Mercedes demand tough stance from FIA on Red Bull

F1 Fanatic Round-up

F1F CSIn the round-up: Mercedes urge the FIA at Red Bull’s appeal against their Australian Grand Prix disqualification to take a tough stance over the world champions’ actions.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Decision on Ricciardo’s DQ appeal on Tuesday (Reuters)

“Mercedes came down hard on Red Bull, with their barrister Paul Harris asking the judges to ‘impose a further sanction that is to be suspended until the end of the season’ to prevent them from breaching the rules again.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2014Red Bull: sensor would’ve cost second (Autosport)

“Red Bull’s chief engineer for car engineering Paul Monaghan: “Without an explanation and without any characteristic changes to the engine, be they measured or inferred by performance or measured by lap time, the [fuel flow meter] [sensor] changed its reading for P1 run four.”

Michael Schumacher latest: Schumacher ‘showing small signs of progress’ as Sabine Kehm gives positive report (The Independent)

“There are moments when he is awake and moments when he is conscious. Of course I am not a doctor, but medically, there is a distinction between being awake and being conscious, the latter meaning there is an ability to interact with his surroundings.”

Bernie Ecclestone feared losing grip on F1, bribery trial to hear (FT, registration required)

“Bernie Ecclestone bribed a German banker because he feared losing his grip on Formula One motor racing, prosecutors will argue when the F1 boss’s trial opens next week in Munich.”

President of Italian Olympic Committee: “I don’t like this new F1″ (Ferrari)

“I speak on behalf of Italian sports people and fans, I don’t like this Formula 1 and in my opinion it’s delivered a product that has absolutely no sense.”

F1’s new era still has weighty issues (UBS)

“In my opinion there ought to be a set weight for ‘seat plus driver’ to which everyone adheres. Just take an accepted average and let’s get on with it. Let’s get back to racing being decided by skill rather than weight (within moderation of course).”

An evening with Mario (The Way It Is)

Mario Andretti: “I was given the notice by none other than Chris Economaki at Long Beach on the grid. ‘Mario,’ he said. ‘What do you think now that this is going to be your last race in Formula 1?” I think Parnelli forgot to tell me that they were going to pull the plug on the program.”


Comment of the day

WilliamB on what Mercedes got right and what Citroen got wrong:

I think yesterday we got a bit of a flavour of what the Bahrain Grand Prix would have been like had Mercedes not allowed Hamilton and Rosberg to race.

I refer of course to yesterday’s WTCC season opener in Morocco, where despite the fact that we had great drivers like Yvan Muller and Sebastien Loeb coupled with the new DTM-esque generation of cars, Citroen managed to manufacture a processional, over-controlled and frankly boring race by not letting the three dominant C-Elysees of Lopez, Muller and Loeb race.

My point is, the WTCC is clearly a commercial PR exercise for Citroen to boost road car sales (the huge investment Mercedes have put into their 2014 F1 programme make them guilty of this too), which is completely fine and rational, but to any intelligent team owner it is blatantly obvious that the racing culture is every as important, if not more, than the result.

The response to the Bahrain Grand Prix makes this plain to see, with Mercedes, in my book at least, getting as much kudos as Hamilton and Rosberg for letting them race, so why Citroen, why must you ruin potentially excellent races between three world class racers?
WilliamB (@William-Brierty)

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On this day in F1

Gilles Villeneuve won the non-championship Race of Champions 35 years ago today at Brands Hatch. The Ferrari driver finished 14 seconds ahead of Nelson Piquet’s Brabham.

Mario Andretti took third for Lotus. Also in the field that day was Desire Wilson, who finished ninth ahead of her Tyrrell team mate Gordon Simley.

Here’s a video of the race:

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89 comments on Mercedes demand tough stance from FIA on Red Bull

  1. money (@carlos-danger) said on 15th April 2014, 0:15

    The fear of competition is the first symptom of impotence.

  2. John H (@john-h) said on 15th April 2014, 0:21

    At the end of March, Ferrari had organised a survey aimed at the fans, asking if the 2104 version of Formula 1 was a hit or not

    …ah, now that explains the result, they meant 90 years from now.

  3. andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 15th April 2014, 0:32

    Does Ferrari still think they’re gonna impress anyone with selective random quotes, which support their strong case of….”We don’t like this, so change it”

  4. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 15th April 2014, 0:37

    It makes sense that rival teams would send observers to Red Bull’s appeal hearing, but how is it legitimate for rival teams with their own agendas to be allowed to participate in the hearing? Arguing against Red Bull should be the job of the FIA and the FIA alone. I find it beyond hypocritical for Mercedes to be arguing for additional sanctions on Red Bull. The same Mercedes that burned through tires at an alarming rate last year until they conducted an extensive illegal tire test, after which they had a streak of impressive results, and received no penalty? Yes that Mercedes. Go home Mercedes, you’re drunk.

    • pking008 said on 15th April 2014, 0:46

      @matresx, can you remind us what Red Bull did and said last year at Mercedes Tyre test hearing?

    • Rybo (@rybo) said on 15th April 2014, 1:43

      I would be surprised if the other teams didn’t share Meecedes’ opinion. Other teams were present, but for the sake of an article. Writing about the championship leaders is more likely to carry more weight. RBR knew that they were breaking he regulation according the FIA, but chose not to comply so they wouldn’t lose positions. Dan drove a hell of a race, but ultimately it was with an illegal car.

      The bigger picture here is how the FIA polices the teams. If RBR are allowed to have their position reinstated. Then what other rules or regulations can be ignored for the sake of losing positions?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th April 2014, 5:55

      They are interested parties @us_peter. RBR was also doing something like this at the testing hearing last year, pushing for a harsh penalty on Mercedes, in that sense its a bit of payback.

      I am pretty sure that McLaren would have argued the same way, if Mercedes hadn’t been there to do so, and doubt many of the other teams feel much different about this issue.

    • Casanova (@casanova) said on 15th April 2014, 9:15

      Of all the teams, it does seem odd for it to be Mercedes there arguing in the court -being one of the few constructors whose Australian GP result would not change based on the result of Red Bull’s appeal (Lotus and Caterham are the other two).

      • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 15th April 2014, 9:23

        It seems odd that Ferrari and McLaren are keeping such a low profile in all of this.

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 15th April 2014, 13:02

        @casanova – depends how you look at it… Arguably, the only team who are going to compete with Mercedes is Red Bull (obviously depending on Renault’s progress with the PU)

        If that’s the case, Merc finished +25 points to Red Bull instead of +7…

        • lee1 said on 15th April 2014, 16:33

          Renaults progress with the pu? Surely engine development is now frozen so how will they manage to fix all the issues? (Surely the fia are far to aware of Renaults sneaking performance changes in under the guise of reliability upgrades by now)

  5. mantresx (@mantresx) said on 15th April 2014, 0:40

    So there you go, Ricciardo did gain a big advantage by not following the rules.

    After reading some of the reports I’m now more convinced that Red Bull should be punished even further, at first I thought that they had solid proof that they didn’t break the flow limit, but now I can see that took a slightly different reading in FP1 as an excuse to do what they pleased, this is definitely a low point in Newey’s career, whatever the outcome.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th April 2014, 5:56

      indeed. Their rock solid evidence that they did in fact comply is just not there, instead they claim the FIA should bring further evidence that the sensor was not faulty compared to their software model based on a gazillion other factors @mantresx.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 15th April 2014, 9:00

      The FIA had the responsibility to deliver a rock solid solution to enforce the 100kg/hr rule and they failed to do so and even had to come up with a technical directive that works with offset values that are guessed by someone. That’s not fair competition – so I think the disqualification should remain, because it was a violation. But at the same time the FIA needs to find a better / permanent solution to this problem asap.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 15th April 2014, 9:54

      Agree. Ricciardo gained 0.4s a lap because of that fuel flow sensor.. which is a huge amount over the entire race distance. Honestly, Red Bull should not only lose their points for Australia, but should be given a massive monetary penalty as well.

      If they get away Scot free… it will really be a slap in the face of the regulations. Didn’t expect team Newey to down right cheat like this

  6. Olivier42 (@olivier42) said on 15th April 2014, 1:20

    Mercedes’ comparison to 2005 BAR is so disingenuous that they should get a race ban themselves.
    (no, I’m not serious)

  7. Dizzy said on 15th April 2014, 1:29

    With regards to COTD, Something to consider with the way Citroen used team orders at the WTCC race is that its a brand new formula & there is a very limited supply of parts with only 1 week until the next race.

    The circuit this past weekend was also incredibly tight with ridiculously bumpy & very dusty braking zones & is notorious for overtaking attempts going wrong as proven again over the weekend & in the WTCC races.

    Touring Cars is also a formula where you tend to see team tactics used a lot, Especially amongst the manufacturer factory teams.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 15th April 2014, 3:20

      Good point. The season opener is such a risky place to race and with another race just days after, it’d have made no sense at all for any of them to crash while racing and miss Paul Ricard…

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 15th April 2014, 8:35

      Yes, the track characteristics and lack of spares explain some of the rationale in neutering a race so profoundly, but it doesn’t detract from my point, even if it is a convention among manufacturer teams in WTCC, that Citroen didn’t exactly earn kudos through implementing such stringent control. And what’s more, I can’t help but think that if other teams don’t feel compelled to control the pace of their cars, and if you have a four-time WTCC famed for his wheel-to-wheel prowess, a nine-time WRC champion with probably the best car control of anyone alive, and a man that won on his debut WTCC weekend and was contracted to drive for the US F1 Team in 2010, it might just be okay to let them race.

    • SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 15th April 2014, 12:55

      Good points..
      + it is the first race for the Citroën wtcc team, they didn’t want to risk too much I’m sure.
      So they might let them race in races to come, especially if they keep dominating.
      I can understand why they did it.

  8. That Senna statue doesn’t match with what Senna was. A statue of the guy celebrating would enlight his memory far better. Imola gives me that creepy feeling, and that statue is definitelty not helping.

  9. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 15th April 2014, 1:40

    If Ferrari spent half as much time working on their car as they do complaining, they’d probably be beating Mercedes by now. If Ferrari are so against races dictated by fuel economy, then they shouldn’t have built a power unit which requires so much fuel saving…

  10. sato113 (@sato113) said on 15th April 2014, 1:45

    ‘there is a distinction between being awake and being conscious, the latter meaning there is an ability to interact with his surroundings’

    shouldn’t that say ‘former’, not ‘latter’? as awake implies consciousness and interaction/communication.

  11. Yes, Ferrari only fired Domenicali today because of the Red Bull hearing, Ferrari duly needs to sell their cars to the people.

  12. Kelsier (@kelsier) said on 15th April 2014, 2:24

    Red Bull: We had to cheat otherwise we would not have come second!

  13. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 15th April 2014, 2:27

    The thing is that Sergio Marchionne was officially present at the Ferrari museum in Maranello last Friday but now it’s clear that his presence has something to do with choosing alongside Luca the successor of Stefano Domenicali
    I think that naming Marco Mattiacci a manager far from the racing reality will not solve Ferrari issues in the recent years which were about capitalizing on rule changes (2009 and 2014) which is a process that demands making the right decisions in terms of allocating resources and choosing people that can manage an F1 project
    Marco Mattiacci will be probably a temporary head of racing operations until Ferrari will name a new team principle. Someone involved in the F1 business seems to be the ideal profile for Ferrari to compete against the likes of Marko/Horner,Lauda/Wolf,Dennis/Boullier, the name of Gerhard Berger is rising at the moment

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 15th April 2014, 8:38

      If you read it, Ferrari have appointed Mattiacci as ‘Gestione Sportiva’, which translates to ‘Sports Management’. This seems like more than just F1 – his appointment to the F1 Team Principal role is likely temporary.

  14. trotter said on 15th April 2014, 3:36

    If Ferrari wanted the change, they should have been quicker and snapped Boulier while he was still at Lotus. They showed they were doing something right with the resources they had.

  15. HoHum (@hohum) said on 15th April 2014, 4:08

    If RBR were using 1% more fuel than allowed according to the sensor why were they told to reduce fuel flow by 4%, that is a 400% of excess correction?

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