Pressure from Ricciardo led to Vettel exit – Horner

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Christian Horner says the pressure Sebastian Vettel was feeling from team mate Daniel Ricciardo was a factor in his decision to leave the team.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Vettel ‘affected by Ricciardo pace’ (BBC)

“Horner says Ricciardo was ‘probably a factor’ in Vettel’s decision. And he said the Australian’s overtake of Vettel at the Italian GP was ‘quite a defining moment for Sebastian’.”

Wolff: Teams need more than one boss (Autosport)

“Today’s F1 teams are not the organisations they were ten or even five years ago.”

BayernLB sues Ecclestone for damages over Formula One sale (Reuters)

“BayernLB has filed a law suit against Mr. Ecclestone, the family foundation Bambino and others and is asking for damages of €345 million (£271 million) plus interest.”

Azerbaijan and the sporting map: from F1 venue to Euro 2020 host (The Guardian)

Bernie Ecclestone: “We open the eyes of the world and they don’t see it or use it. I mean, who had ever heard of Bahrain before we went there?”


Comment of the day

Would the battle for the championship between the Mercedes drivers have been different if Ross Brawn was at the helm?

I believe that had Ross Brawn was still in charge of Mercedes, we would not have seen the duo fighting. To me he seems to be someone who believes in clearly defined number one and number two is the way forward.
A.D. (@Aks-Das)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Bernie Ecclestone, in a bitter war of words with then-Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo five years ago today, revealed the team received “extra money above all the other teams” and other special privileges.

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.

43 comments on “Pressure from Ricciardo led to Vettel exit – Horner”

  1. COTD is easily disproved: did he use team orders with Jenson and Rubens?


    1. He did ask for Nico to let Lewis past.
      As much as i respect Brawn, I really dont know what he would have done in this case.

    2. Your wrong. Remember Austria 2001 and 2002? Also, if Button was losing the championship by one point to Vettel at the final race and Barrichello was ahead, I think Mr Brawn would use team orders there as well. I know Jean Todt had the final call but Brawn could have prevented that from ever happening. Luckily, Schumacher did the same thing and let Rubens win in the 2002 USA Grand Prix.

      1. We saw a couple of battles between Nico and Lewis on track in 2013 too, without team orders. Singapore and India come to mind. Of course, Merc weren’t title contenders at the end of last year, so his approach this season would likely have been different.

        1. Actually, Mercedes did use team orders occasionally in 2013, most notably in Malaysia when Rosberg was asked to stay behind Hamilton (which was tied into a wider instruction for the drivers to slow down in order to conserve their fuel).

          However, because of the objections that Nico raised after that race, they only really used team orders where one driver was on a different strategy to the other driver and needed to get past his team mate, but wasn’t necessarily competing directly with their team mate.

          1. Please stop using the Malaysia example over and over again. The drivers were freely allowed to race. Heck, Nico overtook Lewis twice, and both times Lewis took him back on the following straight.

            It is only after this second time that Ross Brawn stepped in and asked them to hold position. He was afraid of a collision given their eagerness. He wanted to just take home the 3-4 and the points that came with it.

          2. Himmat, the Malaysian GP still remains a valid example – the comment was about whether Ross Brawn used team orders, and in that race team orders were applied.

            It doesn’t necessarily matter that the team order wasn’t issued immediately – the question was purely about whether team orders had been used at any time and, as you say, Ross did instruct the drivers to hold position later in the race.

    3. @hairs
      Rubens might have a different opinion on this, I remember I think at Barcelona or the Nurburgring where he made some very unsubtle suggestions of preferential treatment.

      1. I had just responded to the @aks-das full comment on the other board and will respond in kind here. In the MS/Ferrari days MS was the clear and contracted number one on the team. After the Austria 02 debacle Reuben’s admitted that to the world in the post race interview. “I thought I should obey my contract” is an accurate paraphrase.

        Yet when MS went to Mercedes I thought that meant an automatic death sentence for Nico, and Brawn even had MS as the WDC that year he joined the team, yet it appeared Nico was free to race him, to my relief. Now that could be because Nico asserted himself straight off, or MS didn’t, or both, or that Brawn wasn’t going to designate a number one at all, and just let the math fall into place. Of course there’s really no need to designate a number one if both drivers aren’t fighting for the WDC.

        So anyway I’m not convinced Brawn would have designated a number one this past season, but I know that if he had that would have been terrible for F1, and might have turned me off completely.

        1. I will try to put forward my thinking.
          Its a question of perception and hence it was an opinion. It is well known that MS was having a status 1 in his contract written. Secondly MS/Ross/Ferrari was a kind of group, where number 1 style of working suited all. But if there was no written number 1 status in the contract of the drivers, would Ross Brawn as team principal allow the two drivers to race freely without even a hold position.
          Had MS/Ross being in theory working for McLaren would the situation be same?
          Post Ferrari days, in Merc, MS was sort of not so young, Nico was young and promising, so the equations changed. If the Merc pairing was Alonso and Nico, would Ross allow them to race freely even in the event of a dominant car? So the question is would Ross Brawn be comfortable with two drivers race each other, or would he try enforce hold position etc sort of orders.

  2. I think Toto is right. No one man can do everything simultaniously and do it well. Redbull has done it for years, Horner doing the politics etc, while Newey is in charge of the technical side. This is whats worries me about Ferrari. Arrivebene needs a technical partner to steer the team in the right direction. Allison is doing the technical stuff, but i’m not sure if he’s actually in charge and leading his technical staff, or has a more hands-down function inside the team and works on the car most of the time. I think Ferrari is right in giving him more power and freedom.

  3. “Horner says Ricciardo was ‘probably a factor’ in Vettel’s decision.”

    turns into a headline saying: “Pressure from Ricciardo led to Vettel exit – Horner”


    1. “Journalism”

      1. @kroonracing I don’t understand your objection. “Led to” does not mean “was undoubtedly the exclusive reason for”. My intention was to indicate Horner thinks it may have been among a number of factors.

        @dysthanasiac Headline-writing isn’t journalism, it’s sub-editing.

        1. Well, leaving out the “probably” makes it sound more like a statement than the subjective guess of the person, which it obviously was…

        2. @keithcollantine Sorry if I interpreted your intention wrongly. To me it (obviously) looked like you wanted to indicate that this was a significant factor.

          To me the change to Ferrari was as simple as a matter of the opportunity being available. I think Vettel would have jumped for that opportunity, also if he had won the WDC this year. Very few people would turn down a Ferrari offer. For Vettel such an offer was obviously irresistable, regardless of Ricciardo’s performance.

    2. @kroonracing haha so true, but then again, gotta get those clicks right? Keep the website traffic going… Pretty misleading headline.

      1. I think anyone whose income depended upon people reading their stuff, no matter the media, would do and does the same thing with headlines. As Keith points out, it is sub-editing, and I learned a long time ago to just proceed with reading the article for the direct quotes. Sure maybe it’s a tad misleading, but that’s the harshest I’ll go, and this is pretty normal stuff. After all…we’re all salespeople…either of a product or of ourselves and the services we can provide.

        1. Agreed it is a “tad misleading”. The problem is, every media outlet down the line adds their own “tad misleading” spin. Next thing you know the three words that Horner spoke: “probably a factor“, turns into Daniel actually brokering the deal with Ferrari to get Vettel out. Three words which, I might add, were also taken out of the context of the originial full quote (which I can’t seem to find), and don’t include the question he was asked about it.

          Anyway, most articles and headlines here are pretty good, so I can put up with a little clickbait now and then.

          1. Just came back to say that the biggest fault probably lays with BBC. I mean the entire article is about Seb’s struggle with the new cars and also the immense lure of Ferrari to an F1 driver. But of course they only pluck out the three words “probably a factor” by Horner and use it to title the entire article.

          2. @pastaman I think you are taking it a tad too far with your suggestion that “The next thing you know…” because there still has to be quotes from the key people, no matter who is writing the article, no matter the form of media, to substantiate the headline. Any writer who would try to extent it down the line to, for example “DR brokering the deal”, without anything but spin to back it, would soon be laughed out of the industry.

          3. @robbie Yes I was being intentionally hyperbolic

  4. “How he generated his lap time was very much using the rear of the car on entry into the slower corners, which was much diminished this year, and that together with the brake-by-wire system had taken away some of the feeling of the braking that he is so dependent on.

    That bold part could make a good article, @keithcollantine .

    Was anybody advantaged (or disadvantaged) by brake-by-wire, apart from it occasionally failing?

    1. @davidnotcoulthard I wouldn’t be surprised if all the drivers dislike having less feel and more unpredictability under braking, such is this system so entwined with the energy recovery system. I think we saw lots and lots of lockups and sometimes downright unexplainable car behavior that can be attributed to the system taking over from the driver’s commands. I think all drivers have likely had some or many uncomfortable moments with this system, and the likes of SV and KR even moreso. I would not be surprised if much of the work in the off-season by the teams for their new cars will center around this very issue. And in fairness, let’s not forget this was year one of a completely new chapter and we all knew to expect a big learning curve and some unreliability.

    2. @davidnotcoulthard, I agree with you. Also the Horner quote in the article:

      “He is such a ‘feel’ driver that some of those feelings had been muted and it dumbed down some of his performance.”

      If it is true that Vettel and Kimi are most affected by brake-by-wire, and if their ‘feel’ of braking was part of their ‘competitive edge’ then Ferrari has a fairly big problem.
      Brake-by-wire will stay as part of the complex MGU-K systems.
      Therefore, having two ex-WDC who are somewhat handicapped – not able to use one of their competitive skills – is not a great place to start for Ferrari.

  5. “But in a team of 800 staff, with 400 in Brixworth, there isn’t a single point of reference anymore.

    So we’ve got to start calling it Team Brackley-Brixworth now?

    1. @davidnotcoulthard I think one (Brixworth) is the engine department, so yes, if you will also call the other Mercedes teams -Brixworth that as well!

  6. I thought this blog entry by Dr Hartstein would be featured in the round-up. If it’s fully true, that doesn’t say anything good about Todt and Saillant…

    1. @hunocsi You’ve got to assume it’s true, otherwise Hartstein would be the one on very very thin ice. I guess we know stuff like this is going on behind the scenes with big political organisations like the FIA but it’s interesting to hear some specifics.

    2. @hunocsi Maybe @keithcollantine expected us to have his blog on Speed dial already :p (having said that, I haven’t).

    3. @hunocsi, it is not a nice story if that is really what Saillant

      But the problem I have with Gary Harstein’s blog: most of the time he is focussing a lot on ‘how good he is’ and/or ‘how bad the ones who replaced him are’. There seems to be a lot of frustration there. It makes all the interesting factual parts a bit more difficult to read.

      Also, the low punch at Corinna Schumacher is uncalled for (based on the info in his blog).

  7. I like the jab Horner just threw in on Vettel.

    It’s got to be true though, Vettel couldn’t risk getting outclassed by his teammate 2 seasons in a row.. so he makes his move to a struggling Ferrari, just like Schumi did.

    It’s a great way of showing he’s taking a risk to leave for a weaker team, but actually a great distraction from the fact that he can’t handle thrashing he just received by Dan in 2014

    1. @todfod I’m sure there are several factors to SV’s move, and while I’m not a fan I do feel for him in that he had a car he was at one with, and then that all changed, and that can’t be easy to deal with. And the pressure was always going to be on SV since DR was the newbie on the team and had not nearly the same pressure…get beaten by SV, no surprise, he’s a four time Champ engrained in the team…beat SV, and it’s a bonus.

      But most certainly SV’s move to a struggling Ferrari is not ‘just like Schumi did.’ MS was winning at Benetton, but the cars were highly illegal, particularly in 94. There was huge controversy surrounding that team, but they were winning, so it is reasonable to ask why MS would move. But then when you see how it was done, with a mega-deal that pretty much made MS the most highly paid athlete ever of all sports at the time, along with a mass exodus of much of his side of the garage at Benetton over to Ferrari with him, and I remain convinced that post-Senna Max and Bernie orchestrated this move to create the next chapter in F1…the end of the Ferrari 16-year (at the time) WDC drought.

      1. On the other hand Robbie, you could also argue that the FIA were very lenient on a number of other teams at the time. For example, what tends to be forgotten is that McLaren’s MP4/9 was illegal – even McLaren themselves were eventually forced to admit that the gearbox design broke the rules – but, despite the fact they were caught cheating, were let off without any penalty provided they changed the gearbox before the next race.

        1. @anon Fair enough, not everyone else were angels, but your example is a far cry from what went on continually, and repeatedly and regarding many aspects of the car such as was the case at Benetton. And others teams doing the usual stretching of the interpretation of the rules and then correcting it when told does not let Benetton off the hook.

          1. It was more the point that there is a fair bit of hypocrisy over the allegations, since the example I have used there (the incorporation of illegal driver aids into the design of McLaren’s gearbox) was not just a creative interpretation of the regulations but a conscious decision to break the rules, and yet nobody has claimed that the fact that the FIA let McLaren off completely for a car that had been running in an illegal configuration for nearly two thirds of the season as evidence of the FIA trying to orchestrate a period of success for McLaren.

    2. @todfod You could also say it’s a similar situation as Alonso leaving Macca in 2007…

      1. jaja… good point

  8. Is Bernie gonna buy his way out of this case as well?

  9. I think Horner his statements are rubbish. Vettel always wanted to go to Ferrari and made no secret of it. He saw the opportunity. I even dare say had he beaten Ricciardo by a country mile he would’ve left aswell.

    1. @xtwl
      When Horner spoke some thing sensible,
      he didn’t called as Eccelestone Jr for nothing ;)

  10. I fear for Vettels future with Ferrari also, as both he and Kimi has struggled this season, and Ferrari don’t seem to be able to get to grips with the problems, neither the brake precision when recovering brake energy or the power train or .. or…
    And i don’t see any focussed energy in the Ferrari team to collect the resources needed to transform the team or the performance. I predict Ferrari to end up even lower in the pecking order next year. But I fully understand that Vettel left, at least to try something new, as RBR wasn’t providing a car to his taste anymore.

  11. Seb’s ticking off his boxes, he doesn’t need to pass Michael’s career records (certainly not since his accident) and driving for Ferrari will likely be his last drive in F1 if the formula continues in it’s current state. He’s said himself that it’s not as fast as it was and that he’d be open to racing somewhere else (if it was faster) but I think he’d extend that to the WEC if it became slightly more relevant as it’s already more interesting/difficult for the drivers.

Comments are closed.