And we will be issuing some further guidances quite soon to just provide further information to the teams about how they can convince us none of that is happening. We're not underestimating the challenge and it is one of the difficulties we have.”

Nikolas Tombazis is confident no rules have been breached between Red Bull and AlphaTauri

Rule changes 'challenging'

One prominent discussion point revolves around the notion of utilising a single car to expedite the development of new components by exploring multiple development avenues. This approach was thought to be a potential reason why AlphaTauri initially struggled to keep up with the pace early in the season.

“That is obviously heavily illegal, because we have at times in the past checked similar components between teams and then got into their development process to see how they evolved,” Tombazis said on the matter.

“I don't think there's something like that happening at the moment. We have checked and we have a process to check. Is it easy? No, I'm not saying it's easy, it's always sort of a challenge.”

READ MORE: F1 team confirm 'complete rebrand' for 2024 season

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