‘We always prefer to test with race drivers’ – Horner

2013 F1 season

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Christian Horner, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2013Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reacted to the FIA’s punishment of Mercedes by pointing out that teams prefer having the opportunity to use their race drivers in tests.

But he stopped short of criticising the International Tribunal’s decision to ban Mercedes from the Young Drivers’ Test following their disputed test for Pirelli in May.

“It is always preferential to test with race drivers rather than test drivers; however the penalty is not for us to decide,” said Horner. “It was for the tribunal to decide and they have made their decision.”

Horner, who was present at yesterday’s hearing, said “The tribunal had all the facts presented to them in a fair manner yesterday and made their decision.”

“We raised the protest as we wanted clarity on whether you are allowed to test in-season with a current car, as we believe this was a breach of the regulations.”

Horner added the tribunal made it clear Mercedes had breached the Sporting Regulations and the International Sporting Code by conducting the test.

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Keith Collantine
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19 comments on “‘We always prefer to test with race drivers’ – Horner”

  1. Well you can´t argue with that logic, more than a slap in the wrist for Mercedes is a slap in the face for the other teams. “Go ahead boys breake the rules as you like”.

    1. @celeste The fact other team principles didn’t condemn mercedes for testing the Pirelli, may reveal that all of them have tested or want to test. In the end I think we can only say that other teams haven’t tested with their race drivers and a current season car.

      1. @peartree other team principals have said that they were unhappy with Mercedes for breaking the test rules. Juts read the friday conference from Canada.

        1. @celeste yes, regarding the fact Mercedes tested with a 2013 car.

  2. I can’t help but feel Horner should stay very discrete on the subject. I mean, had Mercedes been more severely hit, would he be standing gloating now ?

    1. @tango
      It has nothing to do with gloating man! It´s about a team breaking the rules and not getting just punishment plain and simple. May it be MERC, Ferrari or whoever, if you break the rules you must expect consecuences and sadly, Merc´s consecuences are a complete and utter joke and I bet every team in F1 feel they have been ridiculized!

      1. I don’t know. It feels more like the annoying little brother who went to mummy because its brother did something bad and then goes back to complain that mummy only hit his brother with the hand and not the belt.

  3. Michael Brown (@)
    21st June 2013, 16:39

    Then I guess test drivers are irrelevant

    1. Well, before 2008 there used to be pretty useful, and a test driver with real track experience, i.e. Pedro De La Rosa or Sebastien Buemi, are very useful, but the new kids with out F1 kms are probably irrelevant to car development…

  4. But presumably Red Bull also prefers to be able to make setup and parts adjustments during their tests, too – and to run those tests using this season’s tyres ?

    While I don’t disagree that Mercedes have been treated pretty (some might argue unduly) kindly by the FIA, if Red Bull were asked to choose between a ‘Pirelli style’ test and a Young Drivers’ Test, I’m fairly confident in predicting which they would choose.

    1. Completely agree.

      People seem to forget this was a Pirelli test. If it was a 3 day Mercedes test I’m pretty sure they would learn much, much more than they have done in the Pirelli test.

      1. Then why was the test run using Mercedes mechanics, engineer’s, telemetry systems, drivers & race team instead of the Pirelli test team/drivers?

        It was clearly a Mercedes test as it was Mercedes running the car. Had it been the Pirelli test team & Pirelli test drivers with the car painted in Pirelli colors then I’d say it was a Pirelli test.

        Same for the Ferrari test’s.

        1. they didn’t know the tyres, they had no changes in terms of testing new parts, the drivers were told what to do therefore it was most definitely a pirrelli test. When you compare that to some of what other teams not to mention names have done in the recent past, it was tiny. Other teams were also asked such as red bull. To be honest I think a clarification between pirelli and the FIA needs to come from this of what is suitable within tests including an outline of the procedure.

        2. Do you seriously think Merc would just hand their W04 and say, go ahead, use it as you please without so much as an instruction manual? The car would have to be pushed around the track then. They NEEDED the Merc engineers there for safety and operational controls. Same as with the Ferrari test, same as with the 2010 Renault test car. The owner of the cars need their own engineers there.
          As for the Pirelli drivers, I’m sure Pirelli were not gonna pay to have Jaime A. or whoever get fitted for a seat just to run only 1000km. Plus we all know that Nico and HAM could probably push quite a bit harder to heat up these tires a bit more than Jaime A. At the end of 2013, it probably would have been good for Pirelli to obtain the W04 for testing purposes due to the rear tire heat generation it seems to have as these new 2014 engines will likely cause more heat in the rear, but still altogether a totally different task to handle.
          In the end, it’s over. Skip down the hallways with excitement if you’re happy or cry a little more if you’re unhappy.

        3. Then why was the test run using Mercedes mechanics, engineer’s, telemetry systems, drivers & race team instead of the Pirelli test team/drivers?

          Because Pirelli have no experience in running that car.

    2. Agreed.

      Glad to see Horner appear to go the much more diplomatic road than down the bitter road.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        21st June 2013, 20:22

        hmmm i can’t help but feel this statement was made through gritted teeth lol

        1. For sure. LOL

          Horner and Red Bull come off looking much more gracious and reasonable than Ferrari. Surely, than can afford the luxury of being reasonable at this point whilst leading the WDC and WCC.

          But, Ferrari, whose tests that have recently come to light that border on secrecy while they hypocritically cry out for transparency, that is something else.

  5. Personally I’ve always maintained that in season testing should return in a limited capacity (as it is doing) but with running strictly for test drivers. That way young drivers would get a chance, and the more experienced folk like Marc Gene, Pedro de la Rosa, Garry Paffett and such like will get a chance to do their jobs, testing!

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