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RB rules out Faenza F1 factory move despite new Milton Keynes facility

RB has dismissed claims it could relocate its Formula 1 factory from Faenza to Britain, even though a new facility is being readied in Milton Keynes.

RB F1 Team logo

Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull-owned squad is undergoing a revamp of its F1 programme, which has included a change of identity away from AlphaTauri and the arrival of new team management in Laurent Mekies and Peter Bayer.

But amid some scrutiny from rival teams over closer ties to sister squad Red Bull, there have been suggestions that it could choose to abandon its Faenza factory and move everything to the UK.

This was prompted by comments McLaren CEO Zak Brown made at his team’s livery launch earlier this year when he voiced his concerns about the partnership between Red Bull and RB.

“AlphaTauri [RB] is, from what I understand, moving to the UK, which I think will benefit both teams,” he said.

“So, this A/B team and co-ownership, which is a whole other level of A/B team, is a big concern to ours for the health of the sport, and the fairness of the sport.”

But RB team principal Mekies has explained that Brown’s suspicions about his team moving is wrong.

He has clarified that while his team is relocating some of its current UK staff away from its Bicester aero facility to a new building in Milton Keynes, Faenza will remain as its headquarters.

“We have a very good facility in Faenza, and we think the base is very good to build on,” explained Mekies.

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01 and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

Daniel Ricciardo, RB F1 Team VCARB 01 and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“But we are not happy with what we have in Bicester today in terms of infrastructure. We don't think we put our guys in the best possible position there, simply because of the history of it.

“It was a very small facility that got outgrown. And we had it because we were using our wind tunnel in Bicester, which is not the case anymore.”

Mekies explained that RB has agreed to close down operations at Bicester and relocate personnel.

“We are building a brand-new headquarters in Milton Keynes, outside of the Red Bull campus, and that's going to be state-of-the-art facilities in the same way that we have a high level facility in Faenza.”

Mekies said that having operations in the UK was especially valuable for helping attract staff who were not interested in relocating to Italy.

“We will have more capacity, meaning that if tomorrow we want to go to the job market and get somebody that wants to stay in the UK, regardless of what department, it's now possible to get a single department to be split between two locations and, with today's technology, be working together,” he said.

“Historically, it's been a huge downside in F1 to do that. There aren't many successful examples of that, we are conscious of that, but we are thinking as the world has changed massively it's not only technology, it's also people's mindset. We are trying to make that work and we think it could turn into an advantage.”

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