2011 F1 season
Christian Horner said the decision about whether the teams will race in Bahrain is down to the the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone.
Speaking to journalists in Barcelona the day after chairing a meeting of the Formula One Teams’ Association Horner said: “I think it’s a very difficult situation.
“It’s a great shame, it’s always been a fantastic place to visit. Everyone has been looking forward to going to Bahrain.
“Obviously there’s the issues that are going on at the moment. It’s not really down to the teams to decide.
“We rely on Bernie, he has more information than we do. I’m sure he wouldn’t send F1 somewhere that was unsafe, but the decision rests with Bernie and the FIA, we will trust his judgement.”
He added that the pre-race test at Bahrain could be moved to a different circuit, including potentially another test at the Circuit de Catalunya. “The teams are involved with making the decision,” he said, adding, “Barcelona is a great place to test”.
Discussing the new Drag Reduction System, Horner said it couldn’t be judged a success until it had run in a race situation:
“There are some challenges. We reserve judgement on the new rear wing until we see it in action.
“It’s the same for everybody and F1 is always coming up with rules. It’s down to the teams to react and to respond to them. For sure it’s an interesting challenge and for sure it’s a complicated one too, more for the driver to be controlling. It’s more for the teams to decide the dynamics of the race.”
He added that he expects the adjustable rear wing and change of tyre supplier will produce more exciting races in 2011:
“We will see more pit stops which is something we were pushing for last year anyway. I think this is better for the spectators.
“I think the racing was exciting last year but I think it will be even more exciting this year.”
Although Horner said that “we plan to support our drivers both equally”, he admitted that the relaxing of the rules on team orders means the team could change its approach this year:
“The regulations have now changed, the way the strategies have changed, you may see the drivers working together a bit more.
“Principally, our approach doesn’t change. It’s what they do on the track, which is how it should be.
He called managing the two drivers “A nice headache to have.”
“We have two great drivers, they push each other hard. We allow them to race on the circuit, we treat them both equally. It’s down to what they do on the track.
“Obviously we want to avoid situations like Istanbul last year, which we managed in the second half of the year. We’ll continue to give them the same support in 2011.”
Quotes and additional reporting by Leandra Graves
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