FIA keeping an eye on ‘alliances’ between F1 teams

Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting says the FIA is keeping an eye on the rise of so-called ‘B-teams’ in Formula 1 and the collaboration between larger and smaller squads.

The Haas-Ferrari relationship sees the American outfit acquire as much as it can from the Italian team as well as using its facilities to develop its car.

Although the arrangement is completely legal – and the rules have since been tightened – some rivals criticised Haas earlier in the year.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was the most vocal as he referred to Haas’ VF-18 as a “Ferrari replica”, while others have made suggestive remarks.

Red Bull also holds a close affiliation with junior team Toro Rosso, one that is likely to strengthen in 2019 when both teams utilise the same brand of power unit.

There were concerns that Force India could form a closer strategic alignment with long-term engine partner Mercedes following the recent takeover, which played a role in McLaren, Williams and Renault holding reservations until they received the required assurances

Whiting admitted it was a concern that was being carefully watched by the governing body.

“I think it’s something we should be concerned about and it’s something we will be discussing,” he said.

“Obviously the Haas-Ferrari relationship started it and we knew exactly how that was possible.

“There was a loophole in the beginning which has been closed now to new entrants which is what [Haas] were able to do before they were established as a proper entrant. But that won’t happen anymore.

“The sort of things we are hearing is alliances between existing teams and I think that needs to be looked at very carefully.”

Source: Motorsport Week