Schumacher: Red Bull resources ‘like I had at Ferrari’

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Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004, 2004In the round-up: Michael Schumacher says Red Bull’s resources are comparable to what he had at Ferrari in the early 2000s.

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Money was a factor in Mercedes’ showing – Schumacher (ESPN)

“Over the years Red Bull built an infrastructure and has a budget giving them the possibility to respond to anything in the best possible way. It is nothing more or less than what we had at Ferrari.”

Red Bull F1 Championship-winning car at Sewell’s service station on A63 (Hull Daily Mail)

“The Red Bull F1 Championship-winning sports car will make an appearance at the new Sewell Retail Hull West Service Station.”

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Our first Caption Competition for 2013 had lots of amusing suggestions – I particularly liked those from Bendanarama, JB, Mathers, Dane, Hotbottoms and The Daily Mirror’s Byron Young.

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Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher, 2001

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48 comments on Schumacher: Red Bull resources ‘like I had at Ferrari’

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 6th January 2013, 0:13

    Looks like the news are becoming scarce till the beginning of the launchings or till the drivers who moved teams start working in their new teams for the first time.
    But about resources, I always remember Toyota’s case. It’s not only “unlimited” money (yesterday Keith remembered how the final production of TF1′s never made their way to the road, not even on Stefan colors) but good management. I also remember how PrisMonkeys mentioned yesterday that one of the main weaknesses Red Bull has nowadays is their unability to shut up Marko. He brings bad PR.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th January 2013, 2:39

      PrisMonkeys mentioned yesterday that one of the main weaknesses Red Bull has nowadays is their unability to shut up Marko.

      I don’t think it’s a case of being unable to shut him up. Rather, I think they tolerate him because he’s a very powerful figure within the team. His job is to manage the driver development programme, and under his watch they’ve picked up a three-time World Chmpion in Vettel, not to mention a handful of talented and very promising drivers like Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne, Antonio Felix da Costa, Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz, Jr., all of whom have placed in major feeder categories. Under Marko’s direction, the Red Bull Young Driver Programme has become the most extensive and prestigious junior team, with no less than thirteen drivers who received support from Red Bull at some point in their careers graduating to Formula 1.

      Of course, there have been failures. They missed out on Robin Frijns and Jules Bianchi when they had the chance to sign both up; Lewis Williamson was a disaster, and got dropped after just five races; Robert Wickens, Daniel Juncadella and Mirko Bortolotti never got anywhere near Formula 1 when they should have; and the less said about Mika Maki, the better. Marko’s management style seems to be a combination of a brute force attack combined with uttler ruthlessness, backing as many drivers he thinks might have potential and dropping them the minute the prove him wrong.

      Nevertheless, the team consider Marko’s methods to be successful, and he has undoubtedly amassed a considerable amount of power within the team – so much so that they are willing to tolerate him.

      Having said that, I don’t think that removing Marko from the team will suddenly fix their problems and make them popular again. At best, it would probably earn them enough goodwill that fans would be willing to entertain the idea that the team can turn their image around.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 6th January 2013, 3:03

        I think to be honest, saying Marko’s job is to “manage the driver development programme” is like saying Ron Dennis isn’t the team boss at Mclaren.

        Well, yeah…… but….

      • davidnotcoulthard said on 6th January 2013, 13:04

        I think Marko’s method was the very reason Frijns refused anyway…

    • Giggsy11 (@giggsy11) said on 6th January 2013, 16:43

      Any PR is good PR

  2. I don’t think that is the primary reason Mercedes were unable to challenge though. That I believe was more so down to poor ability to “get tyres in the operating window” and just generally a lack of design initiative and pace (apart from at the beginning of last season with the DDRS but a complete inability seemingly to develop put an end to that fairly quickly!). Mercedes appear to have a relatively big budget too so I doubt money was the issue…

    • Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 6th January 2013, 10:27

      @vettel1 I believe Mercedes problem was related to engineering skills and knowledge. Ross Brawn is a great team principal, but he has always been propped up by a wealth of knowledge underneath him. A great idea is only that if it can be implemented and developed properly, something the Mercedes crew has failed to achieve. This year I believe the tides will swing. The expertise they have recruited along with Hamiltons determination and expectations will put Mercedes in a challenging position.

      • @funkyf1 yes, I think too we may see a turnaround in Mercedes second F1 career. I doubt they’ll win any titles next year but I expect them to be able to take a few race wins at least. I agree to an extent that their problem was a relative lack of engineering skills and knowledge but I think the primary reason was more specifically their seemingly compete inability to get the tyres “in the operating window”. That car ate through tyres more quickly than Homer Simpson eats through donuts and so they were left fundamentally handicapped in trying to get the tyres working but in the process not being able to develop. We saw when the tyres worked the car had speed (China) but they were far too inconsistent, which noticeably affected development (they were one of he last teams to implement a “coanda exhaust”).

        So they better understand the tyres next year!

  3. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 6th January 2013, 0:31

    I don’t doubt that Red Bull are up there in terms of funding, but I think their biggest asset is having a genius designer (Newey) and driver (Vettel) on the same wavelength. That basically means that if Vettel has any issue, however small, with the car then Newey will sort it. It’s eerily similar to what Schumacher had at Ferrari back in the day, though I doubt money the biggest factor.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 6th January 2013, 6:02

      They do have a massive budget, they just do an incredible job of making out that they are an underfunded privateer team going up against the big boys. I believe that they use Red Bull Technologies to “hide” a lot of the team’s expenditure, which is one of the reasons why they kicked up a fuss when it was proposed that the teams various financial statements be used for the purposes of policing the Resource Restriction Agreement.

      • @geemac It is of course true that they have a very big budget but I agree with @lin1876 that is not the primary reason for their success. Especially in these times of very limited testing, you can’t simply buy titles – you need a strong design team (Newey and co) and of course strong drivers (Vettel and Webber). Having Vettel & Newey “on the same wavelength” (to quote the original comment) is something that money can’t buy and is a devastatingly effect weapon in Red Bull’s arsenal.

        I think Mercedes ironically have proven that money isn’t the only factor. They are a factory based team and have the might of one of the great German Automakers behind them, yet they have achieved very little success (barring a few podiums and a win), especially considering they arose from the championship-winning team Brawn GP (who by the way didn’t exactly have the deepest of wallets).

        So yes, of course money is an influential factor but it doesn’t automatically grant you success; you need the team to utilise it (which Red Bull certainly have).

        • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 6th January 2013, 14:38

          I agree with everything you said @vettel1 , I was just making the point that RBR have been quick in the past to complain about rising costs thus making them look like a comparitively small team (one example I can think of quickly is Horner complaining about the cost of retrofitting a DDD to the RB6 in 2010) when they actually do have a sizable budget.

          I am by no means saying that they have bought their success. They earned it and it isn’t just down to money or Newey or Vettel, it is a combination of all the things you described, they should just admit that they are now one of the sports “big boys” in every sense…including budget.

          • davidnotcoulthard said on 6th January 2013, 14:57

            @vettel1

            I think Mercedes ironically have proven that money isn’t the only factor. They are a factory based team and have the might of one of the great German Automakers behind them, yet they have achieved very little success (barring a few podiums and a win), especially considering they arose from the championship-winning team Brawn GP (who by the way didn’t exactly have the deepest of wallets).

            Except that Toyota did just that already?

            I do agree about the irony of Brawn GP’s budget and championship position in 2009, though.

          • @geemac agreed, they’d be slightly foolish to say they’re still “underdogs” when they’ve just beaten the two heavyweights of F1 four years running!

            As for Red Bull Technologies, I believe they do indeed “hide” some of their spending: I believe in 2011 they spent £45 (thanks to @bobthevulcan for the numbers) – so a fair amount of money (not quite Ferrari levels though)!

          • That’s another perfect example davidnotcoulthard! I just liked the irony of Shumacher talking about budgets being a factor when he was driving for Mercedes! Not that I disagree entirely with his comments, I just thought I ought to point out money can’t buy you titles.

            It’s ironic in two respects really!

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th January 2013, 16:36

            Money doesn’t always guarantee you titles, but it sure is a goodand necesary place to start. Without it, you certainly will most likely not be a top 3 team. You need good people of course. You need the best people you can get and then you need them to gel as a team. Having the best people won’t usually build you a winner if the budget isn’t there or they don’t gel.

  4. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 6th January 2013, 1:07

    Whilst I can see what Michael is saying about Red Bull, their position isn’t as he says “nothing more or less than what we had at Ferrari”. In F1 the moment, there are other teams which have comparable resources to RBR even though they may not be able to use them as effectively. This is partly what Schumacher is saying, RBR have structured their infrastructure, budget and setup to respond better than anybody else. But their budget isn’t necessarily larger than Ferrari or McLaren today. Also, the amount of testing today is limited to an equal amount for all teams.

    Compare this to Ferrari at Schumacher’s time, who had annual budgets far in excess of any other team, and the ability and funds to do almost unlimited testing (some years they spent more on testing than the rest of the paddock combined, and 3 times as much as any other team). Ferrari’s dominance on the track during this era can’t be divorced from their financial dominance despite a good driver/engineering team. Whereas RBR’s success now relative to the equally well resourced McLaren and Ferrari can be attributed more strongly to engineering/driver skill. There are rumours about Red Bull spending more than they should, but even if the rumours are true it’s nothing close to what Ferrari used to do. Therein lies the difference.

    • Commendatore (@commendatore) said on 6th January 2013, 14:40

      I don’t agree. Ferrari in their dominance days didn’t have the biggest budget (Toyota had), yet with the superior skills of MSC, Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and Jean Todt they managed to demolish the other teams by far.

      In RBR these last 3 years we saw breaking of the rules, cheating, exceeding the budget limit, having a second team (Toro Rosso ) gather data for them, sabotage of other teams etc etc.

      That’s why I dont’ value RBR’s success as much as Ferrari’s one. And I never will no matter what anyone else says in RBR’s defence.

      • @commendatore

        In RBR these last 3 years we saw breaking of the rules, cheating, exceeding the budget limit, having a second team (Toro Rosso) gather data for them, sabotage of other teams

        Name one occasion where Red Bull broke any rules? You won’t find one because they never did. Push the limit of the rules yes but never did Red Bull break any rules, which is why they have never been punished for a technical infringement.

        Where exactly is your evidence for Red Bull exceeding the non-existent budget limit? As far as I’m aware there are testing restrictions, curfews and reliability targets to control budgets but no spending cap, so how exactly can you break a limit which doesn’t exist?

        Toro Rosso’s data would be utterly useless to Red Bull as the STR-7 chassis is completely different to the RB8 chassis, so any data would simply not apply to the RB8. Apart from that glaring error in your accusation, Red Bull are quicker than Toro Rosso, so why would they even want any of their data?

        Sabotage of other teams? Now you’re bordering on ridiculous. Name one occasion in which Red Bull (or indeed Toro Rosso as you seem to believe the two are intrinsically linked) have sabotaged another team? Do you not think there would be a large controversy surrounding this and severe sanctions from the FIA if Red Bull had been proven to have sabotaged another team?

        As for your disagreement with the statement on Ferrari, you can hardly deny they had specifically tailored tyres and almost unlimited testing to refine their creation. I’d say @toro-stevo is entirely correct in his statement as there is evidence to support it, rather unlike your false accusations against Red Bull.

        Fair enough if you don’t value Red Bull’s success as highly as Ferrari’s as that is your opinion and I’d be wrong to challenge that but that doesn’t give you any right to make such ridiculous statements. I welcome any challenge to any of the points I have made.

      • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 6th January 2013, 21:29

        Toyota had the largest budget in F1 from 2004 onwards, which only just fits in the range I’m talking about. In 2003, Ferrari’s budget was 20% larger than anybody elses, and they spent almost twice as much as Williams (second biggest outlayer) on testing. Toyota are a bit of an anomaly really, given that they didn’t spend their money smart at all, and a large amount of the outlay in the early years could be seen as establishment costs which Ferrari did not require. In 2005, the spending was much closer, with McLaren spending around the same amount as Ferrari and Toyota a bit more, but then again they didn’t win in 2005.
        On looking at 2000-2001 figures, Ferrari were still the biggest spender. I can’t find the figures again for testing, but it was in testing where Ferrari’s financial might was more obvious.

        And I never will no matter what anyone else says in RBR’s defence.


        Anyway, have a good Christmas.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th January 2013, 16:30

          @commendatore If you are going to ‘honour’ MS/Ferrari for their successes over the way Red Bull has done it over the last 3 years, as you claim, then I would remind you that Ferrari may have felt less need to ‘break the rules’ as you accuse Red Bull of, because they were actually allowed to take part in the formation of the rules with more weight on the voting board than any other team, hence the potential to ‘sabotage’ other teams. Ferrari were also accused of ‘cheating’ as you say Red Bull has done. Ferrari never had a budget limit to worry about (not that I think Red Bull has infringed on that either…ie. what budget limit?). Do you actually think other Ferrari powered teams have never shared data like Toro Rosso does for Red Bull, nor gotten out of MS’s way cleanly every time?

          I think when you look at it in reality, if you have personaly cause to dishonour Red Bull for the way they have achieved their numbers, then you will have more cause to dishonour MS/Ferrari for the way they achieved theirs.

  5. notme said on 6th January 2013, 1:49

    back then Ferrari’s money and fame could buy the best Bridgestone tyres, nowadays all you need is drill a tiny hole on the rear wing at the right time

  6. no schumi your ferrari car was thrashed on a race track all day long whilst other teams couldnt do that. plus youre team had the best tires. so its nothing like red bull

    • Mike (@mike) said on 6th January 2013, 3:08

      Of course, Schumacher was trying to talk in terms of the resources and the design and engineering team, in which case it’s quite interesting……

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 6th January 2013, 3:48

      Redbull probably run more simulation km’s a year than all the ferrari drivers race practice and testing laps put together.

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 6th January 2013, 6:59

      @um1234 Of course it’s easy to forget that Ferrari and McLaren were on the same tyres in 2000 and 2001. And as we saw in 2005, Ferrari being the only car on Bridgestones worked against them, so it shouldn’t be assumed that the tyre situation is an automatic plus for Ferrari.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 6th January 2013, 7:27

        Having Bridgestone tyres wasn’t always as advantage. It nearly cost Schumacher the championship in 2003.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 6th January 2013, 10:22

          But in the end it didn’t because or the Michelin teams being unfairly penalised, right? I didn’t start watching F1 until during the following year, but that is what I believe I’ve heard happened.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th January 2013, 16:14

          Ferrari and Mac were on the same tires in 2000/2001…those designed for MS’s Ferrari. In 03 or 05 Ferrari may have ‘suffered’ as the sole Bridgi runner, from nobody else testing the tires and providing the data, but having a tire maker headquarters at your own personal track and the unlimited testing they had, made up for it. Obviously.

  7. Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 6th January 2013, 5:11

    It is nothing more or less than what we had at Ferrari.

    Except that Red Bull didn’t have unlimited testing on their own privately-owned track and its adjoining facilities, and close cooperation with the tyre manufacturer to create rubber optimized for the car. Ferrari also had deeper pockets. At their peak in the 2000s, Ferrari spent $405 million per annum, while RBR spent $340 million in 2011. Adjusted for inflation, Ferrari’s budget would be $440 million in 2011 dollars, over $100 million more than Red Bull. (Sources: F1 Racing, BBC)

  8. davidnotcoulthard said on 6th January 2013, 13:01

    @Keith

    I think this caption was also lovely:

    vuelve kowalsky said on 5th January 2013, 17:32
    now you understand why i am such a *******. The cake tastes so good, that i don’t want anybody else to have a piece of it.

  9. Anybody here who kept admiring the red ferrari with marked tyres instead of reading the article ? :)

  10. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 6th January 2013, 21:38

    Resources, maybe. But the possibilities of using them – certainly not comparable. Money is worthless when you are not allowed to spend it, the same way even massive resources are less meaningful when you have only couple of days of testing per year to put them into use. Thus Ferrari’s position was much more luxurious and comfortable than Red Bull’s is now. The defending champions’ main asset is their massive know-how and expertise brought by Newey and his technical department.

  11. Robbie (@robbie) said on 7th January 2013, 15:53

    MS is not wrong in what he is saying in general. The teams that have the biggest budgets and best infrastructure are the ones that can adapt the quickest to rule changes, or to R&D done in the wind tunnel, for example. And as a result, some teams like Mercedes cannot compete. No different than much of MS’s numbers compilation going toward Ferrari’s unlimited resources vs. the other teams at the time, and of course the extra 100 mill or so that the FIA gave them just for being Ferrari couldn’t have hurt. But of course when it came to questioning that went toward the FIA about the skewing toward Ferrari, the likes of MM and BE simply said…it’s up to the other teams to compete. I guess MS is saying he knows what it feels like now when the shoe is on the other foot. It was ‘simply’ up Merc to compete.

    But of course as has been pointed out, the differences to MS/Ferrari from SV/Red Bull go deeper. MS had the unlimited testing, the contracted subservient and therefore the designer car and tires, and Ferrari had more weight on the board than any other team. So MS had it way easier in compiling his numbers than SV has had it at Red Bull.

    The bad news is that the likes of MS admits that it is still a money and resources game…the good news is that it’s going in the right direction and the ‘have’ teams have less than what the ‘have’ teams used to have, and the field was much tighter this year and there were multiple winners in the first half of the year. I know the likes of Adrian Newey bemoans the restrictions to development, but even he also acknowledges there is a downside to it becoming a money game.

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