Concerns over the relationship between teams in Formula 1 has come back into the spotlight in 2022 following Haas’ return to form this season and its close alliance with Ferrari. 

Haas’ relationship with Ferrari has been under great scrutiny since the American outfit joined the F1 grid at the start of 2016 and has irked a number of rival teams, with the likes of McLaren, Alpine and Mercedes calling for the end of such relationships. 

Speaking about the subject on the latest episode of the Crash F1 Podcast, commentator Ben Edwards said: “It’s a really difficult one this because I totally get it, for teams like McLaren who exist on their own, they want everyone to be in the same boat. 

“But you also understand a team like Red Bull working with AlphaTauri, it makes a lot of sense and it has kept the number of cars in F1, it has kept good teams together in F1 that might have dropped out at different times. 

“F1 is developing, it’s fantastic that the fan support is getting stronger and stronger and in a way, perhaps that will lead to totally independent teams being able to operate. 

“I think we’ve been through a patch in F1 where asking all these teams to be independent, there wasn’t maybe the money and the backing to allow that. 

“But now we’re talking about the likes of Porsche and Audi getting involved, perhaps that is a route to start thinking about, that they really are independent teams. I just don’t think F1 has been in a strong enough position for that until maybe now.” 

Sky Sports F1’s Rachel Brookes wants to see more independent teams on the grid. 

“The old romantic in me wants the independents on the grid again,” Brookes added. “Some of those stories of the days of the independents scraping together to get a team to the track and those are the things that F1 thrived on in the past. 

“I’d hate to lose that but you can see why teams like having a B-team as such now.” 

Porsche and Audi entries could result in ‘mess’ 

Brookes also highlighted potential complications that could emerge from Porsche and Audi, sister brands who both fall under the Volkswagen Group umbrella, joining the grid in 2026. 

“Porsche from what I understand, are looking at more of a branding exercise potentially with Red Bull, and Audi themselves actually coming in as a team, or buying a team with the likes of Sauber-Alfa Romeo, or even Aston Martin,” she said. 

“If they came in as kind of an independent as another team and Porsche were a branding exercise with Red Bull, you’ve got those two under the same umbrella company but they are competing. 

"You get a massive kind of mess here that needs untangling. You can see the other teams going ‘hang on a minute, you two have the same parent company and you are telling us you are competing and not sharing information’. It’s going to be incredibly difficult and you can see why teams are against it. 

“You also get the question of how much concession do they get? Do they come into the sport as a new manufacturer, do they get allowances and money for that? Or do Red Bull suddenly say we’re a new manufacturer now because we’re Red Bull-Porsche, we get those concessions and all that dyno time. 

“It’s such a tangled web, I don’t envy anyone trying to undo it.” 

We also preview this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and the return of F1’s Sprint format at Imola. 

Download and listen to Episode 6 now at the following links…