Red Bull ‘considering Young Drivers’ Test boycott’

F1 Fanatic round-up

Antonio Felix da Costa, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2013In the round-up: Red Bull have threatened to hold their own test instead of appearing at the Young Drivers’ Test following the outcome of last week’s FIA Tribunal.


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Red Bull may put FIA to test (The Times, subscription required)

“Red Bull executives are considering boycotting the young drivers’ test to set up their own private session in a mirror of the Mercedes case. A private test would breach the FIA rule book but Red Bull are said to have told [Bernie] Ecclestone that they would take the risk of a reprimand – the punishment meted out to Mercedes – for the benefit of three days of testing.”

Maldonado says FW35 suits Bottas better (Autosport)

“We have different driving styles, he drives very gently and is very smooth with the car – this is not my way. My way is to put energy into the car and that is how I was very quick last year.”

Pirelli bringing experimental hard tyre to Silverstone again (NBC)

“Pirelli will bring their prototype new hard tyre for teams to use in practice for this weekend?s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.”

New F1 Side Impact System (FIA Institute)

“The current side impact system deploys crushable tube structures attached to the side of the chassis. Although extremely effective during normal impacts, they can break off during oblique impacts due to the extremely high tangential forces that are generated during the first few milliseconds of an impact. So Mellor engaged with the F1 teams to help develop solutions to the problem. Marussia, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull Racing each stepped forward.”

‘British GP win the ultimate’ (Sky)

Lewis Hamilton: “Silverstone is just one of the greatest races of the year because it is your home grand prix, where you grew up and have all your home fans, it’s definitely by far the ultimate race of the year and when you win here it’s almost like winning the championship.”

Rookie diary – Caterham?s Giedo van der Garde (F1)

“In terms of my transition to F1, I wouldn?t say I?m pleased as there?s still a lot more to come, from me and the car, but so far I?m happy with how I?m adapting to the step up to F1. I think if I hadn?t had the time with the team last year it would all be a lot more challenging, but I spent enough time with the team at races and the factory in 2012 to have had an idea of what was to come, and I think that?s made the transition to F1 easier than it may have been coming in cold.”

Rookie Max Chilton eyes a Silver lining at British GP (The Sun)

“My absolute goal for Marussia this year is to get the first point for the team. It would be fantastic to achieve that.”


Comment of the day

Rule-bending ain’t what it used to be, says William Katz:

It?s undeniable that the history of Formula 1 is one of those who push the boundaries of the regulations. It?s just a shame that this regulation pushing was more of a courtroom drama and less of an on-track development.

It?s one thing to build a car that can dump it?s liquid-cooled brake reservoirs, it?s entirely another to scamper off in to the shadows to run a tire test. I?m fine with the former, the latter is uninteresting.
William Katz (@Hwkii)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

However we can wish a happy birthday to Patrick Tambay, who is 64 today.

After driving for Surtees and Theodore in 1977, Tambay had the misfortune to join McLaren as they were heading into their late-seventies decline. He scored a handful of points in 1978 but the following season was a disaster.

Following a year away Tambay endured a difficult 1981 with Theodore and Ligier. That might have been it for him in F1 but the following year he was called up by Ferrari to replace Gilles Villeneuve aftter he was killed.

Tambay spent a year and a half with the team, winning twice, but was unable to recapture the high with Renault or Haas and retired at the end of 1986.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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96 comments on Red Bull ‘considering Young Drivers’ Test boycott’

  1. TMF (@tmf42) said on 25th June 2013, 7:01

    There is a lot of rubbish “journalism” going around lately. It’s time for the next GP to come before we hear more unverified stories about un-named executives telling reporters what they might or might not do.

  2. andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2013, 7:52

    Could someone please notify the Red Bull team they are grown men? I’ve literally observed toddlers doing the exact same thing: well, he did it and didn’t get punished, so why wouldn’t I do it?

    The whole reason I consider the punishment fair (or even slightly too harsh) is that Mercedes were under the impression that they were allowed to do the test, which will not be the case if Red Bull does such a test. Of course Red Bull will not follow through with this plan: they are just making a statement, saying how much they disagree with the outcome of the tribunal. It only increases friction between teams, FIA and Pirelli, which is the exact opposite of what we need right now. As a side-note, IMO Red Bull and Ferrari have been very successful at convincing the fans to question the outcome of the trial.

    Just a few words on an argument that is being used by some: the “what if they had done the test after the YDT!?” argument just has to stop. In that case, an alternative but similar penalty would have been handed to them – that’s it. It’s a stupid argument and has to stop because it’s missing the point of this discussion entirely.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 25th June 2013, 16:06

      @beejis60 @macademianut @copersucar @andae23 @prisoner-monkeys @hotbottoms @jason12

      It looks to me really funny, that all the condenning on Red Bull came even after I posted an article in which Marko already said the report wasn´t true. I get people don´t like RBR but maybe some impartianlity will be nice to apply in this case for RBR or any other team.

      Marko, though, has denied the claims telling Germany’s Sport Bild: “We of course do not commit a breach of rules.”

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th June 2013, 6:50

        That’s your explanation? “Marko is the voice if reason”?

        It wouldn’t be the first time Red Bull have said one thing, then contradicted themselves with a comment from Marko (or Horner). This is their way of making a spectacle of an issue to draw attention to it – in this case, the way they are unhappy with Mercedes’ penalty – and then taken a less-controversial stance as their official position on the matter.

        They’re obviously trying to pressures the FIA into giving Mercedes a harsher (and Red Bull-friendly) penalty. Since they were not a part of the tribunal, they are unable to appeal the verdict, and so have resorted to their favourite tactic: dumbing the issue down and starting a trial by media.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 25th June 2013, 17:40


      The whole reason I consider the punishment fair (or even slightly too harsh) is that Mercedes were under the impression that they were allowed to do the test

      I’m inclined to disagree with you here: “impression” is not “conformation” and they should’ve had all the necessary documentation to prove they could conduct the test with the 2013 car. Since they didn’t do that I think the punishment was actually very lenient, as the FIA self-evidently hadn’t given them the green light.

      In that sense, I think the punishment should be at least equivalent to the crime which I don’t feel missing the young driver’s test is (as Mercedes crucially had 1000km running with their race drivers).

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2013, 18:00

        @celeste Just read what seems to be the source of this story: the only thing Marko says is:

        “Wir begehen natürlich keinen Regelbruch!”

        ‘Of course we won’t break the rules!’

        Apart from that he doesn’t say anything in response to the round-up’s article. So I still think the boycott thing was just them exaggerating while making the point that the punishment was lenient.

        @vettel1 Mercedes had been assured by Pirelli that the Italians had informed all teams about this test correctly, so the only thing Mercedes had neglected to do was question Pirelli’s words and ask the FIA about it themselves. It is their responsibility as well as Pirelli’s to do that and in a way Mercedes have been a little bit careless, but the point is: do you believe Mercedes honestly didn’t want to break the rules or did they do it intentionally? This is a matter of opinion – and I believe Mercedes.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 25th June 2013, 23:05

          @andae23 no, I do not believe they intended to break the rules but that’s a bit like saying I didn’t intend to kill the man – you still get charged with manslaughter. I think it was very much their responsibility to clarify with the FIA if they were allowed to test with the 2013 car as they must surely assume first and foremost it contravenes article 22 of the sporting regulations.

          Pirelli made it quite clear they did not request Mercedes to test with the 2013 car – that was Mercedes’ choice and what caused them to receive this punishment. So it was an error of judgment on their part IMO.

          • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 26th June 2013, 0:31

            You might still get Manslaughter, but mitigating circumstances will influence the sentence.
            Mercedes WERE found guilty of contravening the sporting regulations. What part of GUILTY do people not understand.
            But just being found guilty of an offence does not automatically mean you receive the harshest sentence. Sentencing is done after a verdict has been decided and mitigating circumstances in this case guided the panel to a sentence. They were found GUILTY and received a reprimand, ordered to miss the young drivers test and pay 1/3rd of the court fees.

            Law is not black and white, its shades of grey. The same grey shades that influence scentancing in criminal courts. People who commit criminal offences do NOT automatically go to jail.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 26th June 2013, 6:00

            @vettel1 Regarding the manslaughter: see comment above, pretty much agree with everything @theoddkiwi says.

            About the 2013 car: Mercedes thought that the test was actually a Pirelli test, so they assumed Pirelli had invited all teams to join accordingly. It turned out to be that Pirelli hadn’t organized the test in accordance to the rules, which in turn would forbid Mercedes using a 2013 car. So imo, using a 2013 car and therefore breaking the rules is a direct consequence of poor communication between Pirelli and the FIA.

  3. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th June 2013, 8:24

    Red Bull’s attitude is disgusting. They have no right to defy the FIA just because they didn’t like the outcome of the tribunal. And if they did, then they probably wouldn’t get anywhere because Pirelli could simply refuse to supply tyres.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 25th June 2013, 9:17


      Red Bull’s attitude is disgusting. They have no right to defy the FIA just because they didn’t like the outcome of the tribunal.

      They aren’t actually defying FIA, but following Mercedes’ lead and seeing whether the rules are same for anyone*. To be honest, I think FIA should allow every willing team to do a 1000 km test with race drivers instead of Young Driver’s Test. It would be terrible for young drivers, but FIA started this by giving Mercedes such punishment.

      And while I think RBR are a bit childish, their behavior just shows how deeply unfair other teams see the outcome of the Tribunal. And so do fans, 75 % of F1Fanatic’s think the penalty was too soft, so I don’t think the biggest issue here is Red Bull’s attitude.

      *It’s true that the situation wouldn’t be exactly the same, because FIA thought Mercedes acted in a good faith. Nevertheless, their punishment was less than the advantage they gained.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2013, 9:22

        75% of F1Fanatic’s think the penalty was too soft

        @hotbottoms And 99% of them haven’t read the FIA’s report.

        • You mean FIA’s “excuse” I am sure!

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 25th June 2013, 13:51

          Yeah because FIA’s report had the whole truth and nothing but the truth in it.. Pffft

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2013, 14:48

            @poul @todfod I’m just pointing out that people’s opinions on the testgate results are not a solid base for an argument, because a lot of them haven’t read up on the subject sufficiently to be able to judge themselves.

            By the way, you both have an opinion on the report… can I assume you both actually read it?

          • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 25th June 2013, 15:12

            I have read it. There is absolutely nothing in the decision that wasn’t reported by quality F1 sites. Reading the original decision in this case isn’t in my opinion mandatory to form a valid opinion on the subject. Or can you point me any part of the decision that is important in order to understand FIA’s decision and wasn’t reported by, for instance, F1Fanatic?

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 25th June 2013, 15:28

            I simply disagree that Mercedes gained more from a Pirelli tire test of no data sharing than they have lost by being banned from the YDT. At a minimum, if I’m wrong in my first sentence, people are at least way overblowing the advantages they gained from the tire test, imho, and still seem convinced this was a normal F1 team test.

            I do not believe that any team would rather just have their two primary drivers driving around for 100km on this years tires while Pirelli runs tests, and then for 900km on next years tires, with no opportunity to change anything on the car or try new parts, vs. a YDT where they can work with their young drivers AND try new things on their cars AND aren’t limited to 100km on current tires AND will actually know what tires are on the car with what tire pressures etc etc.

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 25th June 2013, 15:41

            @hotbottoms No I cannot. Maybe my reply to your original comment was a bit short-sighted, but I still stand with my second comment: “a lot of [people] haven’t read up on the subject sufficiently to be able to judge themselves” – that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should read the report (wouldn’t hurt though).

            I just find it weird that a lot of people disagree with the Tribunal’s outcome – and I simply cannot understand why.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 25th June 2013, 10:50


        They aren’t actually defying FIA, but following Mercedes’ lead and seeing whether the rules are same for anyone.

        No, this is defiance. They’re effectively saying “we don’t like the penalty that was given, so we’re going to break the rules”. Ironically, they expect to be given precisely the same penalty as Mercedes, but have overlooked the way the FIA accepted the idea that Mercedes carried out the test in good faith. For Red Bull to announce that they want to have their own private test that they know to be illegal and held entirely out of spite means that there can be no food faith here, and they will naturally be given a harsher penalty.

  4. BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th June 2013, 10:27

    That article about the new impact structure is really good news. It does a good job of showing us, that F1 works far better than the whole tyre test thing (and daft remarks about it from many team members and fans) suggests:
    1. It shows that Backmarkers really do bring something to the sport (the solution came from a Marussia Idea)
    2. While many of the things teams develop have no direct relevance to the automotive industry, the concepts used, and things learn, can be very well used to improve completely different areas of technology (RBR no doubt learnt a lot about carbon fibre structures and behavior from making their FW flex exactly enough to pass the tests, but at the same time provide an advantage)
    3. Even when teams are bickering no end, and can hardly agree even on the color of the sky, they are actually quite good when they are working constructively towards something.

    Altogether very welcome and positive news.

  5. Jason (@jason12) said on 25th June 2013, 10:43

    Funny how a ‘Cheater’ is always paranoid about others getting away with cheating….

  6. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 25th June 2013, 12:18

    Great COTD unfortunately spoiled by the heading article which doesn’t even deserve the time of day. It’s propaganda, a political storm in a tea cup that again the media has had a wiff of a run with it. Unfortunately this site has lost the wisdom to filter this rubbish out.

  7. bpacman (@bpacman) said on 25th June 2013, 12:18

    There’s a few interesting asides in Matthew Syed’s interview with Ecclestone in today’s Times ( – subscription required). Whilst the article focuses on Ecclestone’s personal life, it does note that Syed was with Ecclestone when he found out about the FIA tribunal’s ruling and relays how Ecclestone was told the decision by Jean Todt, and the preceded to speak to Toto Wolff and leave a message for Christian Horner. It also notes Ecclestone’s thoughts about his possible incarceration for bribery (“I am not guilty of anything except being got at. But if I get sent to jail, I will have to deal with it. I don’t think I will like it very much. But you have to get on with things”).

  8. maxthecat said on 25th June 2013, 13:00

    I hope Red Bull do, seeing them suspended for a few races might liven up F1 again. Mercedes obviously thought they had permission or at least the answers to their questions were so vague they could get away with it. If Red Bull set up a private test now it’s a deliberate and petulant rule break.

    • By your logic the rules are now different from before. Mercedes broke the rules whether the claim not intending to or not.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 25th June 2013, 13:57

      Red Bull and Ferrari should go ahead and just do their own private tests. What is the FIA going to do? Exclude the two most important teams on the grid right now? Ban Alonso and Vettel from the championship?

      It looks like Rd Bull and Ferrari have the opportunity to twist the FIA’s arm if they like, and I think they should do it

  9. Andy (@turbof1) said on 25th June 2013, 14:29

    In light of what fans and teams believe, I’d like to repeat that the YDT ban for Mercedes is vastly underestimated.

    Compared to a tyre test, this is a full fletched test where you can do anything you want to. Pirelli would have never allowed Mercedes to bolt on never-raced updates; that would have contaminated the data. At the young drivers test on the other hand they can do that, with tyres that are known by now.
    I also see the eagerness to downplay the input of a “young driver”. Most teams actually do not run a young driver, but a driver who has extensive experience in both other racing series AND the inhouse simulator. Resr assured: they know perfectly how to drive, operate and set up a f1 car! Therefore, the quality of their input will be only slightly behind that of a regular f1 driver (so much for Marko’s comments). Even beside that, the teams run a huge amount of sensors, racks and visflow paint. Even completely without any input of the driver, they will be able to gather huge amounts of data. Mercedes drove with until now never used tyres, will most likely not have been able to test any updates and were limited to 1000km’s. You can do an additional 500-750km’s on the same 3 days if you want to.

    Anybody who thinks the loss of that test is nothing more th a slap on the wrist, should take a deep breath and question himself if his view isn’t biased. Everybody up to and including Keith (yeah sorry man), and especially ferrari and red bull. People were very eager to point out the numerous advantages one could get out of a tyre test, but the same people apperently aren’t able to do that for what is really a full fletched in-season test.

  10. clay (@clay) said on 25th June 2013, 15:02

    I would do exactly what RBR have suggested and use the softest penalty ever in the history of F1 for a very clear, calculated breech of the regulations as a precedent for a non-penalty which should result from a test session of their own.

    However I would test it with STR instead of the top squad. If the penalty is different to the sham penalty given to Mercedes then appeal it to kingdom come. If you get away with it, like Mercedes have, then open the gates to Catalunya and let everybody test!

    I have a sick feeling in regards to the whole issue. Mercedes did the wrong thing, made up some soft excuse and it worked. In my opinion it worked because Mercedes management knows that f1 needs Mercedes more than Mercedes needs f1, and Mercedes probably threatened to walk away if a large penalty was handed out so the result was a predictably soft penalty.

    But will RBR have the testicular fortitude to follow through with their threats? Well, get STR down to a track, any track and get testing!

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 25th June 2013, 15:35

      And where will STR/RBR get tires from?

      And if they did get tires, would they be for 10% of 100km on this years tires and 90% of 1000km for ideas on 2014 tires?

      And if instead they somehow get tires and decide to make it a regular F1 test, how will the other teams react to THAT massive advantage given that the Mercedes test was a Pirelli test run by Pirelli and only 100km of it was on this year’s tires?

      This is, as many people have opined, just RBR embarrassing themselves with childish whining, after they themselves were the most vocal for changes to the tires.

  11. Robert Tang (@robertthespy) said on 25th June 2013, 15:39

    Pretty ambitious stuff from Chilton…

  12. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 25th June 2013, 15:41

    I actually hope that RedBull do that.

  13. Shahul (@shahulx) said on 25th June 2013, 22:39

    Wow…love how Red Bull and Ferrari trying to make MB look bad when they get accused of cheating constantly… I think they just like the shadow cast off them… Ferrari with their own test and Red Bull of all people HAHAHAHA… isnt their motto “If you aren’t cheatin, you arent trying”?? I hear that is replacing “fgives you wings..” … seriously though…go cry in a corner

  14. katederby (@katederby) said on 26th June 2013, 12:20

    A few statements;
    Mercedes have been punished for breaking FIA rules.
    RBR complained about that rule breaking but haven’t said they would do the same.

    So if the FIA are saying missing the YDT is equivalent to the illegal Pirelli test, why can’t the teams taking part use their first line drivers just like Mercedes did?

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