Red Bull's senior contingent, including Helmut Marko and Franz Tost, have dismissed rumors around Aston Martin and Mercedes as 'nonsense'. According to the rumors, the Mercedes HQ have given Toto Wolff two races to show improvement, and if that doesn't happen, the best power units will be supplied to Aston Martin.
The premise behind this is the fact that Mercedes owns a 20 percent stake in Aston Martin and if the brand's works team cannot compete for the title, then it will back the customer team.
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost rubbished these suggestions and told the media, including PlanetF1, that every team received the same configuration of the power unit as part of the regulations. He said:
“The rumours are nonsense. The regulations clearly prescribe to the engine manufacturers that all customers must receive the same material. And as far as I know, everyone adheres to that very meticulously. A preference for a team is therefore prohibited and unrealistic.”
Red Bull chief advisor Helmut Marko also laughed off these suggestions as he questioned the logic behind strengthening a competitor and compromising the team's own results. He said:
“Why should Mercedes make a competitor stronger? That does not make sense. Despite all the cooperation: At the end of the day, Aston Martin is a competitor for Mercedes in the passenger car sector. Mercedes will now do everything to make the season-opener, which was disappointing for them, forgotten. In this ambitious task there is certainly no room to help Aston Martin.”
Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff have criticized the Mercedes 2023 challenger
The German team has not seen much positive news coming out of the camp this season. Lewis Hamilton finished the season opener in P5 and George Russell in P7. The car's disappointing performance brought out scathing remarks from Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton.
Toto Wolff declared that the car concept did not have a high enough ceiling, while Lewis Hamilton suggested that the technical team did not implement his inputs in the car and went with another design philosophy.
Comments from both the boss and the star driver have been in the spotlight for a while and are being perceived as signs of cracks in the team's fortress.