Suspicious team play between Red Bull and AlphaTauri in Australia: within the limits of the regulation

The episode that took place during the Formula 1 Australian GP 2022 which saw the AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly sacrifice a position in favor of Alonso in order not to attack and overtake the Red Bull parent company driver Max Verstappen is very much discussed. .

Even the Australian GP seems to have confirmed that the fight for the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship will almost certainly be that between Red Bull and Ferrari. And in the next 20 stages on the calendar the duel could get even tighter, especially if the Austrian team solves the reliability problems that have cost two retirements of the reigning world champion so far. Max Verstappen (in Bahrain and in this last race in Melbourne) and one of the Mexican Perez (in his debut in Sakhir). At that point any detail could make a difference and in this regard many have worried about the eventual role that the customer stables could play of the two main teams.

In compliance with the sporting regulations each of the ten teams participating in the Formula 1 championship must be considered a manufacturer in its own right and, even if it can buy components from other teams, it must be entirely independent. In fact, therefore, on the grid there cannot be “B teams” that in some way can be influenced in the sporting choices by another team.

In light of this, it is causing a lot of discussion, a episode that occurred during the last Australian GP when Max Verstappenon lap 20, he returned to the track with cold tires after making the pit stop finding himself barely in front of the AlphaTauri driver (team always linked to Red Bull) Pierre Gasly who at that moment was fighting for eighth place with the Spaniard Fernando Alonso.

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He found himself in front of the Dutchman of the “parent company” who, due to tires not yet at optimal temperature, proceeded more slowly than him, instead of attacking him to take his position, he decided to tag along slowing down your pace thus allowing Alonso to overtake him and take eighth place.

A decision that of Gasly that clearly penalized him as in addition to making him waste time, it also made him lose a position in favor of a Fernando Alonso that until then he had managed to keep at bay. A real “sacrifice” that of the transalpine driver in order not to hinder Verstappen’s pace.

Now, beyond whether it was one autonomous choice of the driver who aspires to take back a seat in the Austrian team or whether it was a team play between Red Bull and AlphaTaurimany have wondered how much this respects the Formula 1 sporting regulations.

Although it is true that this is not the first time such episodes have occurred, these cases have never been specifically regulated and therefore they are to be considered within the limits of the regulation but what is certain is that for sure from an ethical point of view, the limit has been abundantly exceeded.

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