Mateschitz warns over Red Bull’s F1 commitment

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Adrian Newey, Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull, Jerez, 2012Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz warns Red Bull could leave Formula One, criticising the quieter sound of the new cars and the move towards a fuel efficiency formula.


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“Öffentliche Präsenz? Die Zeit ist mir zu schade” (Kurier, German)

Mateschitz also criticised the “politicisation” of the sport and insisted the FIA’s fuel flow sensors have been giving inaccurate readings since the start of testing. Some translations of his quotes can be found here.

‘Big steps’ to come from 2014 F1 cars (Autosport)

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery: “We are taking the view that there is going to be a lot of development this year and there are going to be some big steps in performance.”

Marussia Sporting Director on engines, appeals and 2014 (Sky)

“For all there were various issues and problems, and certainly we experienced some circumstances on the fuel flow where we had to make some decisions, I think most of the teams made those decisions in accordance with how the FIA thought the teams would act, which is to err on the side of ensuring that your car is safe and legal at all times, which is the stipulation that’s in the Sporting Regulations.”

Video – Red Bull RB10 versus Mercedes F1 W05 (F1)

Comparison of the cars which shared the front row for the first race of the season.

Databytes: Why F1 needs fuel flow meters (Racecar Engineering)

“Rather than using a mechanical restrictor, similar to the way that boost pressure is restricted in turbo charged engines the FIA have chosen to monitor flow rate through an onboard data logger and impose a penalty should a team exceed the permitted limits. This requires a reliable method of measuring the flow rate while not affecting the flow itself so an ultrasonic sensor capable of sampling fuel flow up to 4000 times a second has been selected.”

7 Days in our F1 Wind Tunnel – Time Lapse (Sauber via YouTube)

The welcome sound of change (ESPN)

“Having kept journalists and broadcasters in the dark throughout the [2001] race, [Ron] Walker, as chairman of the organisers, chose to preface his remarks by announcing a record attendance figure. The next paragraph referred to the poor marshal, almost as an afterthought; as if the crowd figures were more important.”

Red Bull cannot ride roughshod over FIA regulations (The Times, subscription required)

“At least we now clearly know how Red Bull views F1 and it is not in the same spirit of participation as, say, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams. It is about ‘political influence’ and, presumably, winning every season.”

Success should come to Valtteri Bottas (MotorSport)

“If the new FW36 continues to go as well as it looks through the rest of the season there will be plenty more opportunity for Bottas to prove what only a few have seen so far and for that to be the launch pad for a great career. If it happens that way, the error he made in Melbourne will soon stop smarting. But if for some reason it doesn’t, if Melbourne turns out to be the most competitive the car ever was, then he’s going to carry that pain around for a long time.”


Comment of the day

@Wsrgo will be watching a lot more than just the 16 championships lists here yesterday@

Here I go: Auto GP World Series, Euroformula Open, Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, Formula Renault 2.0 Alps, Protyre Formula Renault, ADAC Formel Masters, BRDC Formula 4, FIA Italian F4, French F4 Championship, Formula Renault 1.6 NEC Junior, Formula Renault 1.6 Alps Junior, Formula Renault 1.6 Nordic Championship, British Formula Ford, Formula BMW Talent Cup, Formula Masters China, MRF Challenge F2000…

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On this day in F1

Alain Prost won for McLaren on his return to the team in the Brazilian Grand Prix 30 years ago today.

Team mate Niki Lauda was in the running for victory until an electrical problem put him out, and a suspension failure due to earlier contact with Lauda did for Derek Warwick’s chances.

Keke Rosberg and Elio de Angelis completed the podium. Meanwhile Prost’s future arch-rival Ayrton Senna made his first grand prix start for Toleman.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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163 comments on Mateschitz warns over Red Bull’s F1 commitment

  1. W-K (@w-k) said on 25th March 2014, 2:49

    So having read that Racecar Engineering article of fuel flow metering, and noted it was written last year. How do RBR think they have a case?
    My understanding goes like this;
    Did RBR ask to use different fuel measuring system – No
    Therefore the FIA must assume RBR were using the fuel flow sensor mandated.

    Did RBR turn down the Fuel flow when requested by the FIA offical – No
    RBR are guilty under the sporting regulations.

    And all talk of RBR having a more accurate system of measuring the fuel flow rate can be disregarded. Therefore turning it into a dispute about the technical regulations can be ignored.

    Daniel Ricciardo deserved better from his team than this. Even finishing 5th or 6th would have been seen as great strides considering where RBR were during pre-season testing.

  2. Joaquin (@fat-tyre) said on 25th March 2014, 2:52

    He is obviously saying it to try to influence the outcome of the appeal… I hope they do leave the sport, we have enough with Ferrari getting special treatment from the FIA.

  3. Neil (@neilosjames) said on 25th March 2014, 3:21

    Red Bull complaining about politics in F1 is like Justin Bieber complaining about crap music in the charts.

  4. Maciek (@maciek) said on 25th March 2014, 3:59

    Dietrich Mateschitz – yet another billionaire [insert appropriately demeaning expletive relating to private parts here]. Can’t be too surprised. The guy’s all business first. There’s no innate car builder in there. He’s basically an obscenely successful soft drink salesman, isn’t he?

  5. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 25th March 2014, 5:05

    I think everyone who has been complaining about the apparent lack of noise and the fact that the cars are lapping slower need to take a step back and look at the big picture.

    F1 was once sold as the breeding grounds for new automotive technology. A lot of F1 technology pioneered in the 80s and 90s are common place in our road cars now. Over the last 10 years, innovation has been stifled by regressive rules. The arrival of the new formula is the shot in the arm we needed in F1. More than anything else, it is relevant to the current market. LMP1 and WEC were more road relevant than F1. This is probably why it has thrived over the same period where F1 has remained stale.

    Yes it doesnt sound as great, and it does take some of the thrill away, but we need to be progressive. The pace will come, and it will be back to F1 speeds very soon.

    The change to the new formula has probably safeguarded the long term future of the sport. I’m being optimistic, but the return of Honda could herald the beginning of a new constructor era. I say this because, if the Porsche 918 and Mclaren P1 are anything to go by, this new high performance hybrid technology will be what every car manufacturer is coveting!

    Would love to see BMW and Toyota back as engine suppliers!

    • Crashtor Malfunctionado said on 26th March 2014, 1:56

      I think you need to look at the bigger picture (in the nicest way possible).. F1 is big business, and big business = big money. The technology you are referring to was a product of innovation, this current technology is a product of regulation. If F1 really cared about technology and the various industries that tech would theoretically filter down through, they would be opening the engine regs and allowing the worlds smartest people to come up with the most innovative solutions..

      Instead, they have pushed what that future technology will be and mandated it for everyone on the grid. All they wanted to acheive was a “green”, “socially acceptable”, “politically correct” image to lure back the sponsor and manufacturer millions they pushed away with the tobacco industry and frozen V8 engines.

      Its a money making campaign all in the guise of “ground breaking technology”… all its about is satisfying the marketing departments of the car manufacturers

  6. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 25th March 2014, 6:30

    I really think the Mateschitz interview is a no-story. He only talked about Red Bull potentially leaving F1 because he was asked what circumstances would force such a move, and nothing more. Everything else seems to be Montezemelo levels of rubbish-talking.

  7. SubSailorFl said on 25th March 2014, 6:36

    Whether he likes it or not if some other team had not followed the rules then RB would be complaining. They are unhappy because they are behind and don’t like getting busted for not following the rules that they knowingly violated. If they had followed what was in place and still been up there because fuel wouldn’t have been an issue during the race we’d be talking about RB making it back to the point of the spear in Malaysia. Perhaps we’re seeing a little complacency from having been on top so long. And we’re seeing a team who thinks they are above the rules or allowed more leeway because of being on top so long.

  8. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 25th March 2014, 6:42

    Huge misunderstanding by some people here. Mateschitz gets asked if it doesn’t make financial sense to be in F1 anymore, would he pull the plug? His answer: that is not the case. Redbull do demand fairness and political justice tho.

    Mateschitz does not say he is thinking about pulling out of F1. On the contrary, he is very exited about F1 comming to the Redbull Ring and race.

    This could have been made more clear in the summary of the roundup. Personally i think it’s a bit misleading.

    • Simon (@s162000) said on 25th March 2014, 7:51

      Exactly, his comments have been taken out if context, complete overreaction. The original article by Andrew Benson is to blame, it’s not the first time he has written such sensationalist rubbish

    • Girts (@girts) said on 25th March 2014, 8:48

      Well, this is what the Kurier interviewer says to Mateschitz:

      “You have repeatedly emphasized that it’s possible that Red Bull could leave F1 some day if it doesn’t make economic sense for the company anymore. What would have to happen?”

      Mateschitz doesn’t deny that Red Bull could leave F1, he only states that it’s much more about the sportsmanship and political influence than the economic sense and adds that “there is a clear limit to what we can accept.”

      So one doesn’t have to be sensationalist to interpret Mateschitz’s words as a threat to leave the sport. I would say that F1 Fanatic’s headline is more accurate than BBC’s headline though.

  9. Girts (@girts) said on 25th March 2014, 6:59

    “Can’t win, won’t play”?

    As Mercedes pointed out last week, the 2014 regulations were revealed ~1000 days ago. Now Mateschitz has suddenly realised that the new cars are too slow and too silent. Moreover, he is contradicting himself by saying that RBR’s future in F1 depends on “political influence” and yet complaining about the “politicisation” of the sport.

    No team is greater than F1 and if Mateschitz wants to go, then he should go. It might as well be only rhetoric though.

  10. If you want to leave because you’re not winning, that’s fine by me. Red Bull’s loss wouldn’t be anywhere as significant as the loss of Ferrari, McLaren or Williams.

  11. David Bretz (@cynical) said on 25th March 2014, 8:11

    To be honest, if I was Didi spending as much as he does on F1 there needs to be a cost/benefit ratio that makes it worthwhile. The new regs have increased cost by a big margin but with race attendance dropping and TV audiences falling away one would have to crazy to keep throwing money into F1 unless, like Mercedes, it contributes to R&D. Didi sells drinks and needs exposure to the target market and improve brand recognition. F1 is going in the wrong direction to achieve that.

  12. Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 25th March 2014, 8:24

    Can’t read the times article, but the quote indicates it must be a satirical article. Unless Ferrari have changed the way they operate without anybody knowing.

  13. ledzep4pm (@ledzep4pm) said on 25th March 2014, 8:28

    The Red Bull story is a classic case of journalists trying to make a story out of nothing.

    He was asked under what circumstances the team would leave F1. It is a heavily loaded question.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th March 2014, 8:51

      Yes, I did point that out to people who referred to an english language piece where the quotes looked like it was a statement from Mateschitz (and pointed them to the original interview Keith has included in the roundup, which gets pretty accurately represented by the BBC translation also included) yesterday @ledzep4pm.
      But on the other hand, when you only look at the title, saying Mateschitz does not like to seek publicity for himself, and then realize the timing of it …
      What I take from that, is that it (the veiled threat of leaving if not getting their points back) was very much the impression he wanted to get people from the interview at this time. He is big enough in Austria to get an interview published when HE needs it, not leaving it to an editor to show interest.

  14. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 25th March 2014, 8:54

    Having read that interview with Mateschitz, the bit about “we’re leaving” seems sort of taken out of context, he’s indeed asked, or rather, given suggestive questions to try and goad him to say whether he’d leave if that appeal goes the wrong way.

    That is a bit jarring, I thought, because he talks about what he wants F1 to be: fair, no politicking, not to much meddling, but then if you look at what his team actually practices, it does not actually seem to be following that. They were first to claim special rights and compensation from Bernie, did go along with the introduction of DRS, double points, etc. while having token words of ennui, and only changed things when tyres were not to their advantage; complained about the V8 Renault engine until it turned out to do EBD better than others.

    And he also maintains the same ‘we did nothing wrong’ about the appeal, of course, understandably, but still not fair in the sense that others did follow those rules.
    All of that doesn’t seem to give much credibility to talk about how formula 1 should be different, better and fairer, to me.

  15. dennis (@dennis) said on 25th March 2014, 9:23

    Mateschitz raises a point which can very much relate to. The airshow, which nobody really needs or wants above the grid in Australia has used more fuel than the whole F1 field will for the next several races. Why does Formula 1 have to be pushed into the eco-direction? And why does it have to be by force?

    I don’t understand how anybody who actually believes F1 should have a relevance to road cars (absurd), is okay with the new engine formula being implemented as the only alternative. New technologies should always have their place in Formula 1, but maybe the Colin Chapman approach of adding lightness and keeping the cars simple would have been cheaper, faster, better for the environment and the fans. In a time when everybody talks about cutting costs these new engines are about as relevant as 8-wheelers.

    At the end of the day, as Red Bull proves, it doesn’t matter what’s inside the car, as long as your name is on it and the product is good. The majority of people who spend money on cars and other technology have no clue how hybrids work. If you tell anybody an F1 car has 900 hp, they don’t care where that comes from. But if you tell them it has 600 hp they wonder why the new Corvette has more. Making the cars more complex for the sake of complexity in a time when some teams struggle to even make the grid financially… We’re going into the wrong direction. Big time.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 25th March 2014, 9:44

      It’s your classic double-edged sword. If the new engine formula had not been adopted, Renault (and possibly Mercedes) would have pulled out and Honda wouldn’t be returning.

      • dennis (@dennis) said on 25th March 2014, 18:17

        This is what infuriates me…
        When Honda dominated in the late 80’s and early 90’s, nobody asked why they don’t have V6 turbos, or 3.5 litre V10/V12 engines in their road cars. Same with the Renaults throughout the 90’s.
        Yet suddenly, over the last few years it matters what sort of engine the cars are running, instead of F1 simply being a test bed to show off how capable their engineering department is.

        • Crashtor Malfunctionado said on 26th March 2014, 2:10

          Dennis, you are 100% right…

          and lets say it was a test bed to show off their engineering capabilities, I think having V10/V12 engines, something that will never be seen in the common mans road car, will create a sense of exoticism and mysteque that vacuum cleaner sounding 1.6L V6’s can never acheive.

          and after all of this they will impose another engine freeze to drive all the manufacturers back out in the long run.

          Its just a viscous cycle of knee jerk reactions and bandaid fixes of something that was never broken to begin with pre 2006

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