Mateschitz demands engine parity for Red Bull

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz says his team must be given current-specification engines or they will leave F1.


Comment of the day

Is Button heading to the World Endurance Championship?
Now might be the right time for Jenson Button to leave F1:

The WEC is the right move for Button I think.

Yes, he could easily do a few more years in F1, but realistically, what more can he accomplish? It’ll take another year or two for McLaren to get near the front again, and he’s unlikely to find a seat elsewhere.

In the WEC though, he can compete in a more varied championship, with more interesting (and better sounding – except for Audi) cars, and he’ll have more fun and more freedom than he will in F1.
Dave (@Raceprouk)

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On this day in F1

It was an action-packed day of racing 25 years ago: Nigel Mansell won a shortened the Portuguese Grand Prix after Alex Caffi crashed heavily. In the CART IndyCar series, Michael Andretti triumphed at Road America.

And the World Sports Car championship round at Montreal was also shortened after a monumental accident involving Jesus Pareja, whose Porsche erupted in a fireball after he struck a manhole cover which had been lifted from the track surface by another car.

The incident was not caught on television cameras at the time. However a fan who was at the track, Kurt Beebe, recently shared this video of the accident which he filmed. It shows the moment Pareja hit the manhole cover and some of the enormous conflagration that ensued:

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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...

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98 comments on “Mateschitz demands engine parity for Red Bull”

  1. Just leave already will you.

    1. (Red Bull, not Button! :)

      1. scared me

    2. Ah VERY WELL SAID! Please leave guys. Today is the first time I ever say sth like this, and I made my decision, please GO AWAY!

      ps. Ferrari would be “mental” to give them the same engine. That doesn’t make any sense. They would be finishing every race behind, everyone knows that. And who cares which engine Red Bull use apparently…. Red Bull winning is Red Bull winning, nothing to do with Ferrari even if it’s their engine.

      1. I disagree.

        Red Bull is right to demand engine parity, why should they ask for less than the best? It’s up to Ferrari to decide. Actually Ferrari can put to prices on the table, one for the equal engines and another for a older/less powerful engine and Red Bull makes the final call.

        Plus, Ferrari cannot act like Mercedes and anticipate they cannot beat Red Bull with the same power. Actually I’m afraid the last race will weight on Ferrari’s decision and Red Bull may not be there next year and that would not be good for the sport. I know they’re annoying bad losers some times but we cannot afford to lose a top team in times where McLaren is nowhere to be found in terms of competitiveness.

        1. I disagree.

          They can demand whatever they want. There is no one stopping from others demanding illogical and irrational things though.

        2. Tough, they were with a manufacturer and kicked off with know where to go then demand a key performance advantage from a rival or they quit. Ferrari should of threatened to quit between 2010-2013 if Red Bull did not send aero staff to them to allow them an equal chassis. Ferrari should give them an option, 15 million a year for old engines but the same engine will cost Newey and 50 aero staff of Ferraris choosing. I would rather see 3 Ferraris 3 McLarens 3 Mercedes 3 Williams rather than Red Bull blackmailing.

        3. Tough Luck for RedBull then, if they dont get 100% parity engines as Ferrari have.

          Tell me 1 thing, do Mercedes provide same software and fuel to their customer teams? AFAIK, no customer teams are getting same software and fuel as works team.

          What have RedBull done to earn the rights for getting same software and fuel ? Nothing, other than whining and threatening to leave sport whenever they dont get things the way they want.

          If they really wanna stay in F1, either accept what engine manufacturers are giving them or else build their own PU.

    3. Red Bull OUT, Button IN!

    4. Everyone in the world about RBR:

    5. So you want an 18 car grid? What about the RBR & STR drivers, better hope someone buys the teams because most other teams are full and those 4 are definitely in the top 10. VW might have enough problems with it’s pollution scandal so I wouldn’t count them in just yet.

      Don’t you think Renault should have used some tokens by now?

      1. Atm there are 18 cars competing, no? It would be the same next year since Manor get Merc PU.

    6. I feel RedBull has wanted to quit all along and are using the engine situation to do so. They created this whole mess and continue to do so. It is apparent that they haven’t any business savvy at all, which would completely belie that they ever built a billion dollar business in the first place. Not very astute, just in the right place at the right time with their sugar-water drink.

    7. Given how RB treated Renault, I think Ferrari would be nuts to work with Red Bull who will slag them as soon as things look to go wrong. Red Bull made their bed by being a bad partner and now are reaping the rewards. I’ve heard they are looking to sell, possibly to VW, and just be the title sponsor. Let’s hope this comes to pass.

  2. Bernie, Honda and Red Bull want more engine freedom and no wonder. When you hear Toto talk like that, you want more engine freedom aswell, more manufacturers, and more chances for others to catch up.

    I think Mercedes is right to keep their secrets to themselves. Why should they share them? specially to the opposition! they have spent the money, they made the effort to create the best possible package and it shows. So why would they share it? I’m fine with that, as long as they are the only ones with that engine.

    But if you’re supplying other teams, and you refuse to give engines to Red Bull you’re basically saying 2 things:
    1) We know they are a threat and we wouldn’t mind them quitting.
    2) We give lower spec engines to Williams, Force India and Lotus.

    I wonder how Felipe feels now. He said a couple of weeks ago that he didn’t think Mercedes were giving them the best engines, and why would they? to allow Williams to beat them? it’d be impossible to explain to the executive board in Stuttgart: “Look, they beat us because we gave them the best engines and they are better constructors”.

    That just stinks!

    There are 4 manufacturers, which translate to just 4 works teams, one of which is in the verge of quitting and the other came a year late. Independents just don’t hold a chance. No way any other team bar Mercedes and Ferrari would be able to mount a championship fight over a season this way!

    I know F1 has been this way forever. The smaller the team, the less choice they have. Worse engines, worse tyres (in the years of tyre wars), worse everything. But with the lack of suppliers in this era, and no sight of new manufacturers joining, something needs to be done.

    I hate the way Red Bull has handled the situation this year, but their choice is so limited, that quitting feels like the most appropiate decision for a team that could easily be challenging Mercedes and Ferrari for wins, not just this year, but in the years to come.

    1. I don’t think we know Merc supply detuned engines to their customers @fer-no65. We’ve seen for long time that teams with less money always have less downforce, and that is the case for Lotus, FI and Williams. They lose their time in the twisty sectors.

      And Merc used to let McLaren beat them, after all.

      1. Willem Cecchi (@)
        23rd September 2015, 7:43

        The non-works Mercedes teams don’t have the advantage of using Petronas lubricants which adds 40BHP according to an article a week or two ago.

        1. That was just McLaren afaik @willemcecchi, with their Mobil backing.

          1. @lockup – Petronas does not supply Williams, but that is a deliberate choice by Williams as they have committed to using Petrobras’s fuels and lubricants in return from receiving sponsorship from them. Petronas did actually supply Williams in 2014 though, as Petrobras were unable to supply Williams with fuel or lubricants when they’d only just agreed to sponsor the team.

            Asides from them, though, I am fairly sure that both Lotus and Force India use fuels and lubricants supplied by Petronas, and I believe that Williams rubbished the idea that Petronas wasn’t supplying the same type of fuel to its customers last year.

      2. Monza ,which actually has only three corners, Ferrari actually has overtaken all teams with Mercedes engine in straights, but Nico Rosberg, manage to close the gap to Vettel(on 7 laps older tyres), till his engine blew up, shows that engine between Mercedes and customer teams are definatelly inequal in software mappings(they are equal in hardware, since they are homoglobated). And Mercedes, can use qualifying mode for much longer in races after Canadian GP “reliability” upgrade(maybe it can be used for all race long)…

        1. Monza was a bit of a ‘special’ race. Mercedes brought a new engine spec, but only had enough for their works team. Rosberg’s new engine had difficulties and was replaced with a much older one (already past the 5 race minimum expected life) for the race, and then blew as we know. The only driver with a top-of-the-range Merc engine in that race was Hamilton.

          1. But Rosberg engine was same spec as customer teams engine(even older for a number of races) and it still performed better than customer teams engines, what shows that customers doesn’t get same engine and factory team.

    2. @ferno65 (this auto-complete is a failure)
      I totally agree, apart from potential good publicity if they succeed the main value of this PU format to an automaker is to develop and test new technologies that they can use to compete in the marketplace, restricting their opportunity to develop and improve their PUs just means high costs without any useful technological gain and very likely bad publicity rather than good.
      If they (auto-makers) were allowed to continuously develop and upgrade PUs they would learn a lot more and have a chance to improve their image, under these conditions we might get other automakers to rise to the challenge as stand-alone PU suppliers to privateer teams at more reasonable cost, but as things stand now why would they invest all that capital without the opportunity to advance or correct initial errors.

      1. Prost said he could still come back later on.

    3. I know F1 has been this way forever. The smaller the team, the less choice they have. Worse engines, worse tyres (in the years of tyre wars), worse everything. But with the lack of suppliers in this era, and no sight of new manufacturers joining, something needs to be done.

      To be fair about the state of F1 in the past, backmarkers at least had more possibilities to enter partnerships with new engine manufacturers. Stewart GP became a de-facto Ford works team in no time, while teams like Tyrrell, Brabham, Lotus, Ligier, Footwork/Arrows and the likes could at least have exclusive engines, while teams like Minardi could get a lower spec Ford engine.

      I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately and to be honest I speculate that the fact a manufacturer has to built the entire power unit might have something to do with it. Honda’s ICE seems to be decent, it’s the other parts they’re struggling with. For a name like Honda that’s bad news, but imagine being Judd, Gibson, AER or likewise. For car manufacturers, it’s very hard to get right (Renault, Honda) and for smaller suppliers the task is far too large. Ideally, if changes are made, the FIA will consider the attractiveness of the regulations to both large and independent engine manufacturers.

      1. Anybody remembers the legendary works-deal Zakspeed had with Yamaha in 1989?

        However, it was a time with 8 different engine-manufacterers in the sport, and the Ford/Cosworth was both reasonably priced for any team to buy and run it without bancrupting and capable enough to regularly score points in a time when only the top-6 of any race gave points. Todays F1 is lacking especially an option like that for the small teams.

    4. More freedom probably is the solution. There are 4 engine suppliers for 10 teams, I don’t think we can have much more than that, the trouble is we have 2 good engines (one slightly better), 1 sub-par and another way off the par.

    5. This should be a wake up call for the powers that be to ditch this power unit and token system asap. Go back to a regular turbo v6 with no fuel flow limit. Give them 100 liters of fuel and let them go at it. This would promote combustion efficiency and would bring several manufacturers into the sport. (BMW, VW, maybe even Toyota).
      Right now, there is not a single manufacturer in their right mind that would get in the game after seeing what has happened to Renault, Honda, and even Ferrari last year.
      These engines are too expensive, too complex, and the token system screws everyone that is not Mercedes.

      1. Personally, I would say they don’t need to change as much as you say.

        To help mitigate the current problems, all that is needed is the following:
        – Remove the token system, allow unlimited development both in season and out.
        – Cap the cost a mfr can charge a customer.
        – Insist that a mfr must supply any team who asks.
        – Insist that the engines supplied to all teams is the same (so no extra special version for works team only). Allow (possibly insist) a second, lower spec engine to be made available at a lower cost for the teams at the back.

        Development will be limited by budget, which will be limited by the cost cap, but development will happen. Any team may choose any engine.

        I would say have 2 cost caps. A mfr must supply an engine under the lower cost cap, but may supply an engine up to the higher one too.

      2. If they dropped the ERS systems & went to regular V6 turbo’s they would be losing 160-200bhp as the MGU-K is allowed to produce an extra 160bhp with the MGU-H able to produce an unregulated amount of extra BHP.

        At that point the cars would be 2-3 seconds a lap slower & much easier to drive thanks to the loss of the torque the ERS systems generate.

      3. Or free up the regs and attract more manufacturers; after all, the regs are freer in the WEC, and all three current manufacturers have good hybrid power systems. There’s no reason the same can’t happen for F1.

  3. “Vettel is the best Ferrari driver in qualifying in the past decade, on this there is little doubt, at the level of the best Schumacher on a flying lap, and when he can start at the front never makes any single mistake.” Luca Colajanni.
    Vettel is far better that crybaby Alonso, it is clear now.

    1. To be honest I think most people would have a consensus that Alonso isn’t the absolute best in qualifying. I’d rate Vettel and Hamilton above him. It’s his race craft and wheel to wheel that earns him his reputation. There is always going to be a level of subjective debate, but I don’t think any driver finishes his car as far ahead of the cars deserved finishing position as much as Alonso.

    2. Vettel is far better that crybaby Alonso

      …at qualifying. Alonso’s racecraft is still slightly better in my opinion.

    3. Based on what?

      VET is beating RAI in qualifying this year 10 to 3 (77%) with an ave gap of 0.489 seconds
      ALO beat RAI in qualifying last year 16 to 3 (84%) with an ave gap of 0.528 seconds

      1. Don’t know if you’ve ever taken a stats class, but guess how many more races you’d need for this to be statistically significant? Hint: measure it in seasons.

      2. Were you waiting for this moment to give those stats? Because couple of races ago the gap between Vet&Rai was bigger than the one last year. Very brave of you.
        Not to mention the fact that the gap between drivers is not something stable over multiple seasons. Even with 2 same drivers. How are you comparing Alonso and Vettel then…

  4. With VW facing a multi-billion $ crisis and losing a third of it’s worth on sharemarkets it may well decide that now is not the time to take on the expense of a F1 team.

    1. The factual case against VW is actually quite doubtful, only the media spin and obviously battery-motivated lobby group who ‘outed’ them have really had any say on the matter.

      The more it continues the more of a case VW has to defend and eventually acquit themselves. They will never find an impartial jury and the case will settle, quietly. The future sales of further TDI’s are definitely damaged yet the company will get off with a reprimand.

      The reason is that the EPA HATES the idea of diesel road-cars in America that get 40mpg, but are a-okay with a diesel road-truck that gets 20mpg. VW found a way to re-sell their cars after the EPA blocked them the first-time in the mid-2000’s during the Bush admin.

      They also found a loop-hole when it comes to engine electronics that has been progressively tightened ever since then to also prohibit consumers from tweaking their on-board cpu and running other fuels and/or in the case of the TDi getting even better mpg.
      Maybe F1 is VW’s true-calling after all?


      From the the days when Henry Ford wanted to use alcohol to power his cars and along came prohibition, to more recently when in an effort to replicate Brazil and create an ethanol supply, one or more government agency, prompted by lobby groups have created a mass hysteria to annul any viable alternative to gasoline. This is merely the latest chapter.

      The next chapter will be when battery cars finally gain long-range capabilities and the hysteria will focus on all the energy wasted to make the car in the first place and the environmentally unfriendly battery and its disposal after replacement.

      Tesla’s already in the home-power business. The car was only a finance-able proving ground for their technology. Toyota sell Prius’ so that their other models can get larger and their overall fleet average is still within EPA guidelines. Have you seen the size of a new Corolla in the US. It’s a full-sized four-door sedan.

      Meanwhile, diesel road-trucks will still get 20mpg and gasoline road-cars almost 30mpg, with eco-Hybrids in the 40mpg range. VW’s dream of 85mpg diesels extinguished.

      The state governments will control fuel-use via global-warming legislation (ie. rationing) to lower the overall consumption and keep pollution in line with Kyoto and similar treaties.

      Something old, something new. Something different but exactly the same. Living in the USA.
      (just don’t believe the hype)

      1. The factual case against VW is actually quite doubtful

        . What? Then why did the CEO say VW had “broken trust” and the US CEO say “we totally screwed up” and also why has VW stopped selling diesels in the US? Plus the US Gov said last friday thay VW had admitted existence of the software to them. Come on now…

        1. Not to quell the hysteria you seem to be enjoying but they admitted to the software tweak to limit their PR and legal damage. The TDI uses a system that traps the NOx in the exhaust and every 300 miles or so it burns it off. What the tweak does is eliminate the ‘waste-burn’ of NOx material that accumulates in the exhaust during a test. The rest of the time the release of NOx is nearly zero. VW stopped selling TDI’s because they were told to stop selling them until this was resolved. BTW, in California, diesel road cars do not have an emission reading taken during the Smog-test. So, in theory, they do not need the tweak and that will likely be the fix. Possibly a retardation of the timing also and lower the mpg to be in line with Chevy Cruze diesel. The gov’t owns General Motors after the bailout and need to protect their investment.

      2. The case against VW is about as solid as it gets, and they’e admitted wrongdoing.

        Any debate about whether it’s better to trade off decreased CO2 for increased NOx emissions is a completely different matter. But given the toxicity of NO2 I think you’ll have a hard time with that.

        1. The case against VW is about as solid as a block of ice. Give it time and it will all be water under the bridge. They admitted to the tweak and by doing so it will evaporate quicker. Enjoy the hysteria while it lasts. Soon there will be another to occupy you.

      3. I think people buy TDI because they take more time to burn the fuel and in most countries diesel is cheaper than gasoline. People by TDI mostly for economic reasons.

  5. Even as an avid McLaren nut, I’ll only believe they have a new sponsor when I see it. 99.9% isn’t enough to take their word for it anymore, sadly.

    1. Yeah, it wasn’t long ago that Ron Dennis was talking about how we’d see their main title sponsor in just a few days…

      1. When I saw the headline yesterday, I thought Sky’s website had broken and was showing stories from the end of 2013…

    2. McLaren are offering free beer tomorrow !

    3. To me (and I’m a Mclaren fan), it sounded like “we’re lowering our standards because they were so lofty before now we just need money because we’re only beating Manor in the WCC”

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        23rd September 2015, 9:16

        Likewise. Time for a major reality check at McLaren.

  6. Well to be a top team they have to make their own engine or be a works partner, that’s how it is at the moment.

    Ferrari is the last team, historically speaking, that will knowingly equip another team to beat it, and the more they think about Singapore, the more they’ll dig in about only offering last year’s engine, I reckon.

    Toto is quite right, after all – do they want to win, or would they rather be famous as a sweet team that’s kind to poor old Dietrich?

    So it seems to me that the whole model of Red Bull’s team is obsolete.

    1. @lockup As harsh as that sounds, I fully agree. Surely Red Bull must be able to develop their own engine, if no manufacturer wants to join their quest. Why not take over assets from someone like Cosworth or Ilmor, hire a team of professionals and start developing a specially designed power unit for your Formula 1 teams.

      Sure, it would be a huge investment, but then again, the return would be quite considerable if they end up winning again. Heck, they could even supply a customer team or two.

      Red Bull has been smart enough to turn investment to profit before. They have the money to do it. Why keep hanging around for someone to supply a winning engine and keep bashing everyone not willing or capable to do so instead of trying to build your own power unit? If you want something done right, do it yourself, isn’t it Mr. Mateschitz?

      1. @tony031r I’ve seen people suggest this but at this point I don’t think it’s at all feasible.

        Even if they were prepared to front the enormous investment it would take just to set up the operation in the first place, what would be the development cycle? Even with the best possible projection there’s no way they’d be in a position to use their own PU before 2018, perhaps even later. And look at Honda, look at Renault. Where’s the guarantee that a startup operation, even a very well funded one, would do a better job that two major manufacturers? The current PU rules are due to be replaced b 2020. So they’d be investing literally billions into a development programme just for the sake of two years with an PU that may not be ultimately any better than what they’ve been using so far.

        Additionally, with the development tokens system, after that first year they’d have almost no ability to make changes to the design, so if it doesn’t work well out of the box, chances are it never will.

        There’s a reason they’ve been looking to VW Group – they’re one of only a handful of operations in the world with the technical resources, and the technical expertise to be able to make a go of it. Smaller operations, forget it

        1. @mazdachris You’re absolutely right in everything you’re saying. Clearly this is a difficult decision to make for Red Bull. The investment is huge, the development process is lenghty, the regulations are way too strict and there’s no guarantee it will work out for them. But then again, this is Formula 1. Nothing is ever guaranteed.

          To be one of the greats, you have to be prepared to make great efforts. The way I see it, Red Bull has to ask itself if it wants to be one of the greats. If they’re just looking for an easy way out of this situation, there’s no way that’s gonna work out for them.

          1. @tony031r I guess ‘greatness’ is a pretty subjective concept. There are plenty that would argue that RBR have already earned their place among the ‘greats’ of Formula One. They haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory along the way, often fluctuating somewhere between swaggering arrogance and outright pantomime villainy, but while it’s easy to see them as the bad guys of the piece, the fact is their hands are pretty tied here.

            F1 is an arena where you have to excel, because if you’re not excelling, you’re failing. A lack of excellence within RBR is something they would be able to rightly address, but when you’re depending on a third party over whom you ultimately have little or no control, what do you do? Do you stick by them, even in the face of their repeated failures, while your ability to compete is diminished to the point of relegating you to the midfield? In a sense, that would be the easy option. Stick with Renault, don’t make a fuss, be plucky underdogs with no chance of winning. RBR don’t have anything to prove, and anyone with half a brain in their head will know without being told, that the only reason they aren’t winning is because they’re being powered by a donkey not a stallion.

            But what of greatness? Would a great really be prepared to accept that situation? Do great drivers stick with the same team for their whole careers, or do they jump ship the moment their team becomes an obstacle to their success? The answer is obvious. It’s a risk of course, but then taking risks is what the greats do. It’s part of what makes them great. The risk they’ve taken is in cutting loose the dead weight of Renault, when the consequences could be that they are left without a power unit at all, much less one that is genuinely competitive. That’s the risk. But the reward could be a power unit from Ferrari which puts them back in a position where they could win races and championships.

            I mean, it’s obvious really that this was going to be the case. What makes it so risky at the moment is not something that RBR have done, but a set of rules which create a situation where there are only two decent power units to choose from, and both of them are made by manufacturers who have a vested interest in ensuring that no team is able to challenge their works outfit.

            But what then of the greatness of Ferrari and Mercedes? What greatness and glory can either of them claim while they hide, shivering and whimpering in terror, because they have such little faith in their own teams that they flat refuse to compete against RBR on a level playing field? The greats take risks, as I say. And a truly great team doesn’t run away from competition, it relishes it.

      2. Given how badly Honda are struggling, I’d be very surprised if Red Bull could build a better engine; they’re a soft drinks company, not a successful car maker with a lot of F1 history.

  7. I have very little patience left for Red Bull’s moaning, but on this occasion I’m fully supportive of what Mateschitz is saying – of course a team like that isn’t going to hang around if they’re stuck with an obsolete engine (especially after the two years they’ve had with Renault).

    Every engine customer should receive the same unit the works team gets, and the use of year-old engines should only be permitted in exceptional cases (eg Manor this year).

    1. That’d be very stupid of the works team and not exactly fair to them. You have 2 teams with same budget. One of them is manufacturer, the other only builds chassis. The manufacturer supplies the other one with an engine. So team 2 has to pay some money to team 1, but they have most of their budget to spend on chassis and aero. Team 1 has to divide their resources on developing-manufacturing the engine and chassis. Who do you think have a better shot at producing the better chassis? Especially if team 1 doesn’t really have the facilities and lots of customers to pay up for all the tinkering they have to do on their engine to stay competitive.

      1. Stupid? It’s what Mercedes do (aside from the somewhat experimental development upgrade they had at Monza, which they only had for their own cars for good reason) and they haven’t done too badly out of it…

        And if such a team with a team budget equal to their team and engine department budget existed… they could just say ‘no, sorry’.

        1. Mercedes don’t sell their PU to anyone with a budget as big as theirs. They already said “no” to Red Bull, which is exactly my point. Saying yes would be VERY stupid of Ferrari if they ever do that with equal PUs.

    2. To me this a no conversation issue and i can’t get why there is so much debate about it.
      Look the rules the FIA made is that the customer can pay ether for current engine or last years engine. I doubts the rules allow the provider to refuse providing current engine spec when the customers does not not want a last year engine. So ether Ferrari provide the last spec or they decide to not provide at all like Merc did.
      Also the rules demand that if you are not in agreement of providing last years engines on the cheap then the provider is obliged to provide the same spec engine and next year their won’t be any in season developments because the token loophole has been closed too.
      So what is there to talk about?

      Basically there is no debate here and Mateschitz moaning about what engine he wants is quite stupid and pointless and seems to just be silly pressure on Bernie and Ferrari. They still haven’t gotten any acceptance that Ferrari will provide them and they are already treating their possible engine provider bad by implying they are gonna bent the rules and give them worse engines etc. Is like they are already making excuses if they do not start winning and already started blaming the engine before they even received it.

  8. Maybe Mr. Mateschitz should have been using his persuasive powers and winning personality to make a new engine deal instead of just breaking the previous one. I don’t blame Mercedes one bit for not supplying Red Bull after the disgraceful public treatment Renault has received. That and the fact that the Red Bull’s chassis with *equal* Merc power might be a serious contender against them. They are not obligated to supply RBR. Didn’t Mr. Mateschitz realize that? Ferrari are also not really obligated to supply Red Bull either. Nor is Honda.

    It is difficult to feel sorry for Red Bull when they have pulled their own rug out from under themselves. Yes, the Renault power unit has been alternating between decent and disgraceful, but Red Bull severed ties with Renault without really having a solid Plan B. Who is to blame for that?

    The reality is that this engine formula is complex and not easy to solve even with lots of money and experience. Now, I’m not an energy drink magnate or F1 Team owner and I don’t even play either on TV, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to try to work with your long time partner who supplied you with engines throughout your championship years in any way and every way possible to get back to form knowing how impossible it may be to replace them?

    1. Their only hope now is to make-up with Renault and/or take over the development of the engine, in a Meccachrome type of arrangement. I’m sure there is a loop-hole and a couple of seasons worth of tokens available if they chose that route. Along with Cosworth and their own people, even re-badge it as an Audi. If RedBull are truly billionaires on merit rather than just dumb luck, this is what is really happening and all this discourse they have created is to make it appear they have been victimized and forced down this route and to justify all the tokens.

  9. @keithcollantine I was looking at the graph here:
    When you bring the cursor on a particular GP on graph, it was showing the difference between them. Now it doesn’t. And since then it’s not a particularly useful graph since we cannot clearly see the numbers. Can you change that too?

  10. I can’t find any sympathy for Red Bull. On one hand, they’re crying out as a customer, on another they’re acting like a big-time constructor bully. They’re a unique hybrid of big money but not a works team of anyone. I mean Renault were as close as they come but now that they’ve burnt that bridge they might be looking to go swimming on the river now…

  11. I can’t believe how little sympaty people over here have for Red Bull, and want them to leave. Personally I think it would be a massive loss for F1 is they left: the grid would be even smaller, two great teams less, 4 very interesting drivers less and no more hope for a 3-way shoot-out at the front between the teams. It would pretty much result it being Mercedes vs Ferrari at the top, which basically means HAM vs VET for the years to come. I would much rather have Red Bull up there as well, challenging for race wins. And the midfield: Toro Rosso is currently one of the most exiting teams because they have 2 super talented rookies who drive as if their life depended on it and do everything possible to try and win over their team mate. I really hope both teams stay, and accept a small engine deficit untill (if) Audi joins.

    1. I actually agree, for-the-sake-of-F1-wise. But every other part of me would love to see RB, their whining, their demanding and their crappy attitude disappear.

    2. I think Red Bull have a few things against them that add up:

      It’s based on a personal fortune built on an overpriced unhealthy drink that somebody else invented.
      They sold out FOTA.
      They play fast and loose with the rules, with Bernie’s/Charlie’s obvious connivance, for example with a VW-esque floor that bent except when it was on the FIA test table.
      They behaved badly with Renault
      Horner’s determinedly selfish persona is not the most appealing, afaic anyway.
      Franz Tost isn’t too charismatic either.

      I reckon most fans hope the teams will be sold to someone else. In any case there are only two top engines at the moment, so that pretty much means two top teams. I don’t see why RBR has a right to the fruits of somebody else’s hard work and talent, but perhaps that sense of entitlement is just part of their unappealing culture.

      1. They play fast and loose with the rules, with Bernie’s/Charlie’s obvious connivance, for example with a VW-esque floor that bent except when it was on the FIA test table.

        Every team does stuff like that & has done forever, Its part of what the sport has always been about.

        You read the rulebook once to know the rules & read it again to find the loop-holes as well as what parts of the rules you can stretch to breaking point.

        The teams that don’t do this don’t win & never will.

        1. Well only Red Bull were doing it @gt-racer. A geometry that ought to have had the tea tray somewhere under the tarmac. Compare that with McLaren in 2012 when they were stopped from using legal tolerances. Charlie invented the absurd connection between the general bendy aero rule in iirc 3.15 and the tests in iirc 3.17, when neither clause mentions the other and there’s another clause 2.x that specifically says all the clauses must be complied with.

          So we had Red Bull with bendy aero that everyone knew was not allowed. Yes they got away with it, but it’s part of F1 that a lot of people see as unsporting, and IMO part of why Red Bull are so unpopular in spite of their success. It’s not like cleverly spotting a loophole like the double diffuser or the tokens calendar.

          1. I’ll never forgive them for the FOTA thing. They made Bernie their best friend and completely screw the sport.
            Don’t forget also they got caught with an illegal adjusting mechanism of the suspension. No loophole that needed a new rule or anything like that. It was already fully illegal and the FIA did nothing other than tell them to remove it simply because they claimed. “Yeah we had it but we didn’t really use it”.
            That was such a mouth opening moment for me.
            Ferrari are the only other team with the horrible Red Bull attitude of selling the sport for their benefit really but they get less hate because they make nice cars and have crazy fans and history.

    3. Although we know how much they hold on to the sport there is a limit on how much you can tolerate a bad player.
      Is like your high school team playing football having one player being from the best and really important for the team and bringing crowds to watch you etc and his daddy buying new shirts and all but the kid is a total a-hole and non one wants him around.
      In the end no matter how much he offers you just wouldn’t be sorry if he left because his just such an a-hole.

  12. I think it would be a good move for the VW group to enter Formula 1 now. They need all the positive PR they can get. Motorsports and F1 specially involve passion and positive coverage. The only negative would be performance wise, but its always good in terms of brand recognition and, well, making people forget the scandal.

    1. But they will need to built an engine. And they needs years for that. If you are a manufacturer you can’t just buy some other guys engine until you built your own because everyone will be saying. Why the hell is VW running with Merc engines? That is just humiliating.

  13. What is up with the Red Bull track clothing? Have you noticed that the Red Bull logo on their backs is completely crooked? Part of the right side disappears under a seam across the shoulders. You can see it a mile off. Next time look at Horner’s back. Did nobody at RB notice this? Or don’t they care? No attention to detail? What? :)

    1. It goes along with the slanted Red Bull wording on the cars.

  14. Fans of KK will be pleased to hear that rumours are linking Kobayashi with a Toyota WEC seat, having reportedly been promoted from his current reserve role

  15. F1 should simply let Red Bull go. Did Williams, one of the most successful F1 teams ever, threaten to leave after 2013 when they had scored just 5 points? Are McLaren threatening to leave now? No because F1 is their point of existence, no matter how high or low they are at the moment. But Red Bull are obviously more special than McLaren, Ferrari or any other team because they cannot afford to lose so you have to give them competitive engines here and now or they will slam the door in your face.

    It all makes sense as F1 is nothing more than a marketing platform for such a humongous company. So it was fun while it lasted but now it’s time to go separate ways and move on. FOM and FIA need to work on a plan to attract many new teams in 2017. It worked very well in 2010 and HRT and Caterham would still be here if the income distribution and cost-saving plans were a little more sensible.

    1. I never understood why Red Bull bough two teams to be honest. If they planned to expand their business outside of crappy fizzy drinks and start building cars or something then it would have some sense. But they do not seem to have such intention so why buy a team? They could have been a major sponsor for half the F1 field for all the money they threw and got a tone of exposure also.
      It the same thing i wonder about Haas. He says he won’t to advertise his machine tools to the world market. Ok. Then why aren’t you sponsoring Mclaren if that is the goal. Why are you building an F1 team?

  16. All those race suits, and not one of them would have fitted Justin Wilson…

    Good thing the Fernando Alonso 2015 Austrian GP Overalls doesn’t come with underwear…

    1. Talking about overalls…

      I see that Ferrari took notice of how huge and ridiculous Vettel’s overalls looked. But it’s still large, they need to be tightened up a bit.

  17. Well, I would feel sorry if Red Bull were to leave F1, because it will not help F1 in general. But the way they are approaching the deal with Ferrari sounds arrogant. They have their right to choose in which way to do business, but it is not good choosing threatening ways. By the way, whom are they threatening, Ferrari or FIA? What is FIA supposed to do in case Ferrari gives them a subpar engine? How will they verify it? Is Red Bull willing to share its information about chassis with Ferrari?

    1. As far as I am aware, the 2016 rules currently mean that an engine supplier HAS to provide the same engine to all of it’s customer teams as only 1 homologated version is allowed to race. This was also supposed to be the case this year (Manor aside) however with the incremental upgrade loophole that was found, somehow it has been sidelined for 2015.

      There are currently discussions ongoing about providing older engines to customer teams on the grounds of reducing the costs of engine supply, however I suspect (As do many others) that this is being driven by Mercedes and Ferrari for their own competitive reasons such as being forced to supply customers like RedBull with the latest spec units.

  18. If I were an engine builder, would I supply them to RB? No. F1 needs the teams, the numbers, but the short answer is engine manufacturers probably don’t want to go to bed with such ruthless, selfish, greedy, spoilt partners.

    F1 needs engine manufacturers, tyre suppliers, race circuits, but we don’t treat any of them well, do we?

    1. If I were an engine builder, would I supply them to RB? No. F1 needs the teams, the numbers, but the short answer is engine manufacturers probably don’t want to go to bed with such ruthless, selfish, greedy, spoilt partners.

      If your an engine builder that wants to win then Red Bull is a team you must consider.

      Whether your a team, driver or engine manufacturer you always tend to find the most successful are the most ruthless, selfish, greedy & spoilt because some or all of those things tends to be what it takes to win.

  19. It appears that one of the biggest problems in F1 is the engine. Too complex and too expensive. I think the FIA needs to change things and probably quickly to either go back to a more basic engine that is cheaper and easier to make or allow freedom in development for the first ‘X’ years.
    Honda’s struggles have really highlighted the difficulties in producing the current power unit which likely means no one else will jump in and try to produce engines and as we’ve seen those with a good engine will be unwilling to share. This can not be seen as good for the over all well being of the sport so something has to change.

  20. One key problem in F1 is success: They succeeded in getting better and better understanding of everything, from technology to fluid dynamics. Working on such a high level costs money – a lot of money. This explains why before, being a motor manufacturer (or motor manufacturer’s pet team) was not such a big advantage, just look at championship winners up until the 1990’s.
    Changing engine regulations would not change this, and would not bring us back to days of many reasonably priced engines, because no matter what form of engine regulations would stipulate, it would still cost huge amounts to get it right. The only way to avoid this that I can think of is to use frozen designs. Would we watch Formula 1 if all teams were required to run Ford Cosworth? Actually, I would, because such a formula would have more competetive smaller teams. But I am afraid there would be downsides to such a move. So the engine situation is tough and wil stay so.

    I think there is a better scope for savings in aerodamics. Take the front wing, teams spend a lot to optimize it. Now imagine that regulations would stipulate that the front wing should consist only of one horizontal plane that is allowed to curve only in the lateral direction and two flat end plates. What happens? Instead of optimizing dozens of parameters, teams would essentially have just a few (crossection of the horizontal plate and outline/angle of the end plates). Benefit 1: Some savings. Benefit 2: The optimal shape would be much less successful than today’s optimal shape, which means that the rest of the car must be build to do with a less perfect airflow, which in turn means that the car gets less sensitive to changes in airflow (when following), improving chances of passing.
    There might be other parts of an F1 car that can be handled similarly.

  21. It’s time to end the monumentally stupid Formula H(ybrid) experiment.

    Everyone involved in the former F1 (teams, principals, drivers, mechanics) knows what a horrible idea this has been and – with the exception of Merc – I’m sure they’d all be delighted to see it go away, post haste.

    1. Got to love how so many people are calling for the hybrid systems to be ditched, given there’s another series (WEC) that shows that hybrid powered cars can lead to exciting racing and have genuine appeal.

      1. Right, when I go to Fuji WEC next week there’ll be Porsche Audi Toyota hybrid on the track with Porsche Corvette A-M naturally aspirated V8’s etc.

        By no stretch of the imagination has WEC been completely dominated or destroyed by hybrid eco-maniac zealots as is now happening with Formula H(ybrid) aka F1.

  22. Pre 2014 every team had theoretically the possibility to compete for the championship because engines were close enough to each other in terms of performance, and areo and drivers (including the money/budget to pay for all this) are in their own responsibility. But with the new regs obviously only 4 teams at the moment even have the theoretical chance to do that, all others are per definition not really competing! It is a clear two class formular by design. And of those 4 teams, only 2 are competing in practice because the others have no chance because the engine just isn’t good enough and it doesn’t look good for the future either.

    However even if Renault stays (they also said they might leave! Are they sore losers too?) and gets its act together as well as Honda, should F1 be only about those 4 teams per definition? I think it is a joke to have 10 teams of which 6 have no chance at all, no matter how much money they have, how good their drivers and areo are. Their only chance would be to build their own engine, which probably needs maybe 4-5 years at least (look at Honda!) and even then you don’t know if you are finally there. That doesn’t work.

    This for me is not just a problem for RBR but for all other engine-customer teams as well, and I don’t see a reason why the others need to endure that either! The starting grid is more or less an illusion currently. In reality there are only 8 cars on track this year. All the others are just cosmetic.

    I mean what would Mercedes do if Williams (in case they really get the top spec engine as Toto claims) is beating them. Are they stopping to supply Williams, would anybody want to see that? This is the reason many guys also here say is the most important argument why neither Merc nor Ferrari should supply RBR. If you are consistent then you need to argue that Mercedes would need to stop supplying engines to Williams at the moment they start to beat them for the championship.

  23. Perhaps Renault should buy Red Bull, not Lotus. They already have the Renault engine, and it’s a much better team.

  24. Now, Mr. Mateschitz is a charming man, isn’t he?

  25. Bold prediction: Red Bull are gone, Horner replaces Boullier at McLaren, reaps all the glory when Honda figure out their engine next year : )

  26. I know it’s two days late, but thanks to @keithcollantine for the COTD thing; really wasn’t expecting it :D

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