Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore, 2014

Ferrari and Mercedes engine customers get “a lot less power” – Ecclestone

2016 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bernie Ecclestone says it is unlikely Mercedes and Ferrari will face much opposition this year as they give their engine customers much less powerful equipment.

Reiterating his opposition to the current generation of power units in an interview with TSN (below), Ecclestone said: “Mercedes supply four of these power units to the smaller teams and obviously they supply them with a lot less power than they have in their own cars. So you’ve got rid of four teams.”

Force India, Mercedes, Williams, Lotus, Silverstone, 2015
Mercedes’ 2015 engine customers
“The other teams, Ferrari supply three teams in exactly the same way. Ferrari’s not as powerful, their engine, as Mercedes, but it’s getting there. Anyway they supply other teams and the teams they supply the engine’s not as good.”

“So all we’ve got really and truly is Mercedes and Ferrari – I hope – racing each other.”

Last week Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey urged the FIA to introduce rules forcing engine manufacturers to provide the same specification of engine hardware, software and fuel to their customers.

Ecclestone doubts Mercedes, who have won 32 of the last 38 races, will be seriously challenged again this year. “I wish I could say ‘yes’ but I can’t because I think the bottom line is a very good team, the engine is certainly better than anyone else and they’ve got obviously one of the best drivers,” he said. “So it’s going to be difficult for anyone to beat them.”

Formula One’s commercial chief also dampened hopes Formula One could have a female racing driver again. “I doubt it,” he said when asked about the possibility.

“Because if there was somebody that was capable they wouldn’t be taken serious anyway. So they would never have a car that’s capable of competing.”

“There was a girl that was driving in GP3 for a whole season,” he added. “So it’s not something that hasn’t happened.”

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77 comments on “Ferrari and Mercedes engine customers get “a lot less power” – Ecclestone”

  1. knoxploration
    13th January 2016, 20:05

    It’s not often I find myself agreeing with Ecclestone, but I do agree that it’s morally wrong for teams to supply intentionally-crippled versions of their hardware to other teams while simultaneously touting the fact that they’re supplying other teams “for the good of the sport”. I too can also see that this year will be yet another Mercedes whitewash — although I wish Bernie would flat-out say that it was due solely to poor rulemaking, because it is.

    1. Mercedes supply the same hardware to everyone (since Monza at least…) but it’s the software and the fuel that are very different.

    2. Andre Furtado
      13th January 2016, 21:27

      I say this over and over again. There is nothing in the rules that says Mercedes and Ferrari have to give their very expensive engine to anyone. We live in a free world (term used loosely), but anyone Red Bull, Williams, Etc.. are free to shop around and buy an engine from any supplier around. I personally don’t see an issue with this at all. If you can’t find a supplier, and you are not happy with the current supplier, go and spend your own money on an engine. Its a simple process.

      1. +100 forcing equalisation should also count for the chassis if forced through so Manor can buy a RedBull chassis for 10 million a year otherwise there is a bias to chassis when engines are just as important, i much prefer engines and do not consider a team proper unless they can build their own. Rules do not say any team cannot build their own engine if they cannot afford to then put up or shut up. Red Bull are the worst for this they really do have the funds to build their own engine.

        1. So, Markp, only Ferrari Mercedes and Maclaren teams should compete? F1 has always been about construct your own chassis, engine manufacturing in house was a bonus not a requirement. In that light, your post sounds more like a specific grudge against red bull

          As for Rb making their own engine, money is not the problem is it, its the regs. Wait, isn’t that what Bernie should be addressing?

          1. Oh yeah, forgot to mention Renault…so in reality we only have 4 teams capable of competing = 8 cars, of which 2 are unbeatable. Nothing against merc, it’s just boring

          2. JohnsonsEvilTwin
            14th January 2016, 11:58

            Who said it’s always been about the chassis? The history of F1 was started by teams who built their own engines. Equalised engines should also mean equalised chassis. Manufacturers prop the sport up and give it gravitas. Small teams are important but are ushered aside at a moments notice by the FIA whenever it comes to money distribution. So why should the Bernie criticise when he is guilty of creating a financial chasm?
            At least we there is a competitive environment and the ability for Renault(via Ilmor) and Honda to catch up to the Merc and Ferrari.
            Which then begs the question, once performance from the engines no longer make a difference, will it be appropriate for Aerodynamics and Chassis to make a difference? Given that smaller teams cannot hope to match the big guys, will Red Bull be complaining about their advantageous position over 80% of the grid?

          3. seriosly? f1 always been about building your own chassis?? from what dimmension you came from? is manor is the best team over there.. alonso is 10 time wdc and maldonado is the safest driver in the grid of 26 cars with v12 engines?

          4. Engine is as important as the chassis and always has been. In the 50’S all the teams made the lot. It is only to when the Garagisti came in they got help with the rather awesome Ford DFV. Different specs of engines have always been about right up until the 2006 or 2007 V8 engine freeze. If you reverse the chassis argument lets standardise chassis then put your own engine in so all teams are engine teams, that would be crazy as is the reverse of standard engines where a manufacturer cannot gain any advantage from their expertise. Yes Red Bull are the only ones complaining and yet they have more than enough money to build an engine, it may take years to be competitive but so will Ferrari’s aero department they cannot just go out and get the best chassis for 10 million a year. Most these teams will still be in F1 but if Red Bull were to leave it would be nice, Ferrari could then buy them and turn them into Red Ferrari B or better still Alfa Romeo.

      2. Yeah well, with that attitude they’ll end up with a 4 car grid. Ok maybe FER and MER can each field 10 cars. No what I mean? Formula1 needs independent engine manufacturer(s).
        I’m not saying FER or MER or anyone else for that matter shouldn’t build their own engine, but there needs to be an alternative manufacturer whose engine is competitive. This would also in turn force MER and FER to give their customers better equipment or they wouldn’t sell any engines at all after a season or two.
        See, there I did it. I solved the engine-manufacturer dilemma of modern Formula1, it’s not really difficult actually..

        1. get rid of ecclestone

        2. And at $30,000,000 per car or team per year it shouldn’t be impossible for a team or 4 to contract suppliers of the various bits (ICU-MGUK-MGUH-battery-software) to come up with the goods for a competitive package, VAG f’rinstance may like to dip a toe in the F1 waters by developing and supplying the ICE alone, good exercise for the R&D dept. paid for by the teams, built in deniability if unsuccessful , great PR if it’s a success.

        3. There needs to be an engine that has the impact of the Ford DFV but who will do it? Red Bull should do it, it may cost them a few hundred million a year but they will recoup a small amount of that from the teams that pay to use their engine and of course Red Bull will give those teams the exact engine, fuel and software as they would use. This seems a perfect scenario.

      3. Some people just don’t get it… and here’s the chassis excuse again…

      4. There isn’t anything in the rules now that forces manufacturers to provide engines… …but there is one that only allows one homologation of engine unless specifically exempted by the FIA. So Bernie’s theory, at face value, is against the rules, and I doubt the manufacturers would be so foolish as to use that avenue to gain advantage. Not when they have the major advantage of typically having at least twice the money of their rivals, along with the

        The current strict composition of rules combined with the amount of money established manufacturers throw at the matter make it impractical for any combination of small teams to get a useful new engine. Honda have most likely mired themselves in last place simply because they started a year late. Due to a ban on mid-season engine manufacturer changes, there is no way a new manufacturer will be fewer than three years late, be that the FIA client engine or an independently-derived effort. Such a manufacturer would have to throw twice as much money at the project as the established manufacturers currently do, or hope for some exotic loophole to be opened for them by the FIA (possible with the client engine), simply to get equal by 2019 (the last year of the current engine regulation). If anyone is to develop a new engine, it needs to be for 2020 – assuming there’s anything left of F1 by that point.

    3. I see nothing morally wrong with this. Actually I think its perfectly normal and lets not forget that its been the case for most of the past too, where a factory deal meant having a better engine than mere customers.

      Also, in principle the hardware supplied to all teams is the same. Off course with in season development this is not quite true, because when the manufacturers bring updates, they normally first deliver new bits to their own team and others are supplied later depending on how the parts perform, availability as well as the schedule for race engines the cars are on.
      As far as I know, all Mercedes teams also use the same fine-tuned Petronas fuel, regardless of the partner names they had on their cars. But again, with new formulas being first delivered to the works team, and only a bit later to the others as the supplier is able to produce more of it.

      Sure, we saw how Williams was suffering a bit from less pace once in season development came to play. But I think that with a bit more luck and better strategic calls they could have won a few races in the last 2 years. But their chassis is just not as good as Mercedes to be on their heels the whole year.

      I find it disappointing to say up front that the year will be boring. Who knows, Ferrari might really have done the job their boss wanted. Heck, maybe Honda solved their engine issues and will give Alonso and Button a car they can actually be in the mix too. And I would not write off Red Bull completely yet either. Their chassis was still one of the best and surely Renault will not be even worse this year.

      And for competition sake, who knows, maybe Honda have solved all their engine issues and we will suddenly see McLaren being in the mix again!

    4. Bernie is full of it because his in a fight with Merc and Ferrari over changing things the way he likes as oppose to how they like it.
      He hates the engines because they aren’t as noisy as he likes etc and also Red Bull became his new personal friends and does everything to support their position against others.
      The engines Merc at least provides are certainly not very weaker than the engine on their car. Looking at how they perform in their clients is obvious they have very little difference from their own.
      Everyone talks about how the 20million supply a year destroys small teams when in the past they were paying 14million for the V8. Are you telling me that those 6million destroy them? I doubt a team that can’t make that difference would have lasted long anyway and the whole talk is completely ignoring the two big elephants in the room.
      One is that he gives the small teams very little, but instead of giving them a little more he just wants to blame the engine costs.
      Second is the budget for aerodynamics. Why is the 20million engines the problem and not the 120milion aerodynamics the problem for small teams in something called MOTORsport?
      Just ban wind tunnels and makes teams use CFD with a certain regulated computer power. That is good as a future progress too since the future revolves around CFD.
      That will save like 50 million instead of 6 for the small guys.

  2. Has Bernie got any proof of this? I don’t think so. If spped traps are anything to go by I would say he is wrong. Now I know power isnt the only factor in straight line speed but it is still a factor.

    1. I would like to see proof of this. Especially since Mercedes team tends to not win speed traps… Even in Monza where everyone brings skiny wings.

      I think Mercedes are not just engine performance by far they have an excellent chasis and must have some kind of trick to keep tires in magic window. The moment magic stops they are 2s down from usual speed, que Singapore GP.

      Sauber and Manor were not even in same league to Ferrari, so pointless to compare.

      But Mercedes wise both Williams and Lotus bested Merc guys in speed traps many times and Force India did not lack competitivness.

      Even if they are providing less power it must be in a region of few bhp less than 10 difference. At most they might do dyno runs and pick most powerful units out of each batch for main team. They all run Petronas fuel and lubricants I believe.

      Main differences then are how power is built around the chassis. That is a black art Mercedes seems to have mastered or simply developed for 2 more years.

      1. @motor_mad, @jureo You cannot read much into speed traps. Top speed is heavily dependent on drag, as it squares with velocity. Mercedes are likely to put on much more wing, just like Red Bull used to do in the V8 era. Just because a Williams has equal top speed to a Mercedes doesn’t mean their respective engines are equally powerful.

        Another example which shows just how much software & fuel effect performance is Mclaren in 2014. Using Mobil1 instead of Petronas, they were getting less out of the PU then what Mercedes did.

        Bernie (and Newey) is absolutely right in saying that Mercedes and Ferrari hold too much power over to large a part of the field. How he is going to solve it, and if the solution will be any better, time will tell.

        1. Well if they had more power, for sure in monza they would use it. And in low drag setup.

          Acceleration would be the best measure of engine performance. But for that we would need atleast partial telemetry. GPS data might be enough. Is that avaliable anywhere, so we do some math and find appropriate answer?

          Teams have that data, Williams claim they have engine parity, but i noticed 0 such claims from Lotus or SFI.

          McLaren maybe have forseen this issue.

          In any case even if there isnt evidence, there can be a simple rule.

          Engine must be suplied to all costumers equally, same fuel, same lubricants, same software. Considering universal ECU, all this can be policed.

          Second rule, should be… FOM, should cover some engine expenses, to help “privateer” teams. Great idea by Ferrari, if Bernie doesnt like engine prices, he can subdidise them.

          For sure parts of current engine rules bring about competitive advantages to some teams, nameley Ferrari and Mercedes. But arguably it was always like that. Atleast ever since DFV was retired.

          Best positioned teams will always accuire some kind of works status, always was like that. But it would be nice for midfield teams to atleast have frontrunning engines, even if they fail outspend on chassis design.

          Maybe give teams that failed to score points in last race, free choice of tire compounds for next race?

          1. @jureo, Lotus did state that their contract entitled them to the same specification engine as Mercedes.

            With regards to your comment that teams should be supplied with the “same fuel, same lubricants, same software”. Using Mercedes as an example, whilst teams are normally supplied with the first two items as part of the engine contract (both Lotus and Force India have been seen using Petronas’s products), there are some teams who have specific sponsorship deals that prohibit the use of competitor products.

            In the case of Williams, their sponsorship deal with Petrobras includes a clause that compells them to use Petrobras’s fuel and lubricant mix – similarly, in 2014 McLaren used Exxon’s fuel and lubricants as that formed part of their sponsor commitments.

            As for Ferrari and Renault, as far as I am aware, their customer teams have also been supplied with the same fuel products as the works outfits.

        2. For me Bernie is wrong and should have the injection in Switzerland. He will soon be gone either from natural causes or Ferrari will have him booted out backed by Merc hopefully within a year.

        3. Another example which shows just how much software & fuel effect performance is Mclaren in 2014. Using Mobil1 instead of Petronas, they were getting less out of the PU then what Mercedes did.

          Good point @me4me, although the fact that the other teams running Mercedes engines also use Petronas fuel should help even that out (they might be one spec behind at times due to avialability though). Only McLaren didn’t.

          But Software is clearly where there can be a difference. And I think its quite likely that the factory team will have somewhat more of the highest power mode available for example. It could be that its more that new things first get used in the factory team before the others get to use it. Which makes perfect sense IMO.

        4. @me4me

          You cannot read much into speed traps. Top speed is heavily dependent on drag, as it squares with velocity. Mercedes are likely to put on much more wing, just like Red Bull used to do in the V8 era. Just because a Williams has equal top speed to a Mercedes doesn’t mean their respective engines are equally powerful.

          Williams don’t just have equal top speed to Mercedes, they are faster than Mercedes in a straight line, so are Force India.

          If Mercedes’ engine was more powerful than that in the back of Williams and Force India, they would surely use it in Monza, where everyone runs skinny wings?

          Another example which shows just how much software & fuel effect performance is Mclaren in 2014. Using Mobil1 instead of Petronas, they were getting less out of the PU then what Mercedes did.

          Shell claims to be responsible for a large part of Ferrari’s gains this season, so this could potentially be true, but is largely just an assumption. Force India also uses Petronas, btw.

    2. Speed traps are not a clear indication of PU’s performance. Power delivery curve and driveability are of much higher importance. I’d rather have a car that reaches 298kph 5 seconds sooner than another reaching 300 with the same delta. Regarding being customer when it comes to engines I’ll put it down to this: Butcher’s kids get the best steak. It has always been like that. Although, I’m not happy about it but that’s life.

    3. The proof is that his currently in a fight with Merc and Ferrari over the future engine regulation and control along with wanting to help his favorite boys by the name Red Bull.

  3. Last week Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey urged the FIA to introduce rules forcing engine manufacturers to provide the same specification of engine hardware, software and fuel to their customers.

    ..I thought they already did that last year …for this season for the very reason of Red Bull’s whining? (Or whinging for you Brits)

    E.g. they must supply, per FIA, one engine, since only one engine can be homogolated …then each customer should have the exact same engine. If it truly comes down to software, well whatever. If it’s a matter of Merc and Ferrari giving customers fixed software while they’re able to tune theirs, perhaps there is a complaint ground. So then, I’m confused by the above quote.

    1. The rules used to require a single homologated engine supplied identically to all teams. Mercedes rivals complained, the FIA favourable interpreted a loophole which allows the to supply different homologated versions of the hardware. The loophole has been made permanent for 2016 so that Torro Rosso can put in year old Ferrari PUs.

      I doubt Bernie is entirely correct, surely for any customers paying top dollar Mercedes has to provide top quality merchandise. Fair enough for those getting a cheap deal if they don’t have the latest upgrades (and Mercedes competitors lobbied to allow this).

      1. Andre Furtado
        13th January 2016, 21:28

        This can easily be resolved by not supplying their engine to anyone.

        1. Yes. And that would be a disaster for many teams. I am sure Mercedes costumers are happy with their supply. Even Torro Roso are salivating over 2015 Ferrari engines.

          All these problems can go away with a few rule tweaks… Like engine supplier must supply to any team for say maximum price of 30M€ per season. And then throw in equal fuel, settings clause.

          Because imagine next year Honda produce a 1100bhp engine through some undisclosed loophole and only McLaren can use it, and they dont want to supply Red Bull? Imagine cries then.

          Well entire situation is a joke. Giving wolves power to make rules about sheep. End result? Sheep are getting slaughtered from all sides.

          Expensive engines, designed to give factory teams advantage at will. But again, this situation is ongoing for many years now, and unlikeley to change as long ad elderly men lead the sport.

          FOM and FIA need some young guns to create a mini revolution.

        2. Yeah 4 car grids for the win baby!

      2. RaceProUK (@)
        14th January 2016, 0:11

        Mercedes rivals complained

        No, they didn’t; the loophole was introduced to allow Manor to get older engines cheaper, and therefore actually be able to afford to race.

      3. They do not pay top dollar or the entire research budget and development costs up to this point would be shared equally amongst Merc and their customers but then FI etc would be paying over 100 million a year for their engines. The customer teams get a good deal and have said nothing only RedBull have moaned when they have the money to make their own engine which they really should.

  4. Whatever the case; the teams get what they paid for. They’re not amateurs who can’t read a contract. Whether the engines the get are less powerful remains to be seen, and Ecclestone is clearly not a reliable source. He’s always playing some sort of (long) game. A lot of comments by people within F1 suggest that the main differences between the manufacturer teams and the customers are related to software, packaging, fuel and other such aspects of the car.

    1. Whether this is true or not, who knows – but there be engine politics at play, with the deadline for the manufacturers proposed solution for engines coming up, so I reckon this is just PR war as much as anything from Bernie.

    2. Mostly they don’t – the majority of the contracts were deployed before the 2014-spec engine era even started, under very different proposed development rules to what subsequently occurred. Also, the engine prices quoted don’t seem to follow performance (Renault engines were supposed to be the most expensive non-Honda, whose prices would be difficult to determine given its lack of customers).

  5. “And they both have a lot less power than me” :P

    I agree with him tho. Massa was also suspicious about it last year. It’s reasonable anyway. Neither wanted Red Bull to have their engines, not even a lower specification one.

    No one, ever, in whatever situation, gives the opposition a chance to win. That’s a fact.

  6. And this is why I never call F1 a sport. It’s just WWE on wheels, purely for the entertainment.

    1. Andre Furtado
      13th January 2016, 21:29

      If you are looking for everyone to have the same engine, and aero, you are watching the wrong sport. What we are seeing at the moment is companies complaining instead of focusing on racing, and creating their own engines.

    2. If you really think there F1 it’s just like WWE than you’re a bit … I don’t know … distracted, to say the least.

      It is true that the Powers To Be are more concerned about the entertainment and not the sport aspect BUT nothing is scripted (unless you believe the conspiracy theories) and the teams and drivers do compete against each other, do not simply follow the script by the bookers and managers “word for word” and pretend to be overtaking, crashing, retiring and all…

      1. @bakano Except for that one GP ;)

        1. @sonicslv there was one GP with a “scripted” crash, true. It’s probably one of the cases of “the exception that proves the rule” ;)

  7. And this is nothing new, For a lot of F1’s history the customer teams didn’t get parity with the factory teams. Even when you had 80%+ of the field running the Ford DFV you had a variety of specs with the biggest 3-4 teams running current spec, Mid-field teams running a spec or more behind & the back-markers running year+ old specs that often had a lot of miles on them.

    It wasn’t until 2004 that all customers were supplied with current year engines because of the move to long life engines but even then there was never total parity as the manufacturers/manufacturer backed teams always got the newest upgrades before the likes of Sauber, Jordan & Minardi.

    You often hear Red Bull complaining now about not getting current spec but if you go back to when they were winning they were been given upgrades by Renault before the other teams & they were getting software related to things like the off-throttle exhaust blowing that wasn’t available to Williams, Lotus or Caterham. Didn’t hear much whining from Red Bull back then about how engine suppliers were not giving all there teams equal treatment.

    1. That’s just plain wrong. There has never been a situation in Formula1 where the only suppliers of competitive engines all had their own teams and therefore singular interests. There used to be relativeley independent suppliers around who could field pretty competitive equipment.

      1. Its not wrong at all MartinH, @gt-racer factually describes the past.

        You might see a difference in having had independent suppliers in the past. But the big teams have always been trying to get exclusive, or preferential deals. And their power and the money involved gave them that. It was a good deal for both manufacturer and team.
        Just think back how Ron Dennis and Senna both were unhappy with having to run a customer ford enigne in 1993, which was clearly behind on power compared to the works supply Bennetton got.

        As long as there is any development, there will be different specs of engine available. New bits go to the teams that have the best deal (normally the bigger, well funded and winning teams) and the others lag behind in spec.

        1. “And this is nothing new, For a lot of F1’s history the customer teams didn’t get parity with the factory teams. ”

          There have always been manufacturers who didn’t run their own team! Sure there were teams who could pay more for engines and of course the independant supplier(s) tailored their efforts to these teams.
          But that is not an accurate description of todays F1.
          Today you either build your own engine or you’re done competing (seriously).
          Why do you think McLaren went full retard with Honda? Because they thought they’d build a better powertrain than mercedes? No. Ron Dennis said it himself: We’re not going to win anything with a Mercedes engine against a Mercedes works team!

  8. The solution is simple. Give the engine manufacturers a one time payout to cover the cost of their development expenses and change the engine rules with as close to immediate effect as is reasonable to allow simpler and cheaper units. The engine situation is not going to correct itself especially with the struggles Honda have experienced, so the only sensible path is to scrap the current formula and move to one that will work for the sport.

    1. Or even simpler @velocityboy
      FOM/FIA funds Cosworth/other (or maybe Renault is open to this) and ask them to develop a PU compliant with the current rules and make it available to all teams at a reasonable cost.

      And of course FIA needs to straighten its back and get the clause back in that a PU manufacturer can only have one homologated version of its PU.

      1. Nice ideas guys @coldfly, @velocityboy. But think about this. The fight has been about power all the way.

        If you ask Mercedes, Renault, Ferrari and Honda to pay their own development, its them who have a say on where those engines go. If you have Red bull paying for an “indepentand” engine, that engine’s fate will be decided by whom? Exactly, by Red Bull (which means it not an independant engine at all).
        Now throw in Bernie/FOM paying either for a new, “independant” engine or buying off the manufacturers, …

        It would mean that Bernie has the sport in a stranglehold. I would not want to even guess how much of the “cake” he would then want to keep for FOM in the next negotiations. Not to mention what he would do with the rules to “spice up” the racing after killing it to appease Red Bull by going full on for high downforce (the original 2017 plans).

        1. sorry for the “independent” spell mistakes. Got to get some coffee!

  9. Isn’t this slander?

    Ecclestone has no proof of the accusations he’s making. Mercedes made a video last year in Brixworth, during one of the GP weekends, IIRC, as a way of showing how they provide the same hardware to their customers, stating it would be too costly and time consuming to actually produce different spec engines.

    1. But apparently supplying different software is no problem for the food ol’ Mercedes folks.

      1. Because that is just versioning, and just costs a bit of extra capacity (though it’s not 100% clear that Mercedes even has that distinction – the differences being seen could as easily be explained by Mercedes having twice as much budget as Williams and being able to make a loss last financial year of the same magnitude of Force India’s budget…)

  10. …and they’ve got obviously one of the best drivers

    Lol, poor Nico.

    1. Well he can’t exactly call Lewis ‘the best’ can he as Nico has a annoying habit of wiping the floor with him from time to time. :p

  11. My prediction for the first race
    1. Hamilton
    2. Rosberg

    1. Hardly boring if they’re wheel to wheel, unless you just can’t stand Merc or their drivers.

  12. Isn’t this what Red Bull was complaining about when they were negotiating with Ferrari – they wanted parity with the works team (same engines/upgrades at the same time) and Ferrari didn’t want to give it to them. I love me some Red (the prancing horse in this case), but them criticizing RB for calling them out on it is just too funny.

    Of course the Mercedes customer teams aren’t going to complain, and Ron Dennis made an exclusive deal to be the works team for Honda and shut out RB for that very reason.

    Criticize RB all you want, but they are calling a spade a spade.

    1. @uan I don’t know why some team or some people think they entitled to get one of the advantage of Mercedes or Ferrari (both of them sunk lot of money to develop their own engine) for practically “free” (doesn’t need to invest in time, money, personnel, infrastructure and live with it when it fails – see Ferrari 2014) and then have the joy of bragging about beating them with their own stuff. Even without excessive bragging, the fact factory team is beaten by customer team itself is a bad PR for the manufacturer, so they need a better value in the deal to compensate for it (and for big companies like Mercedes or Ferrari, a few ten millions euro extra money is not gonna cut it).

      Mercedes or Ferrari or any other manufacturer have the right to not to do business with someone if they feel they don’t get benefit from it (likewise, any prospective client may decline proposed deal too, and F1 benefit is neither the manufacturer or team benefit). What they can’t do is blocking other manufacturer or teams to build their own engine and entering F1. Until I heard such news, I still support Mercedes and Ferrari position here.

    2. Just ask Ferrari how happy they were to be beaten by STR in 2008 in their home race … @uan

      I agree with you that its understandable that Red bull would want newest spec equipment. But where you, and they, got it wrong is in trying to bully Mercedes and/or Ferrari into giving them that, even pulling in the headmaster Bernie to do so.
      Instead they should have either worked better together with Renault (especially in the runup towards 2014 during the development) and not bashed them as much. Or they should have done what McLaren did and convince a partner of their own.

      They might have talked with VW AG etc. But since Red Bull have been instrumental in helping Bernie talk down the value of F1 for 2 years now, even without the diesel thing, that sort of thing would unsettle any manufacturer who was thinking of entering.

  13. Must be true if Bernie says it.

    I really don’t expect an octogenarian to understand the differences between F1 engine hardware, software, fuel & lubricants. The homologated engine hardware and basic software supplied to all teams is the same. The rest is up to them and their partners.

  14. If you ask me the problem with F1 at the moment is unlike in the past the independent teams for whatever reason cannot complete with the factory teams. Not after the fans killed red bull. Nowadays the independent teams are embarrassing to watch. I would say in a perfect world F1 would either only have factory teams or only independent teams. This in my view would be fair and also exiting to watch.

    1. @aliced I don’t agree. The fans killed Red Bull because they were embarrassing this last 2 years. I think lot of fans still support independent teams like Williams, McLaren, and Lotus (minus Pastor of course ;))

      1. I dont consider McLaren – Honda an independent team given they are a sports car company and they have their own engine.

        Renault (it’s not Lotus anymore, get with the times man) also controls both the chassis and the engine.

        As long as these engine rules are in place (until 2022 I believe), I don’t see a team without its own engine winning the championship and this includes Red Bull and Williams.

        That’s a sad prospect.

        1. @paeschli McLaren is independent team that have a leader (Ron) who understand the importance of factory backing and always sought to be the de facto works team. McLaren F1 and McLaren Automotive is 2 different entities. When they actually build the engine themselves (like they kinda do with McLaren Automotive although the actual engine building is still outsourced) then they stop being independent team.

          Also, I specifically write Lotus because I do meant the era when they’re independent, more specifically the 2012-2015 Lotus F1 team.

          Also I don’t see why a team without its own engine (whether manufacturer team or getting partnership like McLaren-Honda) can’t win is a sad prospect. The truly sad prospect is when the competitors give up on trying beating the reigning champion and use 1001 excuses instead. Why not try to bring back BMW, Porsche, Jaguar, Peugeot, Ford, Toyota, Lamborghini, or maybe surprise entries like GM (under Chevrolet brand), Dodge/Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Nissan (with Japanese engineers instead of Renaults), etc. Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, and Honda is not the only company in this earth that capable of producing high performance engines.

          1. @sonicslv So you think it’s a good idea that only car manufacturers should have the oppertunity the win championships? Why would it be better that BMW, Porsche, Jaguar, Peugeot, Ford, Toyota, Lamborghini, or maybe surprise entries like GM (under Chevrolet brand), Dodge/Chrysler, Mitsubishi or Nissan would win the championship that Red Bull?

            Red Bull haven’t given up apparently since they are still in the sport and, according to you, trying to get an unfair advantage.

          2. @paeschli Please read why whole comment first. I never said only car manufacturers that should have the opportunity.

            whether manufacturer team or getting partnership like McLaren-Honda

            Red-Bull wanna win? Sure I don’t have problem with that. They can be Red-Bull BMW or Red-Bull Lamborghini, instead of crying they won’t ever win if they not Red-Bull-Mercedes or Red-Bull-Ferrari with all access to the works team data. You know, like they did with the whole Red-Bull Renault thing like uhh 6 years ago?

  15. Neil (@neilosjames)
    14th January 2016, 7:52

    Yes, Bernie, it’s all engines. Of course it is.

    Nothing at all to do with aerodynamics. Nothing to do with the fact your revenue system cripples those smaller teams you’ve suddenly decided to defend and gives them no chance at all of properly competing because they can’t afford to run R&D departments with anywhere near as many resources as the big teams.

    It’s all because they don’t have ‘Secret Mode 15’ and Petronas Primax.

  16. I’d be curious to hear from those who think teams should take whatever they can get or shut up and build their engines how they see it with different tyre brands? After all, it’s as much part of the car as chassis and engine. Would it then be reasonable for some teams to get second rate tyres from a tyre manufacturer if that manufacturer is tied to another team and no other suppliers available, or would you think they should just develop their own? Or is it best that tyre supply be regulated and fairly distributed like now?

  17. Is Bernie trying to deflate F1’s income and trigger a collapse? Because if he was, this would be a canny way of doing it…

  18. I’ve been saying this for years !!! Why are people so supprised ?

    1. So where was the BMW, Toyota, Costworth and Ford engine?

      Oh yeah you dump them.

      now we got a flock ok MER, and a flock of FER plus one honda and renault

      How sad…

  19. I wish all the non-manufacturer teams would just leave F1.

    1. RaceProUK (@)
      14th January 2016, 19:30

      You want 7 of the 11 teams to leave F1?

      1. Apparently they are leeches that shouldn’t be allowed to compete because they don’t make their own engine, so yeah.

        I wonder how long Mercedes will keep their humongous investment once they are no longer winning.

  20. This will be the topic for entire series…

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