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Should one company or person be allowed to own and control more than one team? (Red Bull/AT - renamed)


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Poll: Is ownership of more than one F1 team an unacceptable conflict of interest (145 member(s) have cast votes)

Should one company or person be allowed to own and control more than one team?

  1. No, owning two teams is a prima facie conflict of interest (78 votes [53.79%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 53.79%

  2. Yes, teams have often helped each other, one owner controlling two teams is just an extension of that (67 votes [46.21%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 46.21%

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#1 New Britain

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:07

What do forum members think?

 

The freedom of a single owner to control two (or even three) teams has always been an anomaly of F1. As an engine or PU supplier, a works team has some potential leverage over its customer teams, but actually owning a second team takes that potential leverage to a new, more serious level.

 

The issue is compounded now that we have a cost cap. What is to prevent Red Bull (in this case) from moving engineers back-and-forth between itself and its subsidiary team with no intervening garden leave, effectively multiplying the development information that is available to both teams without incurring a cost-cap hit?

 

Owning two teams also enables the controlling team to swap around drivers as it sees fit, as Red Bull has often done through the years, with no worries about contract expiration or competitive bidding for those drivers.

 

New AT Team Principal Peter Bayer has already made it clear that he intends AlphaTauri/Racing Bulls to 'exploit the technical collaboration' between his team and the mother ship.

 

In properly run sports, there are strict rules forbidding the simultaneous ownership (even as a minority shareholder) of two teams: the risk of conflict of interest is simply inescapable. Then again, F1 has never been a properly run sport.


Edited by New Britain, 26 November 2023 - 17:08.


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#2 Benchulo

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:12

It's not fair in a sport, especially in a sport where there are only 10 teams competing to have 2 teams run by the same owner, IMO. I have always wondered why teams like Mercedes or Ferrari never seem to have any problem with this.

Edited by Benchulo, 26 November 2023 - 17:13.


#3 Capeta

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:31

They saved 2 teams that were going to close and a lot of jobs.
They became a force in the sport and now, people want it to be fair and to take it away from them. :rotfl:



#4 SenorSjon

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:32

Or F1 could allow mor.... Nevermind. They wanted 10 teams max, lie in the bed you made then.

#5 JimmyClark

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:32

It's not fair in a sport, especially in a sport where there are only 10 teams competing to have 2 teams run by the same owner, IMO. I have always wondered why teams like Mercedes or Ferrari never seem to have any problem with this.


Because rules will be hard to write to not allow ownership of two teams but also not to disallow satellite teams where engines are supplied. It's a boat they probably don't want to rock.

#6 pacificquay

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:33

They’ve had two teams for the best part of twenty years.

 

The secondary team has never been problematic before now, and I don’t think anything has materially changed.



#7 katmen

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:37

hmm there is personal connection between mercs a nd williams, there is collaboration agreement between ferrari and hass even a lot of ferrari staff landed in hass to solve dilemma of cost cap, top teams had satellite teams for a long periods in history,sauber ferrari collaboration is evident when they palced lecrec to hem alal rbr placed max to AT

etc end of discussion this is F1



#8 H0R

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:42

Red Bull is essentially the only 4 car team on the grid with three drivers working for  a lead  driver. I'd open up the possibility to enter 2 more cars for every other team interested to do so.



#9 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:52

To me it simply should not be allowed. It always have been a problem.

#10 Ruudbackus

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 17:57

How has alpha tauri influenced the championship exactly? It never has been a problem, so why is it now?



#11 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:04

How has alpha tauri influenced the championship exactly? It never has been a problem, so why is it now?

It always has been a problem.

#12 Ruudbackus

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:06

It always has been a problem.

But why? Or are we going at the Zandvoort 22 conspiracy again? It's not liek there are no ties between ferrari and haas or Mercedes and Williams for example.



#13 RoryFormula1

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:16

No they should be forced to sell the team. No other team has essentially full control of not just the team but the driver’s careers as well.

Ugh clicked the wrong choice in the poll

Edited by RoryFormula1, 26 November 2023 - 18:55.


#14 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:27

But why? Or are we going at the Zandvoort 22 conspiracy again? It's not liek there are no ties between ferrari and haas or Mercedes and Williams for example.

There are ties. But as far as I know Red Bull has far more control. Also I worry about the flow of information between the two. And also you can use this information to become stronger and gain an advantage. For this reason I also don't like we have so few engine manufacturers in F1.

#15 Benchulo

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:27

Because rules will be hard to write to not allow ownership of two teams but also not to disallow satellite teams where engines are supplied. It's a boat they probably don't want to rock.


If that's the case, Ferrari and Mercedes are missing a trick by not having a second team.

#16 Beri

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:34

They saved 2 teams that were going to close and a lot of jobs.
They became a force in the sport and now, people want it to be fair and to take it away from them. :rotfl:


Despite this being absolutely true, it's also almost 20 years ago that Red Bull made this decision. I don't think such an argument holds any ground anymore.

That being said; in the same 20 years this hasn't caused any issues in my book. Aside from the occasional vote that would offer Red Bull more power. But I can't recall any vote that would have been different had Red Bull not had 2 votes.

#17 BobbyRicky

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:35

This aint no problem all the time Force Racing Point Martin got to race that pink Mercedes-thing.

Now that was sketchy.

Edited by BobbyRicky, 26 November 2023 - 18:35.


#18 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:43

Odd this never seemed to be a problem when Mercedes dominated the field. Just throw anything at Red Bull to peg them back.



#19 Hinkypunk

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:45

This aint no problem all the time Force Racing Point Martin got to race that pink Mercedes-thing.

Now that was sketchy.

Or when a Mercedes junior driver lets Hamilton through in Monaco.



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#20 RoryFormula1

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:50

Or when a Mercedes junior driver lets Hamilton through in Monaco.


Or when Gasly let Max breeze by or Yuki destroying his race in Turkey to fight Lewis.

#21 RoryFormula1

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:51

Odd this never seemed to be a problem when Mercedes dominated the field. Just throw anything at Red Bull to peg them back.


If you claim that they’d be pegged back, doesn’t that imply that they are enjoying an advantage?

#22 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 18:53

Odd this never seemed to be a problem when Mercedes dominated the field. Just throw anything at Red Bull to peg them back.

Who is saying it wasn't a problem when Mercedes dominated the field? I have always been against it and I bet I am not alone.



#23 New Britain

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:14

They’ve had two teams for the best part of twenty years.

 

The secondary team has never been problematic before now, and I don’t think anything has materially changed.

Except you don't know that, do you?

How do we know, how could we ever know, if technical information is being exchanged between two teams that are controlled by the same owner?

In fact, we have the historical fact that in at least one season Red Bull and Toro Rosso had the same chassis, which was legal at the time only because of the ludicrous loophole that the chassis had been designed by a third company - also owned by Red Bull!



#24 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:17

If you claim that they’d be pegged back, doesn’t that imply that they are enjoying an advantage?

You missed the part where I said ‘just throw anything at Red Bull’? It was meant to be a variation on the saying ‘throw enough mud at the wall and some of it will stick’. Maybe should have said ‘try’ to peg them back, I certainly wasn’t implying what you’re saying.



#25 xstatic345

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:22

Odd this never seemed to be a problem when Mercedes dominated the field. Just throw anything at Red Bull to peg them back.


When Mercedes were dominating there was limtless spending and no restrictions on wind tunnel/CFD time. Now there are limits on all of these things so having multiple entities allows a smart organisation to maximise their workloads using the combined allocations.

Red Bull are lauded for not missing a trick, they are always on the edge of sporting and technical regulations. I find it hard to believe they are not gaming the system here. That is not to take anything away from their achievements, if the opportunity is there then perhaps everyone else needs to step up and find their own way to do the same.

#26 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:24

When Mercedes were dominating there was limtless spending and no restrictions on wind tunnel/CFD time. Now there are limits on all of these things so having multiple entities allows a smart organisation to maximise their workloads using the combined allocations.

Red Bull are lauded for not missing a trick, they are always on the edge of sporting and technical regulations. I find it hard to believe they are not gaming the system here. That is not to take anything away from their achievements, if the opportunity is there then perhaps everyone else needs to step up and find their own way to do the same.

So tell me how they do it? If you know it, FIA or their accountants surely will know too, no?



#27 Ben1980

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:26

Nope, 2 competing teams in the same competition should not be owned by one company. That should be obvious. But, that ship has sailed, should have been stopped at the start.

#28 P123

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:32

Odd this never seemed to be a problem when Mercedes dominated the field. Just throw anything at Red Bull to peg them back.

 

It was a problem previously when Red Bull dominated. :)  In terms of pegging back Red Bull, are you suggesting there is a benefit to be had competitively (edit- I see you clarified that's not what you meant!)?  I'd say that would make it a problem especially in the era of the budget cap and restrictions of wind tunnel use and CFD.

 

But, there is some irony in that it is a team that is meant to be middling, that there is no pressure to win... and yet it forms part of an organisation that is wholly against an 11th team over 'concern' as to what value they would bring to the championship.


Edited by P123, 26 November 2023 - 19:34.


#29 huggybear

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:37

But why? Or are we going at the Zandvoort 22 conspiracy again? It's not liek there are no ties between ferrari and haas or Mercedes and Williams for example.


The difference between the Red Bull ownership and the various other technical partnerships on the grid is that those partnerships allow for autonomy. They can choose to play along, but they can't be ordered to play along.
Everyone in both Red Bull owned teams answers to the same top management, which creates a direct conflict of interest. If Haas annoy FIAT, they can do a deal with Renault or Mercedes for PUs moving forward, but if Red Bull threaten to pull funding to AlphaTauri if they don't toe the line, they are screwed in a much more severe way and it makes them far more susceptible to sporting corruption.

#30 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:43

It was a problem previously when Red Bull dominated. :)  In terms of pegging back Red Bull, are you suggesting there is a benefit to be had competitively (edit- I see you clarified that's not what you meant!)?  I'd say that would make it a problem especially in the era of the budget cap and restrictions of wind tunnel use and CFD.

Don’t want to make this too big an issue P123, maybe it was discussed in the Vettel years as well, dunno. I don’t see how Red Bull can really benefit from having Alpha Tauri as a 2nd team, apart from testing their drivers. If there’s any evidence of Red Bull having an advantage in terms of the design or developing their car I may change my mind, but I don’t see how they can do it to be honest. I’m not the guy of gut feeling arguments and that’s all I’ve seen so far.



#31 loki

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:46

Since teams need to “add value” as stand alone entities with new entries requiring manufacturer support an engine program how does owning two teams add this nebulous value?

 

As for limiting ownership/car counts Nascar did it.  If a bunch of Mountain Williams from from Daytona can do it the self proclaimed “pinochle pinnacle of motorsport” should be able to do it.



#32 chrcol

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:47

They’ve had two teams for the best part of twenty years.

 

The secondary team has never been problematic before now, and I don’t think anything has materially changed.

You missed the budget cap?

 

Without a cap it didnt matter, now there is one (as well as wind tunnel limits).  I would say its a concern.  Maybe that new engine supplier could be made to buy AT instead of an entire new team which also squashes the concernes teams have about splitting the money more.



#33 Fastcake

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:47

Point of order: having the question in the thread title and the question in the poll being opposites is rather unhelpful.

 

I do not see any gain to the sport in continuing to allow one entity to control two teams, particularly when the sport is currently deciding to limit the grid to just 10 teams. Considering that Alpha Tauri (I almost wrote Toro Rosso there, old habits) is deliberately designed to be a midfield team at best, you don't have to get into the potential for interfering with the race, just the fact 10% of the grid has no interest in winning the championship, and that's enough to think Red Bull should be given their marching orders with the second team.

 

But there may be no need to formally do anything about it. There's a good chance they sell the team in the next few years anyway. Obviously that's been the rumour (denied of course like these things always are), but even without it Red Bull have had no strategy with the second team, and the driver programme is at an all time low.



#34 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:48

You missed the budget cap?

 

Without a cap it didnt matter, now there is one (as well as wind tunnel limits).  I would say its a concern.  Maybe that new engine supplier could be made to buy AT instead of an entire new team which also squashes the concernes teams have about splitting the money more.

You do realize their accounts are audited?



#35 chrcol

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:53

You do realize their accounts are audited?

It may be but I am not naive enough to think this wouldnt prevent anything.


Edited by chrcol, 26 November 2023 - 19:56.


#36 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 19:58

I think you naive if you think this would prevent anything.

I don’t think so. It’s not easy to just shift costs from one entity to another. You don’t only need to hide it from your accountant, but also from the tax authorities. Not even mentioning that Red Bull and AT (and their respective board of directors) would both have to be willing to commit fraud and run the risk of criminal prosecution.



#37 AV1

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:15

Given New Britain biased view, it can only be a very biased selection of 2 options.

 

These type of polls do always have a purpose. 



#38 xstatic345

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:24

So tell me how they do it? If you know it, FIA or their accountants surely will know too, no?


Of course I don't know it, never said I did.

In my imagination they can have a high level discussion between members of the teams, divide development options between them and go off and conduct initial investigation. Just filtering out the bad choices would be an advantage, no need for data to move between companies, no shared designs and no money changing hands.

#39 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:30

Don’t want to make this too big an issue P123, maybe it was discussed in the Vettel years as well, dunno. I don’t see how Red Bull can really benefit from having Alpha Tauri as a 2nd team, apart from testing their drivers. If there’s any evidence of Red Bull having an advantage in terms of the design or developing their car I may change my mind, but I don’t see how they can do it to be honest. I’m not the guy of gut feeling arguments and that’s all I’ve seen so far.

I would like to know how the flow of information goes. Does Red Bull have access to the telemetry and has access to how the testing goes, etc... from AT.That can be a great benefit in finding the best solutions for their own car and to see what works and what not in detail. And that can also greatly help when a budget cap is in place. Even add that you can compare data in the simulator between the drivers but by doing that you can also gain insight how good your car is, etc... So yeah I would like to know how much access they have.

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#40 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:32

I would like to know how the flow of information goes. Does Red Bull have access to the telemetry and has access to how the testing goes, etc... from AT.That can be a great benefit in finding the best solutions for their own car and to see what works and what not in detail. And that can also greatly help when a budget cap is in place. Even add that you can compare data in the simulator between the drivers but by doing that you can also gain insight how good your car is, etc... So yeah I would like to know how much access they have.

They’re two completely different cars? How would Red Bull benefit from data of the AT car?



#41 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:35

They’re two completely different cars? How would Red Bull benefit from data of the AT car?

If Red Bull has access to the data? Lets say Mercedes can run two different concepts and they share the data. Would you ask the same question? Isn't it obvious?

#42 SophieB

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:38

Don’t want to make this too big an issue P123, maybe it was discussed in the Vettel years as well, dunno. I don’t see how Red Bull can really benefit from having Alpha Tauri as a 2nd team, apart from testing their drivers. If there’s any evidence of Red Bull having an advantage in terms of the design or developing their car I may change my mind, but I don’t see how they can do it to be honest. I’m not the guy of gut feeling arguments and that’s all I’ve seen so far.

It was, from time to time, because the TR drivers seemed more openly subservient on track to the Red Bulls. You can argue did that really matter but it raised eyebrows in stuff like the closing races on 2012, especially when Vettel was disqualified from quali for a fuel infringement and started from the back. Ricciardo all but drove off the track to get out of his way. Stuff like that, plus the time Marko was filmed in the TR garage shouting at Alguersuari for getting in Vettel’s way during a practice session left a bit of a bad taste. 



#43 Beri

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:42

If Red Bull has access to the data? Lets say Mercedes can run two different concepts and they share the data. Would you ask the same question? Isn't it obvious?

 

No, tell me which data can be 100% used for Red Bull if they gather it from Alpha Tauri. Enlighten me. Because other than just the performance of the engine, nothing can be used since aerodynamically those cars are far from equal. Just look at the layout of the suspension. Prior to Singapore this was different. From Singapore onwards they are identical, but still the aerodynamic characters of the cars are so vastly different, that one can not compare it one on one.

 

I get what you are trying to say. But this is as much relevant as comparing the Ferrari to the Red Bull.



#44 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:51

No, tell me which data can be 100% used for Red Bull if they gather it from Alpha Tauri. Enlighten me. Because other than just the performance of the engine, nothing can be used since aerodynamically those cars are far from equal. Just look at the layout of the suspension. Prior to Singapore this was different. From Singapore onwards they are identical, but still the aerodynamic characters of the cars are so vastly different, that one can not compare it one on one.

I get what you are trying to say. But this is as much relevant as comparing the Ferrari to the Red Bull.

All the data. I don't get it. Isn't that obvious. Why do they have to be equal cars? How more knowledge imo the more you know and also know what works and what not. You can even put drivers of both teams in the same simulator and gain even more knowledge. To me that can benefit every area. Lets say they have different floors. Red Bull can literally see what changes has more chance to work. Even if they are not the same car. They can see how the AT reacts to it and again gain knowledge for themselves. Because they have all the data. That is if that is the case off course.

#45 ARTGP

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:53

It was, from time to time, because the TR drivers seemed more openly subservient on track to the Red Bulls. You can argue did that really matter but it raised eyebrows in stuff like the closing races on 2012, especially when Vettel was disqualified from quali for a fuel infringement and started from the back. Ricciardo all but drove off the track to get out of his way. Stuff like that, plus the time Marko was filmed in the TR garage shouting at Alguersuari for getting in Vettel’s way during a practice session left a bit of a bad taste. 

 

I don't think junior driver affairs should be portrayed as team ownership affairs.

 

There have been times when Mercedes junior drivers have shown their hand. Ocon in Monaco that 1 year ceding his position to Hamilton on a track where you can lap 5 seconds off the pace and not be overtaken..,Then Toto Wolff having a go at George Russell in Imola '21 for daring to race Valterri because "George is a mercedes driver and he shouldn't be racing our cars" or something to that effect. 

 

So the driver affairs are not unique to RB. Any manufacturer with juniors at another team benefits from this because the junior drivers will do anything to be seen favorably for a seat at the factory team. If Antonelli goes to Williams, you can expect the same. 

 

 

 

One could have a discussion about exchange of technical documents however, but I don't think there's anything there. The other teams would have been all over it. 


Edited by ARTGP, 26 November 2023 - 20:55.


#46 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:54

All the data. I don't get it. Isn't that obvious. Why do they have to be equal cars? How more knowledge imo the more you know and also know what works and what not. You can even put drivers of both teams in the same simulator and gain even more knowledge. To me that can benefit every area. Lets say they have different floors. Red Bull can literally see what changes has more chance to work. Even if they are not the same car. They can see how the AT reacts to it and again gain knowledge for themselves. Because they have all the data. That is if that is the case off course.

Makes you wonder how on earth AT only finished 8th now, doesn’t it?



#47 krea

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:57

All the data. I don't get it. Isn't that obvious. Why do they have to be equal cars? How more knowledge imo the more you know and also know what works and what not. You can even put drivers of both teams in the same simulator and gain even more knowledge. To me that can benefit every area. Lets say they have different floors. Red Bull can literally see what changes has more chance to work. Even if they are not the same car. They can see how the AT reacts to it and again gain knowledge for themselves. Because they have all the data. That is if that is the case off course.


That’s not how it works. Red Bull can’t use data outside of their own development, the same way engineers can’t just privately rent computing time from AWS and co and use the data, it would be an obvious breach of regulations.

#48 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 20:58

Makes you wonder how on earth AT only finished 8th now, doesn’t it?

Why? What way does the information flow? Which team is important. Also two different concepts give more data. I also say this why it is not a good thing that this is allowed. Lets say they don't do this but it can in theory. Would you be ok with it?

#49 Bliman

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 21:00

That’s not how it works. Red Bull can’t use data outside of their own development, the same way engineers can’t just privately rent computing time from AWS and co and use the data, it would be an obvious breach of regulations.

In that case I have little problem with it and my objections disappear. Thank you.

#50 Ivanhoe

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 21:07

Why? What way does the information flow? Which team is important. Also two different concepts give more data. I also say this why it is not a good thing that this is allowed. Lets say they don't do this but it can in theory. Would you be ok with it?

Maybe, though I still don’t think the data would be of much use. Most importantly it would be rightout cheating though.