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)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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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. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 15th April 2014, 5:48

    I know it’s beating a dead horse, but I find it hilarious how everyone is lauding Mercedes for not using team orders, while last year people supported RBR for doing so and crucified Vettel for making Malaysia a race and not formation flying to the flag.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th April 2014, 6:02

      who is this “people” you refer to there @mnm101? On here we saw a very large part of fans saying that Vettel ignoring TO was a good thing, others mentioned that they disliked how Vettel had handled the aftermath, but were fine with him ignoring it and others mentioned it had not been fair to Webber because he was open to be attacked by heeding that TO while Vettel was not.
      Not too many people thought the use of TO by RBR was fine in Malaysia. I guess the ones that did, now have to reflect why they are ok with TO being used too much, too soon and at all.

      • MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 15th April 2014, 7:09

        Come on @bascb , Vettel got a lot of hate after Malaysia, and still does, and it’s mainly because he defied orders, some (me included) didn’t like the way he handled it post race but these aren’t the people I’m talking about.
        I’m talking about people calling him a cheat and a spoiled brat for taking matters into his own hands and actually racing for position, the media constantly bring up Malaysia as a black spot on his resume yet they don’t mention how those team orders would have ruined the race.
        The party line is that Vettel robbed Webber of a win, when in reality Vettel had better tyres, better fuel consumption and better pace, what happened was Red Bull nearly robbed Vettel of a deserved victory.
        I’m just annoyed at how people(mainly the media) paint him as a villain while others come out as heroes under the same circumstances.

        • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 15th April 2014, 7:16

          I have no problem with Vettel defying team orders. It was the way he handled it post race and beyond that annoyed me.

          If he had just been straight about it from the moment he got out of his car in Parc Ferme, then I think he’d have gotten a lot less hate from it.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th April 2014, 8:44

          What @tophercheese21 mentions – that is the case for a very big portion of the people who disliked what Vettel did that weekend @mnm101

          When you mention

          The party line is that Vettel robbed Webber of a win, when in reality Vettel had better tyres, better fuel consumption and better pace, what happened was Red Bull nearly robbed Vettel of a deserved victory.

          I would like to see your sources for that. And off course it doesn’t change in any way that RBR have “robbed” the fans of some interesting on track battles in their years of dominance by beeing too afraid to see a THAT incident again, although Turkey really started more or less as RBR orchestrating pretty much what Vettel did in Malaysia anyway (by asking only Webber turn down the engine)

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 15th April 2014, 8:10

      The main problem with Malaysia is that, similar to Massachusetts this year, Vettel was quite happy to have team orders which were in his favour, but not when they weren’t.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 15th April 2014, 8:52

      @mnm101 – It’s a dead horse because they’re two completely different scenarios. In Bahrain, Mercedes had zero pressure on them from the field behind, and no fuel/tyre concerns to adhere to. In Malaysia however Red Bull had been suffering catastrophic tyre degradation all weekend, were tight on fuel and under pressure from Mercedes behind, with Hamilton managing to get the undercut on Vettel at one point, thus making the orders utterly rational. It was early in the season too, so Red Bull had not yet learnt that Mercedes’ degradation issues were even worse then theirs. As per the commands, Webber leaned out his engine, whereas Vettel did not, and therein lies the controversy. I still maintain that it was a perfectly sensible decision from Red Bull to neutralize the inter-team race, and probably the best example of a rational team order…

      • MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 15th April 2014, 16:29

        @william-brierty All good points, personally I think Mercedes had more to worry about this year, with how fragile the new PUs are, I would have understood had they chosen to imploy team orders ( I wouldn’t agree, but understand).

        n Malaysia however Red Bull had been suffering catastrophic tyre degradation all weekend, were tight on fuel and under pressure from Mercedes behind

        Mercedes were way behind them and they weren’t pressured by them for more than a few laps in the middle stint.
        Webber was the one tight on fuel, that’s why he HAD TO lean out the engine. as explained by Horner post race.
        As for the tyre degradation I think the drivers are perfectly capable of judging their tyre behavior.
        We’ll probably never agree on this but that’s how I see it.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 15th April 2014, 19:49

          @mnm101 – I’m sorry but I’m not willing to have this debate unless your arguments have some basis in fact. How can you say that there was a need to protect the power units without any of the pages of engine telemetry that Mercedes get? And how is that any deficit relative to the rest of the field who were all fighting tooth and nail with equally fragile powertrains?

          Regarding Malaysia, it is plain wrong to suggest that Red Bull were under no pressure from Mercedes, with Vettel passing Hamilton to reverse the undercut on lap 39 and then controversially taking the lead from Webber on lap 46, a mere seven laps later. Now with hindsight we know that Mercedes burnt a lot of fuel in pursuit of Red Bull and were in reality posing little threat, but the decision to lean out the engines (Horner later disclosed that Vettel too was tight on fuel because he’d been fighting with Hamilton) and maintain the gap to Hamilton so not gift Mercedes a victory through late race degradation was the only sensible decision with the information Red Bull had available. And I’m sorry sir, but whilst drivers can influence tyre consumption, degradation, as we saw with Mercedes last year, is generally governed by the vehicular dynamics and torque delivery of a car. And when even “twinkle-toes Vettel” is managing just a handful of laps on his rears, then I think we can safely say that a car is hard on its tyres.

          It’s not agreeance that’s important here sir, it’s making valid arguments…

    • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 15th April 2014, 9:25

      Last year I criticised Red Bull for issuing team order, but once they were issued Vettel should have obeyed them. I don’t like team orders, but if they’re issued a driver should have enough respect for his team to follow them. Or at the very least say in plenty of time (so it gets through to your team mate) that you’re not going to. What Vettel did was essentially dishonest.

      • Mads (@mads) said on 15th April 2014, 9:59


        What Vettel did was essentially dishonest.

        It wasn’t. At no point did he agree to holding position. He didn’t promise anything. The team promised Webber something on Vettel’s behalf, without his consent. That isn’t terribly smart or respectful, and blaming Vettel for it seems rather excessive.

        • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 15th April 2014, 10:12


          Being part of a team – specifically one with a hierarchy – means following the instructions from those higher up the hierarchy. That’s what team orders are – instructions from higher up.

          As a member of a team that means – either implicitly or explicitly – you’ve agreed to follow those instructions in return for the support the team provides. At some point, Vettel broke that agreement, without giving the team adequate notice. He is dishonest.

          While I dislike team orders, Vettel was given one. He ignored it without even giving the courtesy of saying that he was doing so (at least judging by the radio messages I’ve had access to). His behaviour, as a member of a team, was disgusting.

          • Mads (@mads) said on 15th April 2014, 10:45

            Normally, I would agree.
            But racing drivers aren’t employees, like those who clean the toilets in the local mall.
            Racing drivers are very different animals. These guys are highly competitive and if you have an, at the time, triple world champion hired, you should know kind of guy he is.
            Expecting him to be fine with giving up a shot at a race victory is simply idiotic.
            When they aren’t able to make their older and more experienced driver hold position, how on earth could they expect to make their young hotshot of a champion to hold position?
            That is simply poor management.
            They should have known that he wouldn’t listen, and when they aren’t prepared to punish either of their drivers properly to make them listen, then giving the order would only create unnecessary tension within the team.

            Yes Red Bull had every right to use a team order, but they should have known the outcome. Creating tension and conflict within the team, while achieving nothing is incredibly poor management whichever way you look at it.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th April 2014, 13:11

      @mnm101 Not to pile on, but @william-brierty well points out that the two scenarios can’t be compared.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 15th April 2014, 6:44

    That’s good news about Schumacher. Still, hearing those reports about media personnel dressing up as doctors and relatives of Michael just makes my blood boil. They really don’t help their profession’s reputation of being intrusive when they try absurd stunts like that.

    They should be charged if they haven’t been already.

  3. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 15th April 2014, 7:09

    In my opinion, it’s a form of self-harm.

    Tell me Mr. Malagò, would it not cause the sport more harm if the most important team in the sport continued to trash it at every opportunity just because it wasn’t winning? Oh wait…

  4. Clucky (@cluckyblokebird) said on 15th April 2014, 7:16

    The minimum weight should be the weight of the heaviest driver. Driver A is 70kg, driver B is 60kg. Driver B then has 10kg of ballast to place were the team want it (lower in the car than driver A carries it), thus still maintaining a tiny advantage but not enough to encourage huge weight loss.

  5. Patrick (@paeschli) said on 15th April 2014, 7:24

    It’s kinda ironic to see Mercedes asking for a harsher penalty …

    • greg-c (@greg-c) said on 15th April 2014, 11:00

      Kinda rich of Merc to cry “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS” when they tested only last year and made HUGE progress on the weight of an ambiguous email….. hardly the proper process, and punishment of missing out on the YDT is hardly a punishment compared to the quality of testing that Rosberg and Hamilton did, surely having 2 race drivers test would be worth 100 times more than a few rookies driving a missile for the first time,
      RBR should have hired Ross Brawn as Council.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th April 2014, 13:40

        Firstly, RBR did exactly the same thing last year regarding Pirelli’s tire test with Mercedes, in trying for harsher penalties for Merc, so fair is fair in that regard.

        Secondly, the guilt was ultimately shared equally amongst FIA (for Whiting having given permission), Pirelli, and Mercedes, with Pirelli being reprimanded, and Mercedes being given the harshest of penalties amongst the 3 ‘guilty’ parties.

        And let’s not forget this was about tires that were delaminating and exploding, not to mention were too aggressive and were ruining races. The RBR issue with sensors is not comparable to Pirelli desperately needing to get tires right for all teams with a rare and vital mid-season change in an atmosphere where they were asked to make tires a big part of the show and went too far with little testing to ensure they hadn’t gone too far, and which caught Pirelli and the teams out only once they raced in anger, with the season under way.

        Besides…Merc can ask for harsher penalties, but that doesn’t mean they are going to get them, just as the evidence surrounding Pirelli’s tire test spread the blame beyond just Mercedes and therefore further sanctions were not warranted.

        Personally I don’t think Mercedes request for a further sanction toward RBR, suspended until the season’s end is necessary, as the FIA are monitoring flow rates during quali and races anyway, so I doubt RBR needs the threat of a suspended sanction to ensure they will obey the law from now on…they’ve already for a big strike against them that they wouldn’t be able to hide from if they ignored the flow meter readings again.

  6. JCost (@jcost) said on 15th April 2014, 8:07

    The weight issue must be addressed ASAP. Heavier drivers should be allowed to compete in equal terms with slim boys. Some drivers have lost so much weight that they don’t even look healthy.

    This a classic motor sports issue that a good set of rules can fix.

    • Mads (@mads) said on 15th April 2014, 10:04

      I agree entirely. It can be fixed. There is simply no excuse not to do it. It is unhealthy and dangerous for the drivers, and completely unnecessary from a sporting and economical point of view. It’s just a matter of doing it.

    • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 15th April 2014, 14:32

      The trouble is it’s trying to get turkeys to vote for Christmas. The smaller drivers don’t want to concede any advantage they have even if it means others are risking their health. F1 being the cut-throat world that it is, altruism is in short supply in the pit lane.

      Under normal circumstances, when something is proven to be harmful (e.g. travelling down the pit lane at racing speed), the FIA would step in and ban it. This situation is not helped by (the diminutive) Jean Todt brushing it under the carpet.

  7. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 15th April 2014, 9:26

    Oh, come on, it’s really Mercedes and not… Ferrari ?!?! Waaaaw, cannot believe it ! :D I’m pretty sure “some” will remember this complaint as Ferrari’s. After all, they’re the sore losers of racing. Wonder why they don’t retire from F1…… !

  8. Gordon (@) said on 15th April 2014, 14:29

    David Brabham raises a good point, Senna was a true great and tragic loss but no recognition of Roland’s death seems rather disrespectful to be honest. I can see why his death was/is overshadowed by that of Senna’s but it shouldn’t be ignored.

  9. Zibit said on 15th April 2014, 21:27

    Citroen have a habit of playing team tactics. I’ve been a huge fan of WRC since 2007 and, in my opinion, they really drug the sport down with their tactics. They even went as far as to run off the only driver that could bring it to Loeb. It would have been a great season to see Ogier and Loeb battle it out in Loeb’s last season. They robbed us fans of that and I’ll never forgive Citroen for that. Not to mention they had Danni Sordo pull over for Loeb.. at Sordo’s home rally, which would have been his first victory after serving Citroen so loyally for years. A damn shame that was.

  10. David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 16th April 2014, 20:43

    Ah, missed my own birthday. Thanks, @keithcollantine!

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