Red Bull barred Ricciardo from racing at Le Mans

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo reveals Red Bull stopped him from racing at Le Mans last year – much as Honda did to Fernando Alonso.

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Much scepticism surrounds F1’s Le Mans clash
For the first time in five years an F1 race is being held on the same date as the Le Mans 24 Hours, and quite a few people aren’t happy about the clash:

I am really frustrated that the starts of the Baku qualifying and race have been scheduled so as to directly clash with the beginning and end of the 24 hours of Le Mans, these are the two parts of Le Mans that I am most interested in seeing but if I watch the F1 live then I have to miss the beginning and end of Le Mans.

It is completely unnecessary for these two events to occur at the same time. There is no reason why the F1 cannot start at 14:00 or 15:00 local time, making it 11:00 or 12:00 for Central Europe, which is a perfectly suitable time for most people.

By putting F1 directly up against Le Mans when they don’t need to is basically F1 robbing Le Mans of television spectators just to prove a point, namely that F1 is the most watched motorsport, but everybody knows this already so why make an unnecessary clash of events? It makes no sense at all.
Robert (@rob91)

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On this day in F1

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Keith Collantine
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40 comments on “Red Bull barred Ricciardo from racing at Le Mans”

  1. Regarding the AS Report you can read it here in English:

    But to sum up, in the report the author says that Honda improvement with the internal combustion engine is around 60bhp. On top of that, Honda will solve the 2015 ERS problems so the PU should also be able to deploy the 163 bhp of the hybrid at places (basically at the end of some straights) where in 2015 ran out of it. 163 + 60 = 223; that´s why the author says that figure (although that is not the real improvement in bhp). Probably the heading it is a bit misleading.

    1. Thanks for that, so 223 hp. more at the end of long straights than last year, but only 60 hp more all around the track. Even 60 hp is not to be sneezed at, this news might worry RBR and Renault.

      1. @hohum that kind of improvement from Honda, should it eventuate, might actually delight RBR. I think Honda would be a natural fit for the Milton Keynes based team from 2017.

        1. @tdog I fail to see this said natural fit so please explain.

          1. Well, Honda’s UK engine research facility is located in MK, which would bring obvious advantages when working with Red Bull engineers towards PU/chassis integration.

            Honda’s weakness to date has largely been in energy recovery, an area where Red Bull already has significant in house expertise.

            Red Bull can offer a significantly better chassis than McLaren to exploit an improved Honda PU.

            Unlike Ferrari, Mercedes and now Renault, Honda isn’t a chassis manufacturer and therefore has no conflict of interest or incentive to handicap a customer by refusing to provide its PU in its most competitive spec.

            Red Bull could, in return, offer Honda significant political clout in the sport which it could be argued they currently lack under current governance procedures.

            These are but a few of the reasons why I think the two could make a good fit.

            Of course, all of this presupposes that these reports prove accurate and that Honda can actually make a substantial dent in its deficit to the leading PU manufacturers. Given that the off season expectations 12 months ago regarding Renault’s supposed improvement turned out to be such a damp squib, I’ll reserve judgment on that issue until we see some on track results. My hunch is that RBR will also be watching that pretty closely.

          2. Renaults engineproblems are that they had a fundamentally slow, unreliable and undrivable design in 2014. To “fix” that they have to do complete redesigning and sofar they mainly have only improved on drivability. Honda supposedly has a great design _in theory_ they just havnt gotten it to work yet. Its two different problem but yeh only time will tell.

    2. That would close almost all of their deficit to the 2015 Mercedes and Ferrari PUs – though I’m sure those two will improve further, so I envisage some 20-30bhp should still remain for Honda to catch up.

      In any case, using ERS power for a higher percentage of the laps is the key and, should the report proves correct, it’s a massive gain anyway.

      Looking at it from yet another angle, given Honda knew about the problem since at least Spa (but I guess since much earlier, it was just that they went public with their issues there), the improvement is kind of expected. That’s exactly why most of the hardcore fans should put McLaren right up there with Toro Rosso, Williams and Red Bull in the pecking order for 2016.

      1. @tdog Unless Honda has changed their mind about backing only Mac, it doesn’t matter to RBR one bit whether they have sorted out their PU or not. Unless I’ve missed something I wouldn’t be surprised if McHonda remain exclusive to each other for at least a few more years.

        1. Honda HAS already changed their minds but mclaren did not let honda sell their engines to red bull!

  2. COTD, @rob91, should consider himself lucky to have such a dilemma, a lot (most?) of us don’t have the option of watching F1 Q for any race, let alone all of them.

    1. It is no dilemma for me, I will watch LeMans over Baku F1 and care not about what I might be missing. @Kieth, How about a pole to see which would people choose to see live…..if you really had to give your full attention to just one live.

      1. My vote is for LeMans. Once a year?, It’s easy.

        Besides, I agree with the COTD. The drivers are a large part of the attraction, and having them compete in such a prestigious even only helps the sport.

        Vote w your cable box!

      2. @motor @slotopen I missed exactly 30 minutes of last years Le Mans. I will try to miss less this year.

      3. Would love to see that vote also! +1 here for watching Le Mans, caught the whole thing last year, well as much as I could stay up for anyway, and absolutely loved it. I’ve got no qualms about sourcing an F1 race these days, most of the time there’s not much to worry about missing, unless rain is forecast.

      4. F1 for me. The start of LeMans is so meaningless over the whole race I won’t be missing much, if anything.

        1. no it is not, the cars run at full attack the whole race, so every part of the race counts, I would argue f1 qualifying is far more meaningless as it is so predictable.

  3. ” Much achieved at Geneva” all those fans denigrating the strategy groups meeting in Geneva will have to eat humble pie as the achievements of the meeting are announced, mainly F1 will not re-introduce regulations know to be detrimental. Had there not been a meeting who knows what idiotic regulations may have been adopted.

  4. Maybe because last years Le Mans participants didn’t sponsored by Red Bull..?

  5. …me thinks Red Bull were worried he might just find out that WEC is far better, and might want to move on!…

  6. Bah… Neoliberalism, here we go! why waste our money in development if we can bring F1 back to our country… Regardless of the political party, spending that amount of money on something that never sees a return, a sport that’s struggling even at the most historical and important venues, is really bad for the country. I suppose put together the Dakar, the MotoGP race, the WRC, the WTCC and Formula E in Argentina get us a lot more money and costs a lot less put together than F1.

    I work at the National Institute of Industrial Technology, we’re part of the Ministry of Industry. The cars we have cannot even get proper mantainance… we have 4 cars, 2 are broken and can’t be fixed because there’s no money… yet we’re getting F1! Way to go!

    1. completamente de acuerdo, there’s no place and moment to the argentinian gov’nt throw a huge sum of our tax money on Bernie’s pockets…

    2. @fer-no65, it should be noted that the economic impact of some of those series, such as the WRC and WTCC, have been falling over time – in the UK, for example, the economic impact of the Rally of GB in Wales has fallen from an inflation adjusted £27 million in 1998 to around £10 million today. Out of those events you list, the Dakar Rally ostensibly has the largest economic impact, but even there the total impact seems to have slipped slightly from a claimed impact of $170 million in 2010 to $150 million in 2014.

    3. @fer-no65, Agreed, but as a jingoistic voter distraction it is a least preferable to nice little war.

    4. How is government spending a neoliberal policy?

  7. Zantkiller (@)
    24th January 2016, 1:54


    Don’t know if you saw this but Monza is planning a €4 million addition of a new section of track at Curve Grande that would run onto the old Pirelli circuit and include a new chicane.

    It would be built for the World SuperBikes but F1 might be interested in using it. Either way the current tarmac will stay.

    1. I… really, really don’t like that. I can see it making sense in Moto GP, but not in F1 unless they’re planning more substantial changes to the whole track.

      And I hope that’s not happening, because they’d probably remove the della Roggia and Tilke the first Lesmo into a hairpin of sorts, or something silly like that.

    2. WHAT….!!!
      Just no.. We’re not in 1994 anymore..

  8. I don’t quite understand why most view it as F1 robbing Le Mans of viewers?

    I didn’t spend much effort in deciding which event I’d rather watch! I’ve been watching F1 since 1996, and it’s a no-brainer for me to watch Le Mans. You’re comparing an event that’s been running over 90 years with a formula that’s stuck to it’s core values over one that’s starting its first year for a championship that has the memory of a fish.

  9. This isn’t the first time (and probably won’t be the last time either) that Le Mans 24h and F1 race occur on the same weekend, so it isn’t that big a deal, and the last time this happened was in 2011, so it isn’t an annual thing either.

  10. I love Le Mans, and I really like F1 but I’m kind of baffled by the amount of people who see it as an attack that the dates clash. It happens all the time. With five world championships and the MotoGP and many other (inter)national categories of racing it just happens. There are only 52 weekends in a year and the first and last 10 don’t work for many places. Just watch either and record the other. In most DTM or Blancpain weekends there is also F1, so I watch one and the other one just a tad later.

    1. I think the issue is because it’s a brand new GP location. Of course, sensible people don’t let such trivialities make them angry.

      1. Actually just read up a bit on it, and it seems there was a gentleman’s agreement to avoid clashes put in place after the 2011 clash. Of course, we all know gentleman’s agreements have the weight and influence of a scrap of wet tissue paper.

  11. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    24th January 2016, 11:17

    It’s funny how many F1 drivers want to do Le Mans, wouldn’t be surprised if there was an exodus of talent soon.

    1. Only because it’s iconic. There’d be plenty of WEC drivers that would love to race in the Monaco GP.

      1. I wouldn’t restrict that to the Monaco GP. I can’t think of too many WEC drivers who would’ve said no if someone had offered them a place in F1 when they were still in their prime.

        1. show some respect, most of the WEC drivers “Are” In their prime, they are not all old men past their use by date, that is a notion spurred on by pretentious race fans who only car for one series.

    2. Le Mans is one of the handful of Really Big Races™ that all drivers want to do; the others are the Monaco GP and the Indy 500, and possibly also the Macau GP, the Bathurst 1000, and the Nürburgring 24h.

    3. @come-on-kubica, the thing is, the most likely target for most drivers would be the LMP1 manufacturer teams, and at the moment there are only three – Audi, Porsche and Toyota, with no new manufacturers due to enter that class.

      Out of those three entrants, there are already some questions about Audi and Porsche due to the dieselgate scandal around VW – both teams have already axed their third cars for Le Mans and have had their budgets cut for this year, with Porsche also been forced to cut back on its works GTE team (they are only entering a limited number of events, thus abandoning all efforts to defend their title in that category).

      Neither outfit is therefore looking for drivers at the moment, so realistically any drivers from F1 wanting to move to the WEC in the short term is unlikely to be offered a seat. It’s one thing to claim there will be an exodus of talent, but where will they go when there are no seats on offer?

  12. Formula 1 will not pursue the revival of mid-race refuelling further at this time following meetings in Geneva this week, Autosport understands.

    Until next week.

    How many more meetings will reject refuelling in the next twelve months?

    Cost cutting? How about FOM, F1 and the FIA stop convening meetings that discuss ideas that have been rejected at previous meetings.

  13. I don’t agree with this…

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