Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2015

Red Bull urge rules change amid rumours of F1 exit

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Albert Park, 2015In the round-up: Red Bull urge the FIA to change F1’s rules to cut Mercedes’ performance advantage, as they argue happened when they won championships between 2010 and 2013, while rumours suggest Dietrich Mateschitz is considering selling the team.

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Horner urges FIA to rein Mercedes in (F1i)

"The FIA, within the rules, have an equalisation mechanism; I think it's something that perhaps they need to look at."

Red Bull makes new threat to quit F1 (Autosport)

"If we are totally dissatisfied we could contemplate an F1 exit."

Horner denies that Mateschitz wants to sell RBR as Audi waits in wings (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"Bernie Ecclestone has been telling people that such a scenario (Red Bull leaving F1) is in the works."

Easy Hamilton win sparks row with rivals (The Telegraph)

"If you come into Formula One, try to beat each other and perform at the highest level and then you need equalisation after the first race - you cry out after the first race - that’s not how we’ve done things in the past,' he said. 'I think 'Just get your f****** head down, work hard and try to sort it out'.' Quickly clarifying his remark, (Toto) Wolff added: 'I didn't mean the f-word in relation to him (Horner).'"

Mercedes' Australian GP win was 'boring', say rival F1 drivers (The Guardian)

"I feel a bit for the fans. It was a boring race. It was frustrating."

Williams will not put Susie Wolff in for Valtteri Bottas (BBC)

"Claire Williams said (Susie) Wolff would not be under consideration - although she refused to confirm the likely deputy."

Massa questions Mercedes engine parity (Crash)

"We're pushing hard with the engine which I'm sure has some improvements that we can have and are pushing to have, because for sure the difference is too big. So I really hope that we really have the same engine, which I really don't see why we don't have."

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Comment of the day

There was quite a lot of negativity around yesterday but one positive story line to come out of it was an excellent fifth place for Felipe Nasr on his debut:

The distance to Ericsson was proof of the pudding. If Bottas can’t race in Malaysia, then surely Williams would want their previous development driver back, to match him against Massa in a race situation (to test for replacing him once he retires), while Sauber would be very obliging as this gives them a chance to run van der Garde/Ericsson and dig themselves slightly out of a legal hole (or securing better terms with van der Garde).

This might be quashed if there is some substance to van der Garde/McGregor taking an equity stake in the team and the matter is already settled.
Iestyn Davies (@Fastiesty)

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On this day in F1

Tom Pryce won the non-championship Race of Champions on this day 40 years ago at the wheel of a Shadow. John Watson finished second ahead of Ronnie Peterson in the Brands Hatch race.

166 comments on “Red Bull urge rules change amid rumours of F1 exit”

    1. Audi as just PU supplier? Don’t see that. Especially when they’ve had so much fun being manufacturer in LMP1.

      Anyway, it’s all academic. Clearly RB are just a tad fatigued by the last year. Anyone know any energy drinks that can pep them up?

    2. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      17th March 2015, 12:08

      Red Bull (“Racing”) is _just only_ there for the money, marketing and prestige of F1. And yes, you’re right; Renult could and should buy RBR.

  1. With Renault looking to buy a team again, and Red Bull looking to sell, isn’t it an obvious solution for Renault to buy Red Bull team?
    I’ve heard they are planing to buy Toro Rosso, but that is quite bad idea compared to other alternatives, because it’s not in that motorsport area of the UK. Getting anything done would be that much more complicated.

    On the other hand, Red Bull has top notch facilities and location, and if they are looking to sell, and Renault is looking to buy, why not just do the obvious? Even the car is already made for Renault engine.

    1. This makes a lot of sense, but with Renault you get the feeling they are not 100% fully committed since Crashgate. If they were, taking over RB and a return to the 2005/6 glory years seems a no-brainer – but instead, the talk is of taking over Toro Rosso for cheap.

      If Audi finally come in and take up Red Bull, then I guess Renault would be left with Toro Rosso. Perhaps that’s not too bad a solution, with Red Bull moving back to sponsorship/looking at taking over F1 from Bernie, if not outbid by someone else like John Malone (who’s just taken a stake in Formula E).

      1. I can see that also, that Red Bull will still be an active sponsor in F1. They could very well stay as a sponsor of the Milton Keynes team. They probably wouldn’t sponsor a Renault team though given how rapidly that relationship is deteriorating.

    2. That would certainly shut up the complaining about the Renault engine!

    3. It makes more sense for Renault to buy Toro Rosso than Red Bull IMO.

      1. I just pointed out why I don’t think that. Could you elaborate why you disagree?

        1. It’s cheaper and is a solid team.

        2. Just because I don’t see Red Bull leaving the sport: they suffered a lot from 2005 til 2008 and they didn’t leave. They might develop their own engine (heck, half of the engineers (Mario Ilien for example) working at Renault right now are from Red Bull) with Austrian (!) firm AVL or they can partner up with VW/Audi.

          If Red Bull continues without Renault, I’m sure Renault would want to show RB (and the rest of the world) they can develop good engines too. Buying Toro Rosso would make more sense than buying Lotus for example.

    4. i think Toto’s response about f’ing getting their heads down and then suggesting the Wailing Wall is the funniest thing I’ve read in years!
      And so true.

  2. Red Bull just managed to beat Ferrari as the biggest crybabies. A team that dominated AT WILL, now wants equalization rules? Sure, Red Bull got most of their advantage cut out because of regulations (blown diffusers, for instance), but they also managed to get durable Pirellis back, when Lotus and Ferrari were doing a better job in the first half of 2013.

    They are a Renault works team now, they should be able to work with them and move forward. The chassis might be the best, but F1 is about cars, as a whole, not bits from cars. If it was like that, maybe the company that builds Red Bull’s fuel pump could be saying: “we need a rule to make it equal for us fuel pump builders. FIA has the power to equalize the rest of the car”.

    It’s motorsport. Engine is the main bit in the definition of it, not chassis. Work harder, complain less.

    And btw, this is ALL what WE said last year when the future of many teams was in doubt. If Red Bull decides to pull the plug, they will, as many other manufacturers have done. Red Bull having no association to motorsports other than as a sponsor, is the most prominent candidate to carry on with their business someplace else.

    1. but they also managed to get durable Pirellis back

      Blame Donington Park not finishing in time for F1 for that. @fer-no65

    2. Red Bull would do better to keep making energy drinks which is the thing that they get all their revenue from because F1 and Bernie Ecclestone are the sponges and the waisted money that is taking their money from them year by year, even the richest corporates can only waist or lose so much money before its time for them to pull the plug and say “enough is enough” and unfortunately F1 as whole will end up like that if it does not improve and becomes an entertaining and the pinnacle of motor racing like it was always intended to be.

      1. @steveng Red Bull doesn’t “make” energy drinks. It makes money from marketing and sales which is exactly why it is in F1. It won’t pull out because it is not winning or even because the team loses money, only when its net investment is not giving adequate returns as a marketing tool.

    3. @fer-no65

      Red Bull just managed to beat Ferrari as the biggest crybabies.

      While Ferrari do have the tendency to whine a lot, at least they push through the rough times and don’t give up. They didn’t give up from 2009-2014, and they didn’t give up during the miserable 80’s and 90’s. Red Bull have one underwhelming season and they are already likely to pull the plug.

      They are a Renault works team now, they should be able to work with them and move forward. The chassis might be the best, but F1 is about cars, as a whole, not bits from cars.

      Indeed, and more importantly, contrary to what Horner, Marko and Newey want us to believe, Red Bull is certainly NOT the best chassis in F1 right now. Mercedes has everyone beat hands down in that department. The RB11 not even the second best chassis (that would be Ferrari). Red Bull are barely any faster than Toro Rosso, and honestly, ever since STR became more independent of Red Bull in 2009, when have they ever had a good car?

      Red Bull have a ridiculous tendency to always blame their suppliers (Renault, Pirelli) etc…

      1. @kingshark Montezemolo cried quite a lot during those years, I have to say.

      2. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
        17th March 2015, 12:12

        + 100 @kingshark ;)

        @fer-no65; you’re quite right, but still Ferrari always had more stayer ability and Montezemolo was/is im.o (actually!) more constructive than Horner now.

    4. A few years ago Lewis Hamilton said “Red Bull is a drinking company” dismissing rumors he wanted to join the then dominant team. Apparently Lewis wanted to tell us that Red Bull’s commitment to F1 was not different from Benetton’s.

      Look at struggling McLaren. Lewis won WDC driving a McLaren in 2008 and since then they have experienced highs and lows but no more championships; but you don’t hear them threatening to leave the sport.

      I too think Mercedes dominance is not good for F1, but whose fault is this? Why don’t tone down their voices and try to find a solution diplomatically instead of blackmailing FOM? Such a shame.

      1. Talking about commitment, like @kingshark said, despite the moaning Ferrari is there to stay because they cannot see themselves without the sport. Look at Williams, all those awful years and they are still there. Does anyone imagine McLaren without F1? Hell no!

      2. The main problem for Red Bull is that they don’t develop their own engine. They need Renault, and Renault keeps screwing up. So they are frustrated as hell, and are looking for different options to restore their position. You can’t blame them for doing that. Several comments here suggest that Red Bull isn’t working hard enough. I really don’t think that’s the case.

        The options they have:
        – make Renault to get their act together > not going to happen in 2015, because I don’t think they can (or want to spend more money)
        – find another engine supplier > not going to happen
        – try convincing everybody else that some kind of equalization is needed > possible (especially if Mercedes keeps doing what they’re doing). But this needs some spinning, hence the whining.
        – quit F1, because they can (not a possibility for Williams, McLaren and Ferrari) > possible, but off course not preferable (not for them, not for us)

        I’m a bit disappointed in all the negativity in this forum about Red Bull. It feels a bit shortsighted to burn them for something what seems very logical when you take the time to analyse the situation. I’m no Red Bull fan myself, didn’t like the Vettel-domination, but in those years there were many many good races with several teams in the mix. Last year was boring, and this year seems even worse. There is no team who can challenge Mercedes. No what’s the fun in that.

        1. Horner is right, however annoying his/RBRs moaning is.

          RBR dreamt up blown diffusers – banned as no-one could make them work as well as RBR – giveing them a massive advantage – and they were expensive.

          RBR and Renault develop clever engine software for off throttle exhaust blowing for more downforce – banned!

          RBR developed aero which passed all the FIA tests yet was able to flex to provide more downforce – ingenious! Banned!

          Once exhaust positions were fixed Sauber first then RBR managed to get Coanda exhausts working to give some blown exhaust effect – banned!

          Now Mercedes have a HUGE advantage and the FIA is doing nothing to even slightly rein in their performance?

          Despite the fact it does sound like sour grapes, the evidence is clear: under the V8 rules any major, well engineered and clever CHASSIS advantage was progressively reined in by tighter regulation. However one ENGINE manufacturer clearly has a major engine advantage and what is done about it?

          Nothing.

          Gotta love F1…

          1. @clay, on the topic of off throttle blowing, Renault were still permitted to continue their “cold blowing” technique on reliability grounds, whereas the “hot blowing” Mercedes and Ferrari developed was restricted.

            If anything, the restrictions on the “hot blowing” engine maps actually ended up handing Red Bull an increased performance advantage, not lessening it, because they were not affected by it.

            As for the Coanda exhausts, McLaren and Sauber pioneered that concept several months before Red Bull produced its own copy (Horner himself later admitted that Red Bull copied the concept from McLaren’s car).

            They certainly didn’t pioneer the idea, nor were they the only party to be affected by the ban – if anything, McLaren were the ones to be hurt most given they’d expended the most resources on that concept.

        2. While I can see your point, I disagree with parts.

          Rule changes for ‘equalisation’ should be out of the question. If a team does a good job they should be allowed to reap the benefits. Red Bull did so in the past, and it has happened throughout history. To change that makes a mockery of calling F1 a sport (which it is already dicing with).

          Also, it is the whining attitude which offends. I understand that all teams are out for themselves, but whinging and threatening to quit are not the right way. If you want to quit, quit. If you are not happy that you haven’t managed to do as well as the others, or you want rule changes, campaign for them in a professional, grown-up manner.

          Their comments sound, to me, like “Wah! You’re not letting me score any goals so I’m taking my ball home!”

          1. machinesteve
            17th March 2015, 7:52

            Red Bull gives you whinge.

        3. New PU supplier will not haven soon, if they lured either BMW or Audi it would take them sometime unless they want to risk rushing their project only to end up like Honda but who knows…

          A radical solution could be Ferrari PU…

      3. What you said is so true.
        Look what Dennis after Honda put them in the last place of the grid 5 second behind the pole.
        “There is nothing to say about the engine. We have to be good partners here. Sure we have problems but we and Honda and the facilities at Sakura are working hard and we will get on top of it, this are great people and we trust them. If you want to hear about the engine then ask Honda, it’s their place if they want to make any comments about it”

        That is some good lessons on how to be a true racer instead of a whiner and how to respect your partner and not throwing him under the bus constantly. Horner and the Red Bull will be good to take some lessons.

    5. Ian Laidler (@)
      17th March 2015, 0:48

      Totally agree, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko were not crying for 4 years when RBR were winning everything, well done to Mercedes for breaking their dominance.
      Now they are spitting out their dummies and throwing the toys out of the pram. Time to grow up, stop crying into their milk and come to terms with the fact that the problem is not so much the Mercedes power unit but the absolutely useless power units provided by Renault, I don’t understand why, Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams and Sauber can make big steps forward and RBR/Renault go backwards so much, something is not right at RBR.

      A great result for Merc, Lewis and Nico, and nice to see Ferrari up there again.

    6. The worst part is Ecclestone has joined the rant.

      1. He wouldn’t miss the chance.

    7. What a hypocrite (RBR/horner)!
      Quotes from Horner:
      “On today’s evidence we are set for a two-horse race at every grand prix.
      “When we were winning – and we were never winning with an advantage that Mercedes has – double diffusers were banned, exhausts were moved, flexible bodywork was banned, engine mapping was changed mid-season – anything was done to pull us back. That was not just us, it was done to McLaren and Williams in other years.”

      They did all sort of cheating in body works! Thats what were being banned! They complained about FRIC, thinking it was what gave Merc the advantage, it was banned! They cant find any body work cheat on Mercs that they found on RBR in past years! RBR always objected to rule changes when they were dominant! Now they want rule changes :)

      “two-horse race” really? What was Seb? Single-grasshopper?

      What a wonderful world :)

      1. I guess RBR/Horner next will request de-tuning Merc engines or limiting their fuel/tyre allocation! Maybe they will come up with new rules like if Merc drivers to finish 1-2, in the next race 1st one will not be allowed to race :)

        Or ban Merc Turbo design as it is not traditional… Or when Merc finish X amount of gap to next team driver, Merc drivers get X amount of time penalty or stop n go penalty added next race :)

      2. :D
        Single-grasshopper

  3. Red Bull have an attitude an order of magnitude worse than Ferrari. You get the feeling that they think they have a divine right to be competitive all the time and threaten to leave as soon as it appears that they can’t make easy wins.

    Red Bull were the alpha team for four years – I can’t really see what “equalisation” strategies severely hampered them alone in that time. Ferrari have now done the legwork and their engine is now up to par, if Red Bull chose to stick with Renault and it’s a dud, it’s entirely their fault and their problem.

    Sour, sour bunch of people.

    1. Here, Here.

      1. Whoops…
        Let’s try…
        Hear, hear!

    2. What if “considering to quit” isn´t meant as a thread, but they are just considering to quit? They could do without, since both the lack in results and the diminishing F1-audience makes for their F1-team being a less effective marketing than it was. It could be a “come here, potential buyers, there´s something better available than Manor or Sauber”. I mean, it´s a soft-drink company, not a sports-car-manufacterer, you wouldn´t expect them to stay forever anyway, and it wouldn´t be an illogical time to quit.

      1. If it were an ‘invitation’ rather than a ‘threat’ then they would have spoken positively about the potential of their superb car with the development expertise of Renault. (@crammond)

        No, it is a ‘threat’.
        But, ‘I don’t care!’ (and IMO Horner is a cry-baby).
        I hope a dedicated racing team will take over, or Red Bull finds a team manager like Arrivabene who 2 days ago said “If we lose, we lose together and if we are going to win we are going to win together. That’s my mantra.

    3. They might be sour but I don’t want to see procession after procession even if one of my all time favorite drivers is the winner. I lived through enough of that with a certain 7 times champ

      1. A race is about the whole field not just who wins, Their are alot of cars out their that are so evenly matched in terms of pace that the racing between them could be extremely exciting. And If Rosberg can bridge the talent gap we would have a race at the front as well as in the middle.

        Bahrain was a great example of this, We had an epic fight at the front and a great battle in the midfield, The saftey car created the situation but the midfield doesn’t need the saftey car to bunch them all up again. They are pretty close as it is.

        I fear that alot of people are jumping on the first race of the season, Which I agree was very flat, but some extremes happened before the race that resulted in such a small grid, Both Bottas and supposedly Alonso will be back in Malaysia, Manor should be running in Malaysia, Honda will/should get there given some time and if Renault can stop moaning long enough to stop their engines either blowing up or sending their customers drivers off track then we would have a grid of 20 cars, with some very evenly matched paced teams all fighting, it wont be for the lead often but that doesn’t make F1 boring, otherwise for F1 to be exciting it would only have 2 cars on the track so one wins and one doesn’t.

        In terms of engines, the FIA may well make some changes to make them louder and more powerful (although im not sure why on the power, it’s not like they lack power, but more is always nice) but it doesn’t matter how many people moan, they aren’t going to be going back to the V8’s, just like in the V8 era they weren’t going back to the V10’s. The V6 is what we have, it’s what the engines manufactures pushed so hard for.

        We are living in 2015 and in a 2015 social and economic world, We aren’t in the 70’s/80’s or 90’s. F1 has to move along with the world and fans can either choose to come along or not, but just like any other business, you either adapt or you die.

        1. I hear you @woodyd91 about how things will settle in and how I and others are a bit jumpy after one race. I guess I’m just frustrated at the lack of running. It was still great to see them blast around even if I only rated it a 5

          1. fully agree with you, there were also 3 cars that never made the first lap,
            Lotus, both cars out before the first lap was completed, and Magnussen blown up before the line up,
            lets hope we have a better race in Malaysia with a few more cars,
            any way Honner you were the one that found the loop hole in the reg’s to fix your engine,
            oh you forgot to tell Mer’c you are the only ones allowed to use it, didn’t help one little bit.

    4. Well said.
      It is very un-sportsman like what they are doing.
      Work harder, try to work a deal for some other engines or keep trying to help Renault or whatever.
      What they are doing now reminds me of a 3 year old that is not allowed to ride the ride for a fith time in a row.

    5. Maybe they should lure Audi or BMW to join the sport. It’s a risk (Mcaren-Honda is there to prove) but maybe it’s time to take risks.

    6. When I was young, me and my best friend used to play squash on Saturday mornings. I used to lose every single week for at least a year. Then one time, I was on the verge of victory, 2 games up and about to serve for the match and he simply walked off court, just so there was no chance of me beating him fair and square.

      That’s how I see Red Bull now. Very very childish. Looking forward to them selling, hopefully to someone who loves cars and racing.

    7. Red Bull do have the biggest budget by far and I guess that does make them feel entitled to be up there fighting for the wins if not the WDC.

      Especially since it’s the PU which isn’t good enough and thus making all their hard work on, what is most likely, a good car go to waste.

    8. Crying about equalisation at the same time as sitting on more unused PU development/upgrade tokens than anyone else though….

    9. “When we were winning,” Horner said on Sunday, “double diffusers were banned, exhausts were moved, flexible bodywork was prohibited, engine mapping was changed. Anything.”

      Newey added: “With Mercedes, nobody says a word.”

      Rules changed to limit Red Bull when they dominated. Why not Mercedes?

      1. It takes some gall to cite cracking down on flexible wings as a “change” to spite RedBull. Leaving aside the question of whether RBR were in fact cheating, everyone was made to comply with the same tightened testing rules. The same goes for the double-diffuser, which was plainly an egregious exploitation of a drafting issue in the flat-bottom requirement. And Brawn was the “target” of this change, not RBR.

        1. Leaving aside that no cheating was involved with Fexible wings, as interpretation is everything in F1 rules, the tests for bodywork were modified to accomodate the possibility that wings were flexing. And this was aimed at Red Bull.
          The double diffuser you speak of at Brawn was on thier 2009 dominate car. The Diffuser ban came in 2011. Red Bull “perfected” this on the 2010 car, Vettel 1st Title. It was banned in 2011 and Brawn had nothing to do with this as they did not exist any longer at that point in time.

          1. RB… cheats there are, when you find hidden springs in their front wings, that in my book should have coped a huge million dollar fine and all points removed.

      2. So you compare bending the rules and FIA trying to close the holes as the same thing as simply having more horse power?
        Maybe we should also force Mercedes to start a lap behind too?

  4. I need some extra vowels for Red Bull:
    D_N’T L_T TH_ D__R H_T Y__ _N TH_ W_Y __T

    1. Don’t lot the deer hat you in the way eat ???

      1. Don’t Let the Door Hit You on The Way Out :D

        1. If it does, it’ll be the door’s fault, and unChristian will whine that it didn’t hit Mattiacci, and the stewards didn’t investigate when it was the Ferrari boss.

      2. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    2. I really wouldn’t mind if that drinks can leaves the sport. They gave us three years of monotony with their dominance (the 1st year of their title win wasn’t exactly dominant) all based on pure aerodynamics and exhaust gas downforce – I’m so happy that the engine has come to prominence in F1…it should always be that way.

  5. Tom (@newdecade)
    16th March 2015, 0:28

    Of course, Horner’s is not an impartial view. His priority is finding a means of returning Red Bull to competitiveness as soon as possible, and at present changing the rules is his best hope.

    Have to remember this. Much as it’s deeply shameless, it’s still his role as boss to try and achieve that one thing, getting RB winning again. Since they can’t rely on renault this is the next best option. All the other teams do this kind of thing and have done for years -COUGHFerrariCOUGH. The real disgrace of it is that yet again, F1 has failed to find a solution to produce a respectably competitive sport and this is the cancer killing it.

    1. This! I hate seeing teams test in a race and I dont remember ever seeing a team not get at least one car to the grid and I’ve been watching since 97.
      I think there needs to be more testing and as someone mentioned earlier a relaxation of engine rules except fuel consumption related ones.
      It would be a good start.

      1. I dont remember ever seeing a team not get at least one car to the grid

        @fletch Both Lola’s failed to qualify for Melbourne 1997, Both Arrows intentionally failed to qualify for the 2002 French Gp & Both HRT’s failed to qualify for the 2011 Australian Gp.

        At the 2000 Brazilian Gp Sauber withdrew both cars due to wing failures & at the 2002 Spanish Gp both Minardi’s were withdrawn for the same reason.

        1. I think there needs to be more testing

          Should be remembered that the teams themselves voted against more testing a dozen times over the past few years in part because of how much it cost’s to go testing.

          Additionally its likely that more testing would see the performance gaps between the cars increase further because the richest teams can afford to test while the smallest one’s cannot.

          1. Told!! @StefMeister but did the cars at least start and turn a lap in practice? I’m just a bit frustrated that only a few teams have hit the ground running while the majority have serious work to do before they can even bring upgrades. That’s why I made the comment about testing. In some form or another there surely needs to be a way for teams to be running with some degree of reliability for the first race. People who attend races and buy tv subscriptions want to see cars at least make the grid.

        2. @stefmeister @fletch and then there was USA 2005 :P

      2. @fletch

        I think there needs to be more testing

        But there were three tests and the team which didn’t get a car on the grid wasn’t at any of them. How exactly would having more testing form them to not turn up at have helped them?

    2. Maybe they could have relied on Renault more if they didn’t s_h_i_t all over them for some many years and making the Renault people preferring throwing darts in Horners photo instead of Toto’s.

  6. Oh now all of sudden red bull cry for equality.. Funny that.

  7. Red Bull Babies: Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing ever. But to hold it together when everyone else thinks you’d fall apart is true strength.

  8. Mercedes’ fastest speed through the speed traps in qualifying was 323.1 kph, slower than Ferrari (327.6 kph) and Sauber (324.7 kph). William’s fastest speed through the speed traps was 329 kph (5.9 kph quicker than the works team). I think it’s clear that the Mercedes customer teams have not been given a less powerful engine.

    Obviously, it’s clear that the works Mercedes has a huge amount of downforce – and hence drag – to explain its lower top speed (according to Pat Symonds, “Over a lap, the Ferrari engine is basically at Mercedes’ level”, so Mercedes’ 1.4 second qualifying advantage over Ferrari and Williams is pretty much just due to having supreme aerodynamics), but even so I don’t think they would be 5.9 kph slower with a superior engine.

    It should be remembered that Williams are running a different fuel to Mercedes though (Petrobras instead of Petronas) which can be worth a considerable amount of time (tenths) under the current engine formula, so that could be a factor. But Lotus and Force India are also miles behind the Mercedes works team and they are using the same fuel. I think it just comes down to Merc’s astounding aerodynamics.

    1. Indeed, Its easy to point the finger at the Mercedes power unit as the reason for there performance advantage.. But thats only a part of the package & its the overall package they have whihc is giving them the advantage & NOT just the power unit.

      Martin Brundle was at trackside during FP2 at a few corners round the circuit & he pointed out that the Mercedes looked better than the rest in every area, It was more stable under braking whihc was allowing the drivers to have the confidence to brake later, They were carrying more speed through the corners indicating there producing more downforce than the rest & the drivers could pick the throttle up earlier than anyone else which again points to more downforce (As well as better engine drivability).

      Lets say that Mercedes power advantage is 50bhp over Renault/Ferrari, I honestly believe you could limit there engine’s by that amount & they would still be way ahead because the rest of the package would still be just as good as it currently is.

      1. I don’t know about Rosberg, but when Hamilton was in GP2 (a field of essentially identical cars) you could see that he carried so much more speed into the corners than the other drivers. If what Brundle noted is true on all the tracks, Hamilton is going to be very hard to catch. Cornering confidence is a big deal.

    2. @polo, spot on!
      And Mercedes has different drivers behind the wheel than Williams as well.

      I bet you there is more of a difference in driver skills than difference in engine, Mr Massa!

    3. Spot on @polo.

      Massa should read the data before saying that. Mercedes has strong aero package for some time. Nico won a race in 2012 and Schumacher scored a pole in Monaco the same year. In 2013 they were battling with Red Bull for poles and won 3 races despite their struggle with Pirellis, so their aero strength was there before the hybrid era started.

      Their success is the combination of the best Power Unite and the best aerodynamics.

    4. Williams do not use a different fuel to Mercedes at present. Petrobras are working on an alternative.

      1. You run more power and you ca afford to run a little extra downforce/drag. You have less power you need to trim the car for less downforce to be semi-competitive on the straights. More power = more downforce = more grip = better handling/braking/stability/driver confidence.

        It’s the whole package yes, but combine a very good aero group with the best engine by an order of 10-15% and you need to try very hard to lose. RBR is clever in the aero department, but not that clever.

    5. Comparing speed trap speeds is a very bad way to measure the power of any engine, especially some of the most complicated engines in the world (if not the most complicated).

      Mercedes could very easily provide the same engines to Williams but without all the correct software settings. For example, they could have found a way to get extra torque during the lap, or better energy preservation. There are so many parts that can be improved (energy recovery in braking, braking itself, software etc) that it should be pretty easy to provide an engine with the same specs but a bit slower.

      Funny though how a team that was fighting to get into the points 2 years ago now feels that they should be able to fight with Mercedes for wins. To be honest, I can’t imagine Mercedes fighting with Williams for the championship and playing 100%, besides that’s exactly the reason McLaren left for Honda.

    6. @polo Not necessarily, Unfortuantely you cannot tell that from speed trap times alone.

      for example, Mercedes could still have a significant engine advantage and not such a good chassis but be able to wind more downforce onto the chassis which would slow their speed trap times to the chasing pack but increase their cornering speeds which would maintain their overall laptime advantage. Pretty much the opposite of what redbull did last year (take off downforce from a good chassis to compensate for an underpowered engine).

  9. Has anyone not mentioned the “right” decision Vettel has taken? I mean he looks like he is in tune with his new car. I give him credit for moving at the right time!

    1. I’d agree he made the move at the right time, Although I think Ferrari surprised themselves with their pace, so maybe more like lucky timing than anything else. Much the same goes for Hamilton with his move to Mercedes, although he obviously already knew a little bit about how good the engine was rumored to be.

    2. Good for him, though many consider Albert park results to be an outlier. Lets wait and see for a couple of more races. Personally, I will wait till Monaco.

  10. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    16th March 2015, 1:13

    I don’t understand the criticism of Horner here. I mean he’s quite right in that Merc’s domination is far larger than anything Red Bull enjoyed and there were numerous calls from other teams – and technology reductions – to stop them but there doesn’t seem to be any for Mercedes. Obviously he’s looking to better his own team’s position relative to the competition but surely this is a good thing and relatively expected? Closer racing is surely what we’re all after with fights for pole and the lead of races?

    I have seen people say that you’re not a real F1 fan and words to that effect if you complain about Merc’s dominance, but I think this is relatively unfair. To an older fan the idea of one or two drivers and the entire field being lapped by one car isn’t exactly an old concept but it’s absurdly alien to a new fan. Getting new fans interested in the sport when the drivers title is between two drivers and the constructors just one is pretty challenging – in that situation why watch? I know most of my friends consider F1 totally boring and convincing them to get involved now will be next to impossible. Saying the racing behind the Mercs is great is true but when the championships are pretty sorted, poles are pretty sorted… I can understand why people can and will lose interest. Less viewers means less sponsors, less sponsors means less money which results in less teams.

    If Red Bull’s quit threat is genuine, irrespective of whether they’re crybabies or not – F1 cannot sustain the loss of two particularly strong teams. If they left surely that leaves Renault in a seriously precarious position too? What about the Red Bull Ring? From what I can see they are arguing for equalisation, so two cars don’t disappear down the road and the championships aren’t dominated from the start and as a fan I agree. The stupid thing is really that this isn’t Mercedes’ fault – they have done the best job by a ridiculous level and what they’ve achieved is nothing short of groundbreaking but the point remains it’s unhealthy for the sport, for it’s viewers and F1’s currently precarious financial situation. Honestly I have no idea of how to fix that as limiting Mercedes or boosting the other teams is unfair, but leaving it as things are is probably unsustainable.

    1. From what I can see they are arguing for equalisation, so two cars don’t disappear down the road and the championships aren’t dominated from the start and as a fan I agree.

      @rocketpanda And also as a fan I disagree.

      One of the primary reason I love F1 more than any other category is because they don’t play around with performance equalization, success ballast or any of the similar things.

      Yes the races would be more interesting if Mercedes didn’t have the advantage they do, But I don’t feel they should have there performance artificially lowered to drop them to the same performance level as the rest, The rest should instead just look at improving there own packages to catch-up to Mercedes themselfs.

      I accept that its frustrating for a lot of fans & probably does turn people off, But as long as you have teams building/developing there own cars & multiple engine manufacturer’s you always have the chance that someone will have the dominant package, Thats always been a part of what F1 is about & unless you turn it into a single make category its something thats always going to be a possibility.

      1. @StefMeister but then you have fIA and FOM banning this and that to bring competition closer anyway so I don’t see a big difference between punishing beforehand. To be honest I don’t much like either idea. I’d love it if they threw most of the rule book out and put a limit on fuel use and a percentage of hp that is developed outside the internal combustion engine and let the engineers go crazy.

      2. But as long as you have teams building/developing there own cars & multiple engine manufacturer’s you always have the chance that someone will have the dominant package, Thats always been a part of what F1 is about & unless you turn it into a single make category its something thats always going to be a possibility.

        Then let them improve! I wouldn’t use the exact words Horner did, but with the limitations in testing, if this gap of ~1.5 secs the Mercedes has is real and not just for the first couple of races, if Hamilton dominates his teammate there would nothing to watch after 2 months.

        Unless people are willing to watch who is third best for the rest of the year (I am not), viewers will decline even more this year.

    2. I understand what you’re saying and while I’ve only been watch F1 for a few years – I don’t recall this level of crying by the slower teams when it was Red Bull who were out in front. I didn’t watch through the Schumacher era, but from what the NBC (USA) announcers have said – this doesn’t yet compare.

      So Red Bull wants things equalized – I feel the need to echo others “Work Harder”.

    3. I don’t think winning a single Championship constitutes a long-term problem. I don’t even think back-to-back Championships are a long-term problem. Further, I don’t think we yet have a good picture of where the Ferrari OR the Renault engine stand relative to Mercedes (especially given the numbers of engine tokens yet to be used).
      Remember how the 2009 season panned out for those Brawns that walked away with the first race in Australia, before stampeding towards premature equalization measures. Red Bull needs to make a good faith effort to resolve its own problems first.

      1. I don’t think winning a single Championship constitutes a long-term problem.

        Nobody is complaining about Mercedes winning a championship. It’s the fashion in which they are winning which is driving calls for the FIA to intervene. The Red Bulls were never remotely as dominant as Mercedes were last year and look to be again this year … and in spite of that, numerous rule changes were still implemented to try to slow down RB.

      2. Remember how the 2009 season panned out for those Brawns that walked away with the first race in Australia, before stampeding towards premature equalization measures

        There were zero restrictions on other teams developing similar (or even better) implementations of the exhaust blown diffuser in 2009. There are considerable restrictions on other teams developing their power units now.

    4. @rocketpanda: I think that at least part of the difference between Red Bull’s dominance and Mercedes’ is that Red Bull appeared to succeed largely by exploiting loopholes, while Mercedes are (so far…) seen to be more squarely within the rules. While I enjoy the intrigue of cunning loophole exploitation, for example McLaren’s F-Duct, I also applaud “straightforward” engineering prowess, such as Mercedes’ split turbo.

  11. Feel for Red Bull, they were evil when they were winning, and again they are evil.

    Certanly don´t remember so much outcry when RB advantange was being “cut” and challange every single race, between 2010-2013.

    Anyway I didn´t think the race was the worst that we have seem (Valencia anyone?) but I do think the size of the grid is something to worry about, if RB and TR were to quit that will be a disaster.

    1. For me @celeste,there is one clear difference: as far as we know, the Mercedes engine is better than Renault in being closer to what the rules intended to achieve: use hybrid power to be powerful yet frugal. Ferrari is there too. Changing that requires changing intended direction. Red Bull were constantly searching the limits and loopholes of the rules,so rules were amended.

      1. @bosyber RB never broke the rules, they were innovative, and that was suppose to be one of the points of F1.

        1. Yes @celeste, best car concept in 2009, more innovative than other teams in finding the loopholes and limits, they kept abreast of the others overall. Missed a trip with double diffuser that lost them 2009.Now Mercedes stole a march by creating the best overall concept, and best execution.Red Bull Disq. twice in 2014 for overtly breaking rules.

          1. @bosyber but contrary to RB situation everybody else could do the same with their design, with the engine situation they are not allowed or not freely.

          2. And despite that @celeste, reports after Melbourne seems to agree Ferrari might have closed the engine gap for the most part, so the rest would be aerodynamics, which every one is indeed free to improve. But just like with Red Bull, only those with the ideas and money to execute it, will – which probably explains why Williams isn’t closer as they didn’t have the resources; maybe Ferrari has found the ideas to use their resources though. And who knows, McLaren could be there next year.

          3. @bosyber Oh, Ferrari is miles away from Mercedes. Hamilton and Nico were on save engine mode by the end of the race.

  12. Go away then! Red Bull is behaving like childs.
    I guess when Hamilton was right a few years ago…

    1. When he was complaining about how easy was for a driver to win in a dominant car… oh wait…

      1. Becken Lima
        16th March 2015, 2:11

        Nope; Lewis said that Red Bull was only a energy drink company, not a real F1 team!

        They have all facilities, money and professionals, but lacks the real mentality and heritage of teams like McLaren, Ferrari or… Mercedes.

        Whining like Horner is doing now just proves Lewis point: Red Bull can’t afford to get through a period of decadence because they’re only in F1 to sell cans of their product and to do so, they need to win, and to win hopelessly…

        1. Really? I’m amazed of the collective and selective agnesia…

          Specially to said that other teams don’t whine… whining is as much a part of this sport that is almost a requirement… and Hamilton jabs at RB were a sad sibg of his frustration, same as right now if he was the one winning in a RB he wouldn’t have told anything, same as he saids “he doesn’t need to defend” anything now that he is winning.

          1. @celeste I think you missed his point entirely. Do you see McLaren, Ferrari or Williams whining? Nope.

            F1 is a marking exercise for RB and as soon as it doens’t make sense for from that perspective, i.e not winning, they will pull the club.

          2. @realstig they used to do when RB was winning.

            And at this point other than Ferrari, I see very little reason for anyone to want to be into F1.

            Everything is a business, and is obvious that they want a ROI. And RB is yes a drink company, but they have done more than most “racers” “heritage” teams have done for the sport in the past years.

            How many none paying new drivers have they give in a chance to be into the sport? At least 11. Of all new teams in the past 11 years how many has made a serious investment in the sport?

            So to dismisse them because they are a drink company, or to say that they are no real “racers” because they want to leave is narrow minded because they have done a lot for the sport.

        2. I don´t think Merc counts as a “heritage”-team. McLaren and Williams are slowly growing into it, but it´s only really fully there with Ferrari.

          1. Martin Hooper
            16th March 2015, 6:16

            I would say Merc is a heritage team – Just look at the history of their Silver Arrows in the 1930’s…..

    2. And it will be super fun to have a grid with only 16 cars next year!!!!

    3. @edmarques i just mentioned Hamilton above.

      Races don’t leave when their losing. Look at Ferrari, McLaren, Williams…

  13. The odd thing about Red Bull’s comments is that Renault have repeatedly said that they don’t want the engine rules to be changed:
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117996

    Renault were also lets not forget one of the biggest advocates of moving to the current formula & were talking about pulling out themselfs if F1 stuck with the V8s.

    F1 has its problems right now but the engine formula isn’t one of them. The rules are the same for everybody & Mercedes have just done a better job, If Red Bull don’t have the confidence that Renault are going to improve then they should look at switching to a supplier they feel can & if Red Bull don’t feel they can produce a car that can compete with Mercedes then they need to look at why that is.

    Threatening to quit, demanding things be changed & talking about nonsense like performance equalization just because you have not got the car right & because your engine supplier is having problems is BS frankly.

    I’d also like to point out that the power unit is not the only reason for Mercedes performance advantage, They have also come up with an exceptionally good car.

  14. Horner is just a spoilt brat – perfectly fine while Red Bull are dominating, as soon as the tables are turned he throws his toys around like a whinging child.

    1. I agree totally – they are very sore losers.

    2. @mcfly – It would be totally different if there was evidence that Mercedes was cheating in some way, or interpreting the rules in an odd, self-serving way. But they seem to be as straight as a laser beam.
      No flexi-wings or home-grown fuel sensor calculations here.

      1. Want to back that far? I suppose a illegal yet unpunished in-season test session at Barcelona with drivers using unmarked helmets was fine was it? Agree that Mercedes have done the best job with the rules. So did RBR with numerous aero/chassis innovations yet these were still banned to limit one team’s advantage – for the good of the sport. F1 is in a very precarious position right now and can the sport afford another year of utter domination by one team, regardless of the merit of their success?

  15. Thanks for the COTD @keithcollantine. Nasr did even better than I thought he might do, so that reserve driver year at Williams has served him well, just like Bottas before him. Lynn is now in a good position to do the same.

    Pat Symonds said they have options – the BBC article reckons Wehrlein. Mercedes are looking to get him involved, so Williams is a very good place to start if needed, much better than Force India or Manor, and will help their finances.

    Claire was quick to rule out their test drivers – this makes sense, as they need all the points they can get to battle Ferrari for 2nd in the WCC.

  16. Redbull is whining but I understand a little. If next year is the same, other teams won’t be silent.

    1. They’re overhauling the regs anyway in 2017.

    1. I liked the interview but rolleyes that Arnie is a big f1 fan. He didn’t even know the drivers names confidently.

      1. That’s not conclusive. I’m not so sure he knows his own name so confidently these
        days. ;)

        1. @fletch @boylep6 Plus he didn’t know what else to ask after the first question, perhaps excusable for this plain race. Maybe it was all very rushed like the article mentions (wonder who was pushed aside for Arnie?).

  17. I don’t really care if Red Bull wants a rules change to even the playing field– they feel like it was done to them when they were on top, and now it should be done to Mercedes. Of course they are looking out for themselves, why would they look out for the other teams? The other teams can do that.

    The debate, or any outrage, should be over the rules changes–or non-changes–not on the fact that a team is doing what they have incentive to do. It’s being outraged at what is natural, and not directed toward what really matters.

  18. I think Red Bull have a skewed idea about equalisation. All teams had double deck diffusers, the only reason they weren’t banned in 2010 is because they were already integrated into the chassis designs so teams were given a grace year to prepare for the ban.

    All teams had blown diffusers, yes Red Bull did it better, but the FIA wanted rid because it wasn’t road relevant or efficient.

    Flexi body work is against the rules so yeah the FIA equalised things by forcing them to comply. Clever engine maps are against the rules, again equalised by being forced to comply.

    The Mercedes is completely within the rules unless someone finds something they’ve hidden well. As for equalisation they banned FRIC, didn’t hurt them. They banned the double DRS effect that Mercedes pioneered. Didn’t hurt them.

    It’s not just the engine. Toro Rosso took the fight to them often last year and again this year looks to be very close. Red Bull are a team in decline, rule changes to equalise aren’t going to help them until they find the root of the problem and begin rebuilding. That’s what Ferrari and McLaren are now working on because they know all the rule changes in the world don’t help against an organisation that is just plain and simply run better like Red Bull were for 2009-2013.

  19. “Red Bull gives you Whinge.”

    1. Ha! COTD.

  20. Regarding the Autosport article, it refers to RedBull having a contract with FOM until 2020, but as was admitted by Ms Kaltenbourn of Sauber F1 “F1 contracts are worth nothing”

  21. Regarding Horner’s complaints, the reason the FIA stepped in previously, was because the things they were doing were very ‘questionable’, bending body work, double defuser, exhaust blowing, mid-season engine mapping changes, but what has Mercedes done that is questionable? Nothing, they just did a really good job and set their targets high. Even Ferrari have piped down, now they have got their back sides into gear. I believe Honda, when they are working correctly will be competitive, it’s just Renault that are really struggling badly. Plus I don’t for one moment believe that RedBull would still be complaining if they were in the lead. Not the mention Horner banding about cost control as an argument, where was the cost control during their championship years, unchecked, that were.
    RedBull are very bad losers.

    1. Indeed. Red Bull were getting competitive last year, but Renault messed up over the winter
      and they have gone backwards, while Ferrari have taken a leap forwards.

      Horner’s conclusion is that Mercedes should be reigned in by the FIA?

      I think that Red Bull are in denial that F1 is only about chassis design because they don’t design
      engines, and expect an equal specification engine for everyone. They are also in denial about why
      Mercedes are 1.4s faster than Williams. I don’t think it is just engine.

      1. Corrado (@)
        16th March 2015, 6:09

        I don’t think Renault have gone backwards, but more likely they barely improved, like 0,1sec, while Ferrari improved by 1sec, for example.
        I don’t think either that Mercedes’ advantage is based just on the engine, must the rest of the car (chassis + aero) too.

  22. Frankly, I could give two Mateschitz about what Red Bull think of the engine rule changes after watching them dominate F1 for four years under rules that benefitted them. Credit to Newey where due, but have they so quickly forgotten that it was Renault that helped them win several of those championships with the off-throttle exhaust flow and engine maps that made their exhaust-blown diffuser so effective? Renault may still have problems with their power unit, but Red Bull should at least give them the benefit of the doubt and time to fix their issues given their history together. They’ve only been losing for a single season and one race to date (and yet still won 3 last year!) and have been whining so incessantly that I hope they do go home and take their drinks with them. Maybe they will sell out to Renault and let them build that car back into a winner over the next few years – how ironic would that be? Save the racing for the actual car companies and gearhead privateers like it should be.

  23. Christian Horner is talking about equalization rules. He talks about double diffusers being banned, engine software and flexible wings, those things that gave them an advantage. And he wants to have Mercedes pegged back like they were pegged back. But what exactly is giving Merc the advantage? Do they have one or other clever solution that exploits a grey area in the regulations, or did they just build a better car? If Merc built a better car that conforms 100% to the regulations as they stand, then it is not for the FIA to peg them back, but for RB to build a better car.

  24. Corrado (@)
    16th March 2015, 6:05

    That’s why Ferrari is the best! 66 years w/o pause in F1?!?! Oh, yeah, that’s something!

  25. Red Bull/Renault 2014: “We want new rules because we didn’t do as good a job as Mercedes did”.

    Red Bull/Renault 2015: We want new rules because we didn’t do as good a job as Mercedes AND Ferrari did”.

  26. When I read

    The technical rules are not understandable, much too complicated, and too expensive

    I thought he was talking about double diffusers, winglets, flexible wings, blown exhausts, wind tunnel testing, etc.

    But Dr Helmut Marko is actually talking about the power units.
    That means his Law training (doctorate) prepared him better to understand aerodynamics than mechanical engineering, or he uses his training to argue a case for his client independent if his client is right or wrong!

  27. I think we have to recognize that there is a major difference between the causes of each teams’ domination. With Red Bull, they created new devices that could be considered loopholes to give themselves and advantage (I’m not faulting them for this, that is what they should be doing) and the FIA came in and either closed the loopholes or banned certain devices as other teams had not even thought to develop them. I believe the better idea there would be to encourage development with testing so the other teams could do the same, but that’s beside the point.
    With Mercedes, however, all the teams are doing the same thing. Other than their split turbo, Mercedes hasn’t developed anything extraordinary or new that could be considered a loophole that might be closed. Instead, Mercedes just developed a much better package than everyone else with the PU, Chassis, and Aero. This shouldn’t cause the FIA to reign in Mercedes through drastic rule changes, as Mercedes just did a better job at the same task.

  28. I am shocked at how low Mr .Horner can go…equalization rules? whose fault is it that the Renault engine is not driveable,? Mercedes? I never heard people calling for equalization when red bull was winning fourchampionships.
    in the words of Mr. Wolff please work hard. if it pleases you to quit formula 1 please go ahead.

  29. I think the problem for Redbull is they are trapped. Why bother even competing when the rules stop them being able to develop a competitive car/engine in a reasonable timeframe, no point even turning up to race. Merc has first mover advantage, and all other team are in essence being penalized by limitations on development slowing/stopping their ability to catchup.

  30. The only thing I struggle to see here is, the difference between the Red Bull situation and Mercedes.
    Red Bulls advantage was aerodynamic parts, off throttle diffuser and so on, everyone had that so to ban that was fair.
    What is the one specific advantage of Mercedes, their engine so what do you want to ban engines, lets have a Fred Flinstone series, joking aside, what is the one specific part of the engine that gives them a massive advantage, that’s the hard part finding that one specific thing that gave them the advantage.

  31. “Waaaaa, waaaaa, we’re not winning anymore so we’re going to take our ball away!”

    Horner is terrible PR for a fun-loving, youthful and energetic company.

  32. Any equalisation process should only involve opening up the rules to allow more engine development, rather than restricting what power Mercedes have. Just imagine what Williams, Lotus, and Force India would say if they had 50-100hp taken away!
    Then let’s see if Renault can catch up, or will Mercedes just run away more?

    I’ve long been an advocate for giving the designers a set of maximum dimensions, and 100kg of fuel. Everything else is open. And next year, it’s 95kg. That encourages road relevance.

  33. Glad common sense prevailed over political correctness. Susie Wolff doesn’t deserve a race seat in F1. Not even for 1 race

    Those who wish for a woman to drive in an F1 race, should lobby Williams to bring Simona De Silvestro back from over the pond

    1. @montreal95 I think you mean ‘positive discrimination’ rather than ‘political correctness’.

      1. @keithcollantine No. If Bernie would’ve used his considerable influence and pockets as deep as the Mariana Trench to help Simona get the Sauber seat instead of Eriksson that would be a true “positive discrimination”. Because she could do as good a job as him, if not better, to help SdS to get the drive would be, while bad for Eriksson, overall very positive for the sport and the society as a whole, in true spirit of positive discrimination.

        But to give Susie Stoddart a drive just because she’s a woman and a wife of a shareholder would be a false positive discrimination. In truth just a nod to political correctness. Barely acceptable just because she’s a sportswoman and not a doctor for example, so not dangerous to anyone probably, just noncompetitive. But nonsensical nonetheless and would be detrimental to the cause of women equality

        1. @montreal95 ‘Political correctness’ is the use of non-discriminatory language. This is not that.

          1. @keithcollantine Admittedly I have used a broad definition of political correctness -a policy of not offending /upsetting any group in the society that is seen as underprivileged. And more importantly, not to be seen doing so. This is not necessarily in language only.

            What you are referring to, is what the term should’ve meant. But it has grown as a cancerous cell to mean too much. Sorry for OT

  34. Horner’s memory is quite short, I rememeber a certain FRIC ban that allegedly targeted Mercedes. Besides what technical element can the FIA target to hobble Mercedes? They haven’t exploited a single element, such as the blown diffuser, like teams have to great effect in previous seasons. Mercedes have simply done a better job on all parts of the car than the other teams and all of these marginal gains add up.

  35. Many of those complaining about what christian horner said here I think are the same people who complained of the red bull dominance. But what he says is true though. Everyone was getting everything red bull innovated banned but when Mercedes now has the advantage it becomes okay and it’s just a sport. Again, I think these are the same people having very different views just because it’s a new team dominating instead. So they hated red bull dominating but now that Mercedes is dominating by a far larger margin than red bull ever were, it suddenly becomes okay to them.

    Mark my words, give the Mercedes domination another few years and these same people will probably start complaining about Mercedes and start finding fault with everything they say or do. It has happened with every successful team. Ferrari used to receive such hate too.

    People love underdogs but when these underdogs turn into massive winning machines, people start turning on them. Why? I have no idea . Perhaps humans just can’t stomach the idea of people who are really successful. Don’t believe me? Read the comments on pre 2010 articles on red bull and how everyone was praising them as the underdog and over achieving and being innovative and such.

    Can we have some positivity here instead.

    1. Surely any rule equalisation change is going to cause all teams engines to lose power unless it specifically targeted a Mercedes feature?

      And what if that then puts Mercedes behind? Well then they will call foul so the FIA will have to play fair and equalise the rules again, at this point it would save effort all round and they could just have a spec engine.

      Now we’re down to only aero being the differentiator, but we have a precedent for ‘equalising’ if one team is ahead. Easiest solution is spec the chassis and aero. Of course at this point you can’t really call it a ‘formula’ motorsport. Call it something like GP2. There’s your solution Red Bull. A spec racing series called GP2 where no one can develop a technical advantage that prevents everyone racing on equal terms.

      Or you could look at options for getting a competitive engine in your supposedly top chassis, like Ferrari and McLaren did.

    2. Yet “those people” had very clear things to point at which they felt were illegal on the Rd Bull cars. The teams complained and sometimes those things indeed got banned. It’s not like FIA just set out to stop Red Bull dominating.

      The FIA actually seemed more eager to help Red Bull keep their domination intact. Or at least they never took any real action against the obviously flexible bodywork on the Red Bull cars when they did take hard action against Williams, Toyota, Ferrari and such doing the same thing before.

  36. The race yesterday was not filled with excitement. But I think trying to point the finger at Mercedes or what was happening at the lead of the race is completely missing the point. It’s not uncommon for the race at the front to be less than exciting, the major issue yesterday is that there was also very little racing in midfield or at the back and that is more down to the lack of numbers than any technical issue. The more teams you have the greater the competition and there’s always something exciting to watch even if there is no race for the lead. I imagine that if McLaren and others can get on top of their issues by mid-season the racing as a whole will improve and the season could still be a good one despite Mercedes securing both titles early on again.

  37. It took Red Bull 5 years to get to the top, I don’t see them leaving after only two uncompetitive seasons.

    Maybe they will sell Toro Rosso, but I can’t see them leaving F1 right now. F1 is perfect for the Red Bull ‘image’.

  38. I hate RBR and HC as much as the next person but to restrict development on the component (powertrain) when there is such a big different is just not right. Or how about any time a car with engine X wins then all other engine manufacturers get extra development tokens (so long as there is no extra cost to the smaller teams)?

  39. Dear Red Bull,
    Instead of moaning that you are not right at the front, please go back to what you did best when you were last not at the front: being the easy-going party team. We liked that team more.
    Sincerely
    The Fans

  40. The reason Red Bull were called back is because they were using things that were supposed to be illegal. Either literally or in the spirit of the rules. It’s not so weird that those things got banned either directly or after a rule change.

    Now if Red Bull can point at something “illegal” that Mercedes is doing they might have a point. Just saying that they are “too fast” is ridiculous.

    Horner really has no reason to complain either for all the help they got from the FIA. Not only did the FIA allow them to use flexible bodywork for way too long, but they practically handed Red bull the 2013 titles by changing the tyres specs halfway during the season as Red Bull had been screaming for.

    Besides, FRIC got banned last season when it was widely assumed that Mercedes had the best implementation. So FIA, did try do “do something”.

  41. As far as I can tell – having, a moment ago, quickly read all the comments ever made – approximately 7% of all the people who’ve added to the general noise have the remotest idea what Formula One is.

    I’ve explained many times that F1 is dead, dying or both, and I’ve explained why. Now I’m getting almost as tired of F1 as I am of explaining its demise to the disinterested or downright dense (in the nicest sense).

    My fellow 7-Percenters all understand that F1 is a sport of engineers. I have warned of the exit of the great minds, and now it’s happening.

    If Red Bull, in the form of Horner, is asking for equalisation through further homologation and standardisation, then Red Bull, in the form of Marko, is talking against itself.

    Yet, it is the question focusing on the ability to equalise a Formula that is key, and I imagine only around 10% of the 7-Percenters have spotted it.

    The question is: How should each team go about the essential practice of catching, matching or outpacing another?

    Now ask yourself which you prefer:

    A. [The anathema] Formula[ic] 1, where all cars are regulated to be identical in every component and homologation cements developments for periods of several years (by the way, this is precisely what is about to happen with regulations post-2015 that will prevent development of key components across not just one, but several seasons).

    B. [The restored and authentic] Formula 1, where elite engineers, designers and technicians are emancipated to fight, throughout the year, to equalise their performance with the best, or to maintain a position of dominance, by developing and applying their minds to evolving their cars.

    The 93-Percenters who tend to besiege much of the waffle out there either can’t see the big distinction or wouldn’t care less if the FIA chose Plan A over Plan B, and are encouraged to parrot or submit to this sensibility by agendas that are tangential to the core motive of F1. That motive should be:

    The race to build increasingly fast machinery in which a driver will drive as fast as he can.

    If you excise the left half of that tenet from the sport, the right half descends into an autoerotic loop of serial attempts to drive stagnant, identical machinery increasingly fast over a span of years and years. On a positive note, if that happens, at least no onlookers will be there to see it, as is appropriate for such behaviour.

    Through my (and other 7-Percenters’) prognostications, the demise of Formula One has long been foretold because of regulations that are driving out great minds, but now the portents are being cried from the top, and maybe Helmut Marko will be heeded when he says:

    “A designer like Adrian Newey [who is jaded by a regressive-F1] is castrated by this engine formula. These rules will kill the sport.”

    Christian Horner is asking for tit-for-tat hobbling of a faster team. That’s wrong. If, as he claims, between 2010 and 2013, he capitulated when the FIA banned his blown diffuser, flexible wings and engine maps so that other teams could catch up, he should have responded as aggressively as Wolff has responded to Red Bull’s bleating. God forbid Horner becomes the successor to Ecclestone if he maintains that kind of attitude.

    Marko and Mateschitz appear to be asking for an abolition of the nonsense that has created what I would call motorsport’s form of Locked-In Syndrome, where a poor outcome of the restricted engine, chassis and component design that is allowed within a tiny window of opportunity leaves a team irretrievably at the dull end of the grid once that window is closed and the season is opened. In beseeching this abolition, they are right.

    I have no great hope that many will agree with me – if that’s right, F1 has few true friends. As the sport in its prime should reveal, it takes more than a flock of indifference to sustain a winning team and a compelling show.

  42. You heard it here first. Renault denied the engine upgrades brought by red bull and Illmor.

    That’s why this is happening. You just wait

    1. Not sure if it’s what you are saying, but, yes, Renault and RBR disagree on what and how to put into the PU. Apparently RBR is pushing Renault into rash changes that are hurting development. Well, that is Renault’s position. Right now it looks like Renault is fed up with RBR and is looking to buy out Torro Rosso so they can get to work and restore their name without Marko and Horner standing over them.

  43. This is the main reason why I loathe RBR. This is motor sports, you are competing to win fair and square. They are acting as though F1 has to be tailored to their needs! A lot of people talked crap about Ferrari but now, RBR is behaving far worse than Ferrari ever did! I don´t care if these championships go to MERC, they have the best PU and good for them, that means manufacturers like Ferrari, Renault and now Honda have to come up with a PU good enough to give them a run for their money. They can´t expect to just cry and have the FIA level the playing field. It is true that MERC did cry to have the engines changed so they would stay in F1 but, that seems ok because F1 has a heritage of creating different engines. That is one thing that sets it appart! Now to cry over that because you don´t produce engines and are just AERO dependant is just sickening!
    Sincerely, if they leave, so be it… they wouldn´t be the first or last to do so but their b!tching and moaning is starting to get on my nerves!! Man up for the love of God!! Grow a pair! Drop Renault or build your own darn engine if need be but stop the moaning!!!

  44. It’s in the sport’s nature to change the rules to slow down some teams:

    Renault: mass dampers
    Brawn GP: double diffuser
    Red Bull: front wing flexibility, blown diffuser
    Lotus: FRIC system

    However, I don’t think it’s a good idea to change the engine rules given the financial trouble of some teams.

    Question: Would making the switch to 17 inch wheels shake up te order?

    1. But Mercedes has no such rule-bending technology to ban. And changing the engine rules won’t hurt Mercedes unless Mercedes is forced to have a factory shut-down. And even that may not help as it seems Renault is going backwards with stable rules rather than progressing. A Mercedes-specific rule would make F1 a farce. The only way to stop Mercedes is the old-fashioned way: get up early and work harder than them.

  45. Blame the teams or whoever! Bernie is 86 years old and ready for thr junk heap. The sport needs proper management. Maybe Bernine is hoping to screw the sport one move time by selling CVC to Red Bull or other entity. Rules are agreeded by all teams just execute the rules to max advantage or go home.

  46. For all this talk of engine equalisation it ought to be noted that Vettel beat Massa in a straight fight.
    Which means that a Ferrari engine beat a Mercedes engine in a straight fight (and it is also worth noting Nasr’s 5th place in a Ferarri engined Sauber).
    There is more to Mercedes speed advantage than the engine alone. They have produced a great all round package. With Red Bull being beaten by both a Sauber and Ferrari are they going to ask for the Ferrari engine to be ‘equalised’ also to give them a better chance of winning?
    It all sounds very comlipicated and unworkable to me.
    Given the resources of Red Bull and Renault they should probably stop complaining and offer up an apology for turning up to the party so woefully unprepared.

  47. Mercedes clearly have a lot in hand. If McLaren were to suddenly find six seconds a lap, does anyone really doubt that Merc would respond with another one or two seconds a lap?

    This means that Merc are taking it easy, saving the engines, not pushing hard, partly because that is technically prudent, but also perhaps because it is politically prudent – if they were to win by 5 or 6 laps from third place man, the calls for them to be neutered might be irresistible – especially as some teams seem to enjoy, ahem, special status when it comes to rules and regs.

    It seems to me that the sheer scale of Merc’s advantage is what annoys so many in the paddock. Like Ferrari in the early 2000s, Red Bull were only ever one or two seconds up in their glory years. Merc is only showing a second a lap advantage, but it seems to be common knowledge that they have plenty more up their sleeves if they need it – more than any other team can possibly make up this year. In other words, some (Massa and Vettel?) might think that Merc are taunting the other teams, which would explain the sarcasm.

  48. You can’t complain about another team when one of your car doesn’t even complete the parade lap and the other destroys a PU during Friday practice.
    Like Mclaren-Honda, past glory counts for very little.
    I’m a massive RB and Mclaren-Honda fan, but their lack of reliability is unacceptable. Especially Red Bull.
    Once they have reliable engines, do they have a right to start eyeing rival PUs if that is in fact the problem in the first place.
    P.S- Well done Sauber!!

  49. Wow Red Bull, what fools you look. But hey, you’ve got Bernie on your side. Obviously it’s much more important to have a drinks company in the sport, than an actual vehicle manufacturer.

  50. So, for arguments sake, let’s say the FIA relents to Red Bulls(hit) demands and Mercedes chooses to view it as a breach of the agreement under which they returned to F1. Care to imagine what might happen if M-B were to pull their engines from the series with immediate effect?

    – LOL

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