Dec.7 - A top FIA official has played down rumbling whispers about the apparently ever-closer technical relationship between Red Bull's two Formula 1 teams.

After a decision was made to create more 'synergy' between Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri, Auto Motor und Sport believes the latter became the most prevalent team on the grid in terms of aggressive car development in the second half of the year.

But Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA's single seater director, insists the governing body is not overly concerned about the AlphaTauri becoming a Red Bull clone.

"We vet teams that are in close proximity to each other much more closely than completely independent teams to make sure something like this doesn't happen," he told

Tombazis admits that AlphaTauri took a clear step forward in the latter stages of 2023, "but I don't think this is due to collaboration".

"It's not just a problem between these two teams, but also between other pairs of teams," he adds. "We believe AlphaTauri has very different aerodynamic solutions than the other team."

More broadly, however, he says the FIA has its eye on improving "surveillance" of team collaborations, with "further guidelines" soon to follow.

"We want to give teams more information on how they can convince us that nothing like this is happening," said Tombazis, an experienced Formula 1 engineer.

"We do not underestimate the challenge, and this is one of the difficulties we face."

For instance, while simply car 'cloning' would be blatant, some believe partner teams may simply share information or development strategies - like one team trying one particular aerodynamic concept, while the other tries another.

"This is of course highly illegal," Tombazis insists, "but I don't think anything like that is happening at the moment.

"These pairs of teams are often criticised for working together just because they have common ownership or whatever, but it's not the only pair of teams that could work together. It could also be two independent teams that decide to help each other.

"I don't think that's going to happen, but I'm just saying that our tools to prevent that can't just be tied to physical components sold from one team to another."

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