Equalisation ‘probably not right’ for F1 – Horner

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner climbs down over his calls for engine performance in F1 to be equalised.


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Horner: Equalisation 'not right' for F1 (Autosport)

"Is that (equalisation) likely to happen? Of course it's not. Is it fundamentally right for it to happen? Probably not either."

Vettel declines Rosberg's debrief invite (ESPN)

"Initially I think it was called off by Niki (Lauda) and Toto (Wolff), now they've told (Rosberg) yes so I think they are using it now as a bit more of a PR thing rather than a proper invite so the answer is no."

Vettel: 'We must attack' (Ferrari)

"Do you imagine if I went there, they would really open up? I was joking, if you have an advantage you don’t want to give it out."

Alonso throws McLaren under the bus (MotorSport Magazine)

"McLaren prepared a hugely detailed 37-page internal report about the accident and has shared its contents with the FIA’s Charlie Whiting who, while not yet commenting specifically, shares McLaren’s belief that there is no evidence of a car problem."

Button unmoved by Alonso claims (F1i)

"After seeing the data and watching the steering trace, my view hasn’t changed from what it had when I saw the data initially. I feel comfortable getting into the car and driving it."

Nico Rosberg reveals he wears a woman's sanitary towel on his head (Sky)

"I put that on my forehead in my helmet to take up the sweat."

Hamilton: Mercedes didn’t complain when it wasn’t winning... (Crash)

"It has only been one race, so to already have comments like this is what I find funny."

Valtteri Bottas: 'I really felt like someone had put in a knife...' (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"We have a good idea, so we have changed the seat and pedal position quite a reasonable amount so the back is in a more neutral position in the car, so less pressure for the discs."

Bernie Ecclestone reveals Manor will be docked almost £2m in prize-money for failing to race in opener (The Independent)

"We will deduct the race they missed from the prize-money. They will miss one 19th of it and they are going to get a bill for the free travel that we gave them."



Comment of the day

The Malaysian Grand Prix is in its 17th season but the country is yet to produce a second F1 driver to succeed Alex Yoong. Was building an F1 circuit without a racing infrastructure to support it a case of putting the cart before the horse?

I think there needs to be that grass roots support to create a proper culture of motorsport in any country. Kids need to be karting or sportscar racing from a young age, and there needs to be a decent level of competition. Otherwise it’s very hard to see how a Malaysian driver is going to come through the ranks and be good enough to find a seat in F1. You can send people off, of course, to Europe, the US, Japan, etc, where they will have access to those tiers. But in the UK there are thousands of kids racing almost every week, so the talent pool is massive.

F1 to me is the ultimate top step for drivers. If you want drivers from your country in F1, it’s not right to simply demand that F1 makes itself more attractive. Because to get to F1 there has to be that core enthusiasm for motorsport. That can only be kindled by making it aspirational – lots of Malaysian kids need to grow up with the dream of becoming racing drivers, and they will never have that dream in an environment where it’s impossible for them to achieve, and where they can’t see other kids like themselves also pursuing that goal.


Porsche’s three 919s will run in these liveries at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours – with Nico Hulkenberg driving one of them.

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65 comments on “Equalisation ‘probably not right’ for F1 – Horner”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    27th March 2015, 0:05

    Bernie is really despicable. Taking well-deserved money from the poorest team. It really looks as if he wants, just and only wants to destroy F1 before he leaves this world.
    And regarding Alonso, it looks like it didn’t take so long as expected to start with his suspicions about official documents… again.

    1. The article is penned by Christian Sylt, so take it with a pinch of salt.

      1. Surely C. Sylt, knows what Bernie is thinking and saying better than anyone else.

        1. maarten.f1 (@)
          27th March 2015, 6:42

          @hohum What Bernie says is not always what Bernie does.

          However, if he did dock them the prize money, that would be very disappointing. I believe Manor did have the intention to race, as did the stewards, but couldn’t due to a software problem.

        2. @hohum Bernie often feeds these stories into the media to maintain the image that he’s in absolute control of the sport.

          For one, the obligations for appearances/missing races did not carry over across seasons until Bernie, via Sylt, injected it into the Manor narrative for the first time around 2 weeks ago.

          1. @optimaximal,@maarten-f1,@bascb, Sorry if I misunderstood , If you had suggested the story was planted by Bernie I would have been in total agreement. I would not put it past Bernie to plant another story proclaiming his generosity and sense of fairness by putting aside the penalty “owed” by Manor, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if Bernie was trying to scare off sponsors because he wants Manor out of “his” F1.

      2. Indeed @optimaximal.
        Because I doubt Bernie is really doing this, because the contract doesn’t really allow him to dock them money like that (as the FIA deemed them to have done enough) and they have the right to get the money based on LAST years results not this years.
        It probably just means they are not getting any advance payments like FI, Sauber and Lotus got.

    2. It looks like Manor showed up in Australia just to be a “participant” and be eligible for the prize money. Bernie was more than accommodating, even paying for their freight, but got swindled. I strongly suspect Manor never intended to race.

      Bernie is just giving Manor a bit of their own medicine: you have to race, not just show up at the track. I don’t blame him.

      1. @dc

        You think it’s OK for him to not payout all the price money they earned fair and square last year, based upon what’s happening this year? And he’s doing this on the back of an assumption that they didn’t intend on racing? For all you know they thought they might have a chance of getting ready in time, but it didn’t work out.

        Bernie is a disgusting, vindictive dinosaur. The sooner the sport gets rid of him the better.

        1. @fluxsource

          From what I understand about the contract, they only get their prize money from last year if they participate this year. That’s why they are participating this year. So yes, it is okay for him to withhold the money if they think ‘participating’ is just showing up at the circuit (after someone else paid their way) and not racing.

          I want to see the small teams survive, too, but a deal is a deal. If they signed a contract saying they would race in return for the money, they should be required to race.

          1. @dc

            Except he’s just made up this rule about them losing part of their prize money for not competing at one race. Pulled it out of thin air.

            I fully believe that they intending to race, but that they were unable to overcome the difficulties they faced. Several other teams failed to get one of their cars over the start line. It’s not unfeasable that could have happened to both cars – should their prize money be docked too?

            The FIA – the actual governing body – have deemed that they participated in the race weekend. Who the hell is Ecclestone to hand out arbitrary punishments?

            As for the freight costs, my understanding is that Ecclestone (or CVC, not 100%) frequently cover them for the long hall races for ALL the teams. If he had warned them before hand that they would be liable for these costs if they didn’t race then that might be slightly more reasonable, but I highly doubt this is the case. Ecclestone is just chucking his toys out of his pram.

            Without wanting to ridicule the elderly, but it’s becoming increasingly clear by his erratic and irrational behaviour that Ecclestone is suffering a diminishing of his mental faculties. How much damage is he going to be allowed to do before he is asked to leave?

  2. Equalisation is not right, which is true. But something tells me Horner is only saying that so in the chance Red Bull dominate again in the coming years, he can quote himself and say “See! I said equalisation isn’t right! Ha!”.

    Also, I wonder if Manor regret turning up to Melbourne. Wouldn’t they have saved a lot of money on transport and other costs? Not sure how close those costs are to $2 million, but I’m sure it’s a large number.

    Aren’t they allowed to skip 3 races as part of their contract anyway? Without getting docked money?

    1. the skipped 3 last year..plus one this year, so thats 4.

      1. I thought it was 3 per season. I guess I was wrong.

        1. yes, its 3 per season @jarnooo

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      27th March 2015, 3:31

      @jarnooo, I understand the skipping of 3 race to be per season.

      But that is part of the competition part for this year. Thus as long as they skip no more than 3 races they are in the competition in 2015, and otherwise it would be breach of contract.

      The prize money is part of last year’s racing and contract. They skipped 3 races last year, thus they remained in the competition.
      But prize money is only paid during the next season as long as the team is still participating. I do not know the details of that contract (almost nobody does). And it might be just Bernie’s interpretation that missing one race results to a reduction of the prize money.
      It is certainly only Bernie’s interpretation that they did not ‘participate’ in Melbourne. The FIA(‘s stewards) cleared Manor of their no-show in Melbourne qualifying.
      It seems that Bernie makes his own rules and his own judgement. But that should not surprise anybody.

  3. Im not sure about Alonso throwing the team under the bus…if both drivers say something strange happen to the car (Alonso: Steering locked & Button: something in the data didn’t look right) then its the team thats hiding something and in fact throwing the blame on Alonso’s shoulders. IMHO Mclaren is hiding something

    1. @f1freek I feel the same, specially when the driver felt a problem with the steering. If anything it’s all McLaren’s fault (and Ron’s) for subbornly repeating to the press that there had been no problem with the car, that it was the windy conditions, that Alonso didn’t suffer a concussion.

      It all seems like a massive PR failure by them. And Alonso, even considering all the controversy surrounding him (if you want to call it that way), is RIGHT to talk about this openly. He surely is entirely comfortable to get in the car, just as Jenson, but a steering problem is a steering problem, and you don’t mock around with that.

      McLaren clearly was wrong to claim nothing had happened before really studying the situation. If they put a new sensor, then clearly that’s the consequence of not having all the data they need available when this sort of things happen.

      So yeah, McLaren jumped in front of the bus, Alonso didn’t push them.

      1. @fer-no65 That’s the only thing McLaren seem to have been adept in, since Mercedes withdrew from the team.. I can’t help but sense Williams were similarly vague after Senna and Newey has just recently been called a liar by Cyril Abiteboul..

    2. That’s sort of putting words into Button’s mouth. He said that it was odd that there was a lack of conclusive data, not that it didn’t look right.

      Like it or not, Fernando has a history of publicly lashing out at teams and trying to shift blame from himself. That’s not to say he’s lying, but the reality is the team has data, Whiting agrees with them, and Button sees no cause for alarm. The team might not have data for how the steering wheel was behaving, but they have data on the suspension that can effectively determine what happened. Alonso has his word – not that that’s worthless.

      What I do find odd is the absence of footage capturing the incident. Normally there’s onboard footage or a nearby camera rolling, but there’s nothing to be found. It might be that the footage has been withheld for the investigation, but that still seems odd given the severity of the crash.

      If we get that, it would clear things up easily enough, but until then I don’t see any reason to believe or disbelieve Alonso. It could simply be a case of a sudden windshift and Alonso failing to adapt. Turn 3 catches drivers out often enough.

      Similarly, it could be his custom steering column had a power failure and he couldn’t straighten it out in time. Having experienced power steering failures personally, I can understand that causing a crash.

      Point is, don’t believe Alonso simply because you like the man. There are plenty of feasible scenarios, and we’re only being fed choice bits of information. Whatever really happened will slip out eventually.

    3. When you have to choose between the words spoken by a team like Mclaren, and a driver like Alonso, it’s difficult to know the truth. Both have a reputation of twisting or hiding the truth to protect themselves.

      As a die hard Alonso fan, I’m disappointed in the way he has handled this whole thing. Even whether Mclaren was at fault, he should have avoided the blame game and just left the media out of it. Dennis is to blame as well, when he gave contradictory statements about Alonso’s medical condition.

      I don’t think anyone expected the Alonso and Dennis fallout to begin even before the season started. I would be surprised if Alonso is racing for them by the end of the season.

      It’s hard for us fans who thought this Alonso and Mclaren partnership would have been something great. The car seems to be the cr*ppiest thing to ever come of out of a Mclaren garage, and Alonso’s patience and tolerance for this team is non existent.

  4. Why deduct a team the prize money from last year? they did show up and the FIA said that they did everything in their power to get the cars out on the track but they couldn’t. They asked permission to run last year’s car and, if I remember correctly, the decision was kind of a U-turn for them and they had to build a modified chassis just in time.

    Is there anything written specifially about prize money in this situations? if not, then what a devil move by Ecclestone, as usual.

    1. @fer-no65 As I see it , they cannot deduct from last year’s money, but maybe they can deduct from the money they’ll receive in 2016 for the current season

      1. but maybe they can deduct from the money they’ll receive in 2016 for the current season

        From everything I have read, that’s not the case. They can miss up to 3 races. They should not be penalised.

        Bernie is trying to get people on board with the idea that they had no intention of racing. He doesn’t want them there, and is throwing a tantrum. “Wah Wah! I don’t like them, I don’t want them racing in MY formula! Wah!”

    2. I very much suspect that Bernie is not allowed to do this. Then again, look who wrote it, and its clear that Bernie wants the world to hear he is upset with Manor. Not sure he will do more than not pay them a portion up front (like he has done for FI, Sauber and Lotus to help them get on the grid) @fer-no65

  5. Oh dear, Horner is starting to sound more and more like Bernie:
    Let’s hope he’s not his successor.

    1. @mantresx If Red Bull moved from team ownership to owning the sport (like some guy called BCE did), I wonder who they would have running it..

      1. @fastiesty Bernard Charles was a principal but did he actually own Brabham?

        1. @davidnotcoulthard Yep, from 1972-1987. He bought it from Ron Tauranac.

          1. @fastiesty Alright, I’ve learned a bit of history, then!

          2. @fastiesty Just realised that de jure BCE doesn’t actually own F1, though…..

  6. I always thought Rosberg’s invice to Vettel was only a PR stunt. If Merc and Rosberg really intended to invite Vettel to their debrief they would have given him an invite. Rather they chose to post the so called invite on Twitter where Vettel has no account.

    1. I’m sure somebody at Ferrari let him know. You can’t send a public email to ‘world_all’, so twitter really is the best method tbh.

  7. FIA’s Charlie Whiting who, while not yet commenting specifically, shares McLaren’s belief that there is no evidence of a car problem

    If McHonda so damn belive that there is no evidence of a car problem why are they adding a new steering sensor to the car? Like RedBull’s flexi wings which was there most of the time, but were not picked by FIA’s tests always, I assume that the Mclaren MP4-30 had steering issues but however were not evidenced or picked up their existing sensors.

    1. I reckon McLaren have a steering angle sensor but no way to measure the actual force applied by the driver, maybe they’ve now fitted a hydraulic pressure sensor directly on the steering or something similar just to be sure, although of course it would add weight.

    2. Well, even if you think there is no issue, wouldn’t you want to support your driver by adding an extra sensor to have evidence of anything that might happen?
      Because if the driver feels something, either there is something wrong, or maybe its the driver feeling somethign that isn’t there. You can tell him to shut up (not really a good approach I woud say) or tell him that to make sure you will add a sensor to see in case something happens again @eclairstone.

    3. Duncan Snowden
      27th March 2015, 12:21

      I think it all depends on how you interpret the word “problem”. My guess, going on what we’ve heard over the last couple of days, is that there wasn’t a failure on the car, in the sense of something breaking, but that for whatever reason, it just doesn’t suit Alonso’s preferred steering setup. Which is a problem for him and the team, but not necessarily for Charlie Whiting.

  8. ColdFly F1 (@)
    27th March 2015, 1:03

    Please, please, please let’s get rid of Ecclestone.

    Taking GBP2m well deserved (thanks Bianchi) away from the poorest team (in which investors put their own money to save many jobs and have an opportunity to pay overdue bills to Marussia’s suppliers) is nothing short of criminal.

    To me he is worse than many of the worst dictators. (that is probably as I can legally go).

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      27th March 2015, 1:03

      *as far as

    2. And who does Bernie answer to?

      Bernie leaving will change nothing. He is paid by CVC for follow the directive of their board, and their priority is profit maximisation.

      If you want something to complain about perhaps focus your attention of Mosley selling Bernie the 100 year rights to the sport for sweet all – heist of the century. That is why we are where we are.

    3. The Bernie-ing problem of F1

  9. “Hamilton: Mercedes didn’t complain when it wasn’t winning”… yeah, yeah, yeah. Why complain? when you can just carry out an illegal test, then threaten to quit if one was punished. That’s the Mercedes way. Hypocrites

    1. then threaten to quit if one was punished

      When did they do that?

        1. No quote, and it’s from the Mirror, which doesn’t make for a reliable source.

  10. Maybe Red Bull’s PA and Marketing departments finally got through to Horner and told him to shut it!

    1. @irejag Yeah, and ironically it was probably those people that are truly just an employee of a drinks company rather than Horner…..

      1. *employees

    2. I find it funny the amount of times where by default the topic between GPs is money and the lack of fairness of it, only for an outrageous Horner comment to come out which becomes the focus of attention.

      Smoke and mirrors me thinks.

  11. No, Vettel, Noooooooo!

  12. Those Porsches look fantastic – especially the red one and the black one will stand out against the lighter coloured LMP1s.

    Anything apart from dull corporate whites/greys /silvers is a positive move in my book – even if it’s just two of their three cars! I don’t really like the white Porsche when we will have three white/silver Audis and even the Toyotas could do with a bit more blue to make it stand out a bit more. Maybe the third Porsche should have been yellow/gold instead of white and they could have 1-2-3 finished at Le Mans in a German flag formation if it went well! :L

    1. The white one though @calum, I think might be not so easy to distinguish from an Audi from all angles. I agree, more of the red and black ones please.

    2. Did you see the Blue car presented by KCMotorgroup? Looks like we might get a nice an colourfull grid in LeMans this year @calum, @bosyber

      1. hadn’t seen it yet @bascb, looks great, great to have more colour on the grid of the WEC.

    3. Still a shame that the livery itself is ridiculous, with completely ineligible lettering just so they can make one flashy PR video/ad. It does help having it in less bland colours than just black on white at least.

  13. Not happy Porsche ditched #14 and #20?

    1. @xtwl Maybe there’s a (recent) regulation about consecutive numbering?

      1. @xtml @optimaximal Sounds like the FIA copy & pasted that part of the rules in a swap with F1…

    2. I think they had #20 & #14 for the year 2014 and their ‘return’.

  14. Mclaren team personel have said different things at different times. We have all asked for the truth now Alonso says something and we start complaining. I’d rather it was a failed power steering or something related than n electric shock or gas.

  15. I agree with the COTD. Alex Yoong has the same opinion, he has been critical of the Malaysian motorsport scene in his biography, The Driver’s Line. He also told me the same thing on his blog a few years ago:

    Motorsports in Malaysia was actually at its height in the early to mid nineties. There were 2 thriving grade 2 circuits and the birth of Sepang kind of killed most motorsport here. The two circuits, Shah Alam and Johor fell into misuse and Sepang became a bit too big for other local motorsport. I would like to say its starting to pick up again, but its not really.

    Driver development is not tied to local motorsport at all at the moment, because the quality here is just too low and we have to send promising kids overseas. Karting is getting better and we see bigger numbers, but for quality competition, Europe is still the place to be.

    We need more grade 2 circuits in the region if motorsports is going to grow here again, not more F1 tracks. Sepang and Singapore is more than enough.

    I guess the situation might be similar in several other countries that host F1 races – the government uses F1 to promote themselves and probably also their country but they do not really care about motorsports so they do not do much to create an environment that would make kids want to race cars and allow young local drivers to make use of their talent.

    1. @girts I’d use the analogy of progression through the ranks as being like climbing a ladder. The top rung of the ladder is F1. The problem (I gather – as I say I don’t really know for sure) for Malaysia and a number of other countries, is that the ladder in their country only has that top rung, and the rest of them are missing. It doesn’t matter how attractive you make that top rung – the reason people aren’t making it up there is the absence of the rest of the rungs, not a lack of interest in the top.

      P.S. thanks for COTD @keithcollantine

  16. Now, please somebody explain me how “Alonso throws McLaren under the bus” headline is not the media desperately for drama!

    From reading Alonso’s statements in that same article, or here, the only thing I can come up, as many has suggested, is that the whole thing has been a huge PR mistake from McLaren. So what!? Is it such a big deal? Come on!

    Whether it was Alonso’s fault or something with the car is not going to change anything. Is it?

  17. Interesting that those three Porsches are all running different aero packages

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