Red Bull admit rules changes have slowed them

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Adrian Newey admits the rules changes on exhausts and wings have held Red Bull back this year.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Newey: Blown-diffuser ban hurt Red Bull (Autosport)

Adrian Newey: “Having explored exhaust blowing technology quite heavily for two seasons and then having that taken away together with other changes like the front wing flexibility [test rules], hurt us quite a lot.”

Attorney General’s office says it can’t resolve F1 state funds dispute (Austin-American Statesman)

“In an opinion issued today, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said his office cannot resolve a dispute between two officials over state funds going toward Formula One races planned near Austin because it involves a disagreement over facts, not interpretation of Texas law.”

Williams F1 Does Venezuela 2012 (Williams)

Williams’ write-up of their visit to Venezuela with Pastor Maldonado omits a certain significant detail:

Bruno Senna Receives the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy (Williams via YouTube)

A Spectator’s Photographic Guide to Spa (Pure F1)

“It is possible to criss-cross the circuit through various forest tracks but this guide takes a complete uninterrupted lap from start to finish.”

Comment of the day

Broom (@brum55) spotted a good stat on Fernando Alonso :

People may say Alonso has been lucky but he is the only driver to have won a race not starting on the front row. He won from eighth and eleventh whereas the lowest anyone else has won was from second. This underlines how impressive he has been this year.
Broom (@brum55)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Adam Smith, HSVLVR and Pink Peril!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Having already won the drivers’ championship, Michael Schumacher offered no resistance to Rubens Barrichello in the 2002 Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari claiming a formation ‘two-one’ win.

Ralf Schumacher joined his brother on the podium but neither he nor anyone else in the field could offer a realistic challenge to the Ferraris.

Here’s an onboard lap with Schumacher in the Ferrari. Keep an eye out for the advertising logo painted on the track on the approach to turn four, a short-lived innovation in adding yet more sponsors’ logos to a race track, one which thankfully did not last.

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

42 comments on “Red Bull admit rules changes have slowed them”

  1. Brooms observation is very interesting, taking nothing away from Alonso though, my first thought was that it might say even more about the teams tactical excellence and their usually rapid pit stops.

    1. …And that he took Pérez right after the Mexican came back right ahead of him. He stayed in front through Turn 1 and 2, but Alonso cleverly took a very wide entry to hit back by the time they reached Turn 3. That was an all-important moment. TV coverage went after someone exiting the pits at that time, so we could only saw Alonso turning into Turn 2 with a wide entry. Then we saw later that he duly gained the position.

  2. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
    18th August 2012, 0:34

    Personally I’m glad the rule changes have slowed Red Bull. 2011 was incredibly boring with Vettel runing away with nearly every race. Yes there was the odd good race, (China and Canada for example) but not much else. Now the field is much more even which has brought us some great races. Plus the Pirelli tyres have made things quite unpredictable..

    1. I agree with you. But on the other hand F1 is about inovations, which recently were all banned. For example, why ban double DRS? As Ross Brawn said, it’s not expensive, it just requires time to implement it. Besides, not everyone is going to put it on their car.

      Red Bull are very smurt bunch of guys, they are not breaking the rules, but whatever smart technology they introduce, everything is banned.

      I think, the best solution for this problem would be to introduce budget caps and make much more freedom in the regulations. Then smarter teams could compete with richer teams.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        19th August 2012, 18:07

        vettel fan? what’s your point everyone supports one driver over another.

  3. It’s a shame that the sponsor’s logo on the track wasn’t better done. Look at the 6Nations rugby for instance with the RBS sponsorship painted on the grass, and done so in such a fashion that it looks like it stands up.

    Now I’m off for a pint. I have a strange urge for a a Foster’s ®….

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      18th August 2012, 2:15

      They do paint the runoff areas, but paint on a race track offers less grip than unpainted tarmac of course.

    2. They have done that “grass art” at football pitches as well and I agree it looks good but everything looks good on grass.

    3. I’m not sure which logo you’re talking about, but I suspect that it was painted in such a way that it would be fully visible from a certain angle – the one that is used by the television cameras covering that part of the circuit. That’s how it’s done on football pitches.

    4. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      19th August 2012, 18:27

      it would have helped if they had not painted it sideways i guess it was aimed at a grandstand. As for the idea of 3d sponsor logos in f1 i was thinking about that a short while ago, 3d sponsors would be viewable from further away although they would have to be relatively simple. For instance you could have vodafones tear drop logo painted in 3d in the braking zone at the end of the kemmel straight and it would probably be visible on an in car camera as soon as you exited eau rouge. Unlike this example where you can only make out the F when schumachers car was ontop of it. I came to the same conclusion as michael brown though so i’m surprised to see they actually tried it imagine the complaints from the drivers if it rained.

  4. Having already won the drivers’ championship, Michael Schumacher offered no resistance to Rubens Barrichello in the 2002 Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari claiming a formation ‘two-one’ win.

    Nice touch!

    1. Drop Valencia!
      18th August 2012, 5:18

      Thanks i didn’t pick up on that!

  5. For all fans who bought tickets for Spa via ‘TTE’ or one of it’s many subcompanies and websites:

    I really hope they can sort it all out. Good luck if you ordered via them.

    1. Thanks Verstappen for the info. In fact, this is why I come here to read one odd news or another. Recently the news of travelling Agents going bankrupt in Europe is alarming.

  6. I didn’t mind the FIA’s original rule changes regarding the EBD & the Flexi Wing, it’s their constant nitpicking at everything else Red Bull have done to recover some ground that irritates me. That is what has hurt Red Bull the most; affecting their development plan which has allowed the other top teams to pull away (mainly McLaren). They haven’t done anything illegal as of yet, so why not wait until the end of the year to ban their innovations?

    1. I believe the hollow drive shafts were illegal (moveable aerodynamics) and tool-free suspension adjustment is specifically disallowed in the regulations. Whilst the engine-mapping story was a matter of rule-interpretation, I think it certainly went against the intention of the rule (and therefore, they must have known it would be touch and go whether they got away with it).

      In terms of a development plan, I expect these were stop-gap ideas to keep this year ticking over, whilst they concentrate major development on next year’s car.

      1. The tool-free suspension was just a precautionary change, because the FIA thought it would be too easy to change the ride higher manually. And “intention of the rule” argument is futile; if every team played by the intention of the rules every car would be identical.
        It is a possibility that they are just diverting attention away from a major development, but I doubt they’d like to hinder this years’ championship chances with all the changes they’ve likely had to make to their development plan.

        1. The intention of the rule argument is not futile- I’m not saying that they should stick to the intention, but if there is a rule with a clear intention which you find the loophole in, it is obvious that loophole will be closed some time soon and so that should be expected.

          1. Yes, but then again my point was originally that the fact they ban them on a regular basis is hurting Red Bull’s development, so they should save it till the end of the year (remember the Silverstone farce)?

  7. Hmmmm, suddenly RBR agreed they had a “flexi-front-wing”? ….. Wonders they say, shall never end!!

  8. William Brierty
    18th August 2012, 10:23

    In my opinion 2011 was the worst season of recent years for a number of reasons, but Red Bull dominance was chief amongst them. Going into the 2011 season the feeling was that of hope; hope that we’d see a championship somewhere near the brilliance of 2010. A series of events made F1 fans fully aware that’d not be the case.
    1. Kubica’s injury – one rival less for Vettel and Red Bull
    2. McLaren and Mercedes have terrible winters – neither team seem to be able to beat Red Bull (Red Bull looked so short on title rivals before the season began Vettel even mentioned Renault and Williams as potential rivals in his opening interview for the 2012 FIA Season Review)
    3. Red Bull and Vettel dominate the first two races, scoring two wins from pole position and very much setting the scene for the rest of the season
    4. Ferrari underperform – the team that looked best set to challenge Red Bull for the title show a lack of pace
    5. Hamilton’s woes begin – the Malaysian Grand Prix showed that the man many believed was best equipped to challenge Vettel struggled with the Pirelli tyres

    Which leads us to the Turkish Grand Prix, yet another dominant Vettel win, and the first of a three race Vettel-win streak, at the end of which the championship was more or less over and any title optimism from any of the field was very much dead. However, there was still some good racing left as the awesome Canadian Grand Prix showed.

    1. Yes Vettel dominated, but rarely did he win by a lot. The field was relatively close, Vettel just managed to find something extra. I would hardly have called the season boring as behind Vettel there was some great racing, but yes as far as the WDC goes it was rather monotonous.

      1. So what you’re saying is that Red Bull didn’t have a car advantage in 2011?

        In 2011 Vettel won some races when it was questionable if he had the best car; such as Spain, Monaco, or Italy. However, he also under-performed in race winning cars such as Germany, Hungary and Japan; not to mention his last lap brain fade in Canada.

        I’m not saying Vettel’s 2011 season was bad but it wasn’t godly either.

        1. @kingshark – I wouldn’t count Japan as underperforming, as he was easily capable of winning that race, he just slackened off to ensure that he won the championship. And I’m not saying at all he didn’t have the car advantage, but it wasn’t as great an advantage as was made out to be.
          It wasn’t godly, but it was one of the greatest performances by a driver in a season in recent history (only Schumacher in 2002 and Mansell in 1992 have been more dominant recently, and in much faster cars relative to the field). A couple of sub-perfect weekends (even in Germany he still finished 4th) only showed his human side, other than that he was all but unstoppable.

        2. @kingshark – the only real underperformances were the error in Canada and the poor race in Germany (where he was still 2nd and 4th). The Mclarens were faster throughout the race, qualifying and practices in Japan and Hungary.

          I otherwise agree with Max Jacobson, the gap wasn’t usually as big as it was made out to be. He won dominantly in Malaysia, where he was under 0.2 up on Hamilton in quali, with Webber under 0.1 up on Button. The Mclarens and Ferraris were slow to deal with Heidfeld’s Renault in that race. Similar story with Belgium, where Button and Alonso couldn’t qualify any higher than 8th, and Hamilton crashed out.

    2. Kubica wouldn’t have been a rival anyway though. At least, not beyond the first few races.

      And I agree with Max, the first half of the season at least produced great racing, even if the championship story developing was depressing.

      1. William Brierty
        20th August 2012, 12:25

        @Max Jacobson/David-A
        You say that Vettel did not win by great margins, which is true, but that doesn’t mean he and the RB7 moreover wasn’t capable of winning by huge margins. Vettel is a patron of Prost’s “win as slowly as possible” mantra, so at Australia, Turkey, Europe, Italy and Singapore he speant most of the race conserving tyres. In fact the only reason he was able to set fastest lap at India on the final lap was because he speant the entire race looking after his tyres. Of course Button made Vettel pay for his conservative style in Canada and gave him a scare in Singapore, but most of season Vettel was comfortable out in front doing 99%. Hardly the recipe for a great season.
        I agree that Vettel’s only “poor” races were Canada and Germany, however Vettel still managed to maximise his results at races when the McLarens had better raw pace – Malaysia, Monaco, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Abu Dhabi. However Red Bull still had an advantage in terms of race pace at every dry race (the McLaren was the faster wet-weather car) excluding Japan, where the RB7 was eating its tyres for some reason.

        You’re saying that it is questionable that Vettel had the best car at Italy? Did you watch the Grand Prix?

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Kubica would have won races or challenged for the title, he’d just have been another protagonist to take points away from Vettel. Put it this way, Alonso says “there are certain drivers you look out for when you go wheel-to-wheel down at turn 1.” Kubica was one such driver.

  9. Personally, I understand the idea that certain innovations in F1 the past couple of years have helped certain teams more than others. I’m pretty sure the FIA has the idea it’s doing the right thing, as far as minimizing differences between the field (performance wise) goes, as well as technical superiority over mechanical and electronic aids, by controlling what can and can’t go on a car.

    However, I do feel that it’s somewhat hurting technical development. It keeps getting harder to innovate, but who’s going to take a million dollar risk, when it could easily be banned at the end of the season? The current top 5 might, but I hardly think Force India or Williams would enjoy spending time and money on a Double DRS system now, much like Sauber was hurt by putting an end to developing a blown diffuser after the temporary ban at Silverstone.

    Hopefully, teams won’t shy away from innovation and smaller teams can keep up. On a side note, despite not being a fan of Red Bull Racing at all, it’s a shame most of the rule changes were essentially a result of their 2011 performance. I agree F1 is what must be protected, but I can understand the gut feeling you’re being prosecuted for your own success, as has happened in the past.

  10. I remember a time when a team/driver dominating a season was applauded as it showed technical excelence by the team & great driving from the car.

    Nobody complained when Lotus & Clark were dominating seasons in the 60s, Nor when Fangio was dominating seasons in the 50s. We saw some dominance by teams/drivers through the 70s & 80s & the complaints from fans was minimal because they understood the sport & that a more open formula sometimes allows this sort of thing as there is always the possibility for 1 team to find that something extra.

    The problem today is that its seen as a ‘show’ & must be ‘entertaining’, If a race doesn’t include a hundred overtakes & if one team/driver does a much better job & dominates then its labelled ‘boring’ & I think thats wrong & shows just how far the SPORT side has fallen.

    People label 2011 as boring because Vettel/Red Bull dominated, I say it was a good season purely because of that as it highlights what F1 was always about & should be about again.
    F1 is supposed to be about innovation, technical excelence & great skill from drivers & one team finding something like the blown diffuser & using it to produce a dominant car should be applauded rather than everyone whining about it. A driver like Vettel using that to dominate the season should also be applauded as he showing fantastic skill every weekend to get those results.

    What used to be applauded is now ridiculed & what used to be ridiculed is now applauded (By that I mean artificial gimmicks such as DRS & Silly Pirelli tyres).

    1. Pete_H, I think the main difference is that at the time those developments were genuine technical advancements of autosports (stiffness, layout, breaks, suspension, engine, etc.) to make a car better, which meant more reliable, but mainly able to go faster.

      Nowadays going faster isn’t the real game, it is going faster within rules that are by necessity limiting how fast a car can go, and what means you have to do it.

      If they had free reign, all the teams, even HRT and Marussia, could probably build a much faster car even before they looked at arerodynamics. Start with active suspension, engine management, etc, even while disallowing expensive exotic materials so it might well be a lot cheaper too. Le Mans shows in my opinion some of that with the Audi and Toyota cars, though not nearly as extreme as possible (they too have limits on allowed speed for similar reasons of course). See the Red Bull X1 (or what was it called?) for a start.

      Those machines would need different tracks and maybe pressure suits to drive safely, most likely. The current rules are far from ideal, being layers upon layers to close loopholes that might give a way out, but they are meant to be limiting to keep speed and costs down, and make it a well defined formula

      Poor enough effort (ie. money) into seeking and testing loopholes to get closer to actual technical limits of speed for a track based four wheeled vehicle, and you win. That’s the fairness that needs to be guarded,

      Things like the recent flexy wing stuff, or the DDD, EBD, and definitely the f-duct (though that is in a way an actually useful way to make the car more efficient) are all such loopholes. They don’t really mean actual technical progress for motorsport technology. In F1 they are really just tricks, and in a way fundamentally cheating, though okay bc. everybody does it and is expected to do so (and bc. no one is likely to loose life and/or health thanks to them).

      I believe the only way to really change that and thus make the rules less restricting and more encouraging of development is to somehow make F1 all about efficiency. But that would make it more similar to endurance racing, which is not what we want from F1, I think, so it would need a very careful FIA/team effort to pull it off.

      1. eh, “pour enough money”, not poor, bc. then you don’t have the money to put into it :-p

      2. Great and measured post. It’s always nice to see educated comments and people really thinking about the stuff they are writing, not just some one-sided whinging or biased applauding.

        1. @bosyber, see above or below.

      3. @bosybear, We could avoid the pressure suits by reducing the “wing” area and we could reduce the high top speeds by reducing engine capacity, then we could allow the teams more freedom to innovate and develop the mechanics of the cars.
        When I watch a motoGP bike doing 330Kmh I don’t dismiss MotoGP as lacking because they only have 1000CC. engines I think WOW that’s amazing so I am sure that F1 with 1000CC turbo engines could still be the pinnacle of motorsport while allowing teams to innovate with in a less restricted rule.

    2. If anything the Pirelli’s only helped Vettel’s dominance in 2011, as he managed to tame them as it were. And I totally agree with your point Pete; F1 has subsided as a motorsport for money’s sake. Sure, there were probably greater audiences in recent years compared to the likes of the Ferrari years, but should the sports’ quality be sacrificed for viewer appeal?
      As for Pirelli, I think they’ve done a good job (they just need to fix some optimisation issues such as ‘the cliff’) it’s the rules that are the problem. Fix them so teams’ can choose their own compounds for the weekend and so they don’t have to use both compounds and we could see some interesting strategic races.

  11. Hungary 2002 was the first race I ever watched! It wasn’t a great race, but it’s special for me.

  12. @keithcollantine “Williams’ write-up of their visit to Venezuela with Pastor Maldonado omits a certain significant detail:
    Video: Pastor Maldonado crashes during Venezuela demo”

    Significant, but not surprising (even though it was in Venezuela)

  13. RBR admitting that losing the flex-wing is costing them… I could’ve sworn they told us they never had any such wing in the first place. Lol!

  14. Really enjoy the engine sound note in Schumacher’s Ferrari.

  15. Newey is bang on about the EBD, it has hurt them. They seem to be pushing harder than the other teams as well, such as the dubious holes in the floor and the ECU mapping. I believe they will be fine when it comes to the constructors by virtue of Massa being Massa and Button only recently finding some form back. However, the drivers championship, they really have their work cut out. If they’re not careful their drivers will end up taking points off each other. Alonso is lucky to not have to worry about that.

  16. Of course Red Bull has been hurt more by the ban on EBD than the other teams. Red Bull has spent 2 years building a car to suit EBD, all development made by Red Bull for the last couple of years focused on this.

    This meant that Red Bull had to take two steps back and start all over again while several of the other teams could go back and use their “original” 2011-car as a basis for 2012. As such Red Bull started the development-race for 2012 with a handicap.

    Despite this Red Bull has done well this year, but they have had some setbacks due to FIA`s rulings, something that has clearly hurt Red Bull. But it remains to be seen what happens next, you never know what a guy like Newey might dream up during the break.

    I got a sneaky feeling Red Bull is just missing a little piece to get it right again, and if that happens we might see some dominant wins towards the end of the season. One must also keep in mind that Red Bull and especially Vettel has always been strong in the second part of the season, as we saw in both 2010 and 2011. The European season ìs usually not Red Bulls strongest part of the season, is seems to suit Ferrari and McLaren better.

Comments are closed.