Christian Horner, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Horner wants Pirelli to pay for Bahrain test

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In the round-up: Christian Horner says if Pirelli want to test in Bahrain they should pay for it.

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Two more great Japanese Grand Prix stats from Craig:

This was the first Suzuka appearance for Sebastian Vettel where has not been on the podium. The last time F1 had a race at Suzuka where Vettel was not on the podium, it resulted in the championship being all but decided (2006).

Prior to the race on Sunday, the amount of victories in the Japanese Grand Prix reflected how many World Championships each active driver had. Is this another good omen for Nico Rosberg?
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  • 39 comments on “Horner wants Pirelli to pay for Bahrain test”

    1. I’m with Horner here, if they need it so bad, Pirelli should pay for it. They wanted more testing, and they got 3 teams building special wings and stuff. They wanted the main drivers to take part, and that’s what they got. Now they want to test in Bahrain to test the tyres in hot weather.

      I know that the 2015 cars with more bits and pieces to replicate the expected downforce levels are never going to be an accurate representation of the actual 2017 cars, but come on… how much testing do they need to do? the safety issues can well be tested at the factory, and while a real-world test is always helpful, the cost is probably prohibitive. It certainly is for many of the teams. And giving the top 3 teams the chance to further exploit the already vast advantages they have in terms of testing the prototype tyres and then going to Bahrain to test the actual tyre, on more relevant weather conditions with the new car while the other teams stay at home, it’s nothing else but plain unfair.

      I don’t know why Horner doesn’t want to do it. There’s probably a hidden reason why he feels this isn’t good for Red Bull, otherwise he’d just do it regardless of the cost (they can afford it). But considering the information we have, I hope they don’t do it if they can’t guarantee that all the teams take part in that test.

      1. I think it it unfair to question the amount of testing Pirelli needs to do @fer-no65. Afterall this is the biggest change in a decade or maybe even more.

        I am completely sure that Horner wants to go testing as much as anyone, but the issue has been about cost all along. That goes for Williams, Force India, even more for Sauber and Manor, why not for Red Bull? Sure, they could afford it. But why should they take it out of their own budgets.

        If FOM would arrange the flight to Bahrain as part of the trip of much of the equipment to the first race, I think that would help too. And then Pirelli can pay the flights to Bahrain for the personell and hotels etc. And we can have a test.

        1. @bascb that’s why I said that the cost is probably prohbitive. There might be other ways to get around this problem. Spending a fortune to go somewhere during the winter, while teams are also spending a fortune reworking the cars for the new regulations, is a clear no-no. So we need compromise like Pirelli funding some of it.

          Don’t get me wrong, I understand how important it is to test this things. And Pirelli’s tenure as official tyre supplier has not gone that well since they arrived because of the limited testing. But still…

      2. NASA have a saying: Test what you fly, fly what you test. The same applies to an F1 car: Race what you test, test what you race. Ergo, the tyres need to be tested, and that includes how tyres behave in particular environments. I have no idea whether a hot race track is a more demanding environment than a cold one, but from listening to the TV commentators and driver complaints at the Japanese GP it does appear a hot track does affect the performance of some tyre specifications.
        If Pirelli do pay the teams that participate, then they will simply pass the cost back to the teams during the 2017 season. That said, why should some teams participate at their own cost and others not? Since it appears some teams don’t want to participate then the only fair way is to pay each team that turns up and then add that amount to the cost of tyres in 2017.

      3. @fer-no65, since you ask, you are right that Horner has previously stated that Red Bull doesn’t have any cost concerns – in fact, he admitted that the real reason is actually the exact opposite of trying to keep costs down.

        According to Horner, when they test in Barcelona, as it only take them a couple of hours to get a new component from their factory to the circuit, they normally fly out daily, and often multiple times a day, with new components to be bolted onto the car.

        However, because it takes about 6 hours to do the same for Bahrain (given the longer flight times), they can’t have a continuous stream of new parts for the car – instead, they have to fly things out overnight in batches. It also ties into the fact that Barcelona is the preferred venue for aerodynamics testing due to the circuit layout and the large amounts of test data the teams have from previous year, which they don’t have for Bahrain.

        Red Bull’s real complaint is that testing in Bahrain potentially slows down their aerodynamic development programme, since it takes longer to ferry out new parts for testing – it has nothing to benefiting the other teams, but instead helping themselves.

        1. Maybe that is the reason Pirelli chose Bahrain: so teams turn up with stock standard cars, and not cars that change every couple of hours.

          1. Hm, that’s an interesting point @drycrust, keeping the car consistent.

            1. @drycrust While it may or may not be the case that RBR’s real motivation is a closer proximity to upgrade parts, I highly expect that at the point of them testing actual 2017 tires on actual 2017 cars, Pirelli will want the teams to throw everything they have at the tires, for Pirelli to get as wide an array of data as possible. ‘Consistent’ cars would provide them with less data.

              Besides I don’t think Pirelli would or could reasonably expect any team to leave their cars ‘stock standard’ on extremely rare pre-season testing days that are vital for the teams.

      4. @fer-no65

        if they need it so bad, Pirelli should pay for it

        The problem is that I’m not sure it’s Pirelli which needs it so bad so much as the teams and the promoters. If the teams don’t do it and then find they have problems with the tyres in hot weather Pirelli can just point out that they told them they needed more testing. Potentially one or more teams, or even the whole series, could be made to look stupid. Of course they will all do their best to point the finger at Pirelli but by asking for the testing well in advance Pirelli are covering themselves.

        Imagine if in 2004 Michelin had publicly stated that they had concerns about the ability of the new for 2005 tyres to withstand the forces on the banking at Indianapolis and requested specific testing on similar banking. They would no doubt have come out of it looking less bad and might even still be supplying F1 tyres to this day.

      5. @fer-no65 Pirelli wanted a hot-weather test all along, on actual 2017 cars, ahead of the 2017 season. You have worded it like they keep making more and more demands.

        How much testing does Pirelli need? How about at least the bare minimum allowed these days, and preferably one test in the heat because they who have been mandated to be the sole supplier say it is necessary.

        It is ridiculous to me that this is even a debate. This should have been put to bed at the same time the new regs were being announced. I don’t care who foots the bill, but this needs to happen and there is so much money in F1 it is a joke that this is even an issue right now. Does F1 want to get this right or not?

        So I’m not disagreeing with Horner as much as I’m disappointed that everyone isn’t on the same page with what I consider to be racing 101…in the pinnacle of racing they should try to get on top of any issues with tires in heat as soon as possible, or suffer from what they just experienced only a few seasons ago…mid-season exploding tires, and the necessary ‘secret’ test that resulted. Can F1 not learn from even very recent history and get their act together and put together one hot-weather test for the all around good of F1 and a better product for everyone? What is the cost of a mid-season catastrophe vs. a pre-season hot-weather test that everyone possible can attend?

    2. “Better late than never”just like the FTA highlights broadcast I watched last night, no wonder F1 is losing viewers, even knowing much about the race (from F1f) the disjointed and lazy editing of the + – 45 minutes of pit-stops, DRS passes, blue flag passes (or not) made it very difficult if not impossible to follow how the race was unfolding as drivers inexplicitly appeared to have lost (or gained) several places. On top of the comprehension difficulty the actual action on screen didn’t have a lot of excitement going for it, a DRS pass here, a block there, the occasional brake lock-up, each all over in less than a second or two. For those in the know, there were some impressive shots of LH in his last stint chase of MV, so fast, so precise, just like a TVG or Bullet train but much smaller with none of the drama of MotoGPs knees and elbows dragging on ground let alone the lap long battles centimetres apart seen in other 4 wheel, as well as 2 wheel series. Mercedes dominance is not to blame for this situation, the blame is entirely with the rule makers who in a misguided insistence of F1 being “the pinnacle” of motorsport have outlawed all other development lines in favour of aerodynamics. Why should ideas such as 6 wheels, fan-induced downforce etc. be banned in infancy but huge, complex and ruinously expensive wings and there associated packages be allowed, all resulting in the inability of the cars to race in close quarters and this failing compounded by the introduction of clown tyres.

    3. Is it just me a bit put off by the fact its horner and red bull moaning about the cost of a bahrain test, would have expacted this to be from one of the less well financed teams.

      1. @rick1984 – Red Bull aren’t short of money, and they aren’t shy to spend if it gives an advantage, so there must be a vested interest. Nothing evil or conspiracy-related, just in terms of maintaining an edge they perceive is unique to them.

        Maybe the 2017 Red Bull will manage its tires better across a range of temperatures, maybe its got a unique enough aero design that they don’t want to reveal sooner than necessary (given the 2017 aero regulations).

      2. @rick1984 @phylyp if anything Horner is siding with smaller teams which clearly have objection for Bahrain test as their budget’s quite tight. it’s nice of him for once, I think, to show solidarity to the smaller teams. In other hands, sceptic in me guessing that Red Bull have something clever in their design to solve some issues that Mercedes and Lowe are worrying about.

        1. @adityafakhri, @phylyp,@rick1984 see the answer to @fer-no65 above by anon:

          “Red Bull’s real complaint is that testing in Bahrain potentially slows down their aerodynamic development programme, since it takes longer to ferry out new parts for testing – it has nothing to benefiting the other teams, but instead helping themselves.”

            1. I highly doubt this is about RBR and their own aero testing, or more specifically a closer proximity to upgrades. After all, RBR could benefit just as much by confirming aero setups in the heat on the new tires with respect to tire wear vs. downforce/aero efficiency.

            2. @robbie, Horner is quoted as saying that “We feel more comfortable being one and a half hours away than six” from the factory because it meant that they could bring new components in, have them fitted to the car and out on track within the day, maximising the amount of data they can collect. They’ve consistently done it in the past – for the last few years, it has been quite common for them to bring in new parts to test on the very first day, and they have also taken the opportunity to bring in a new component if there is a breakdown to maximise their running.

              With Bahrain, if you send out a new part on the first day of testing, you effectively can’t test it until the following day – from their point of view, you effectively lose an entire day of running once you take into account the time lag in delivering new parts.

              Other teams have highlighted that their biggest concerns aren’t costs – Dave Ryan, over at Manor, actually said that he was more worried about losing running time due to a breakdown. If the car broke down late on, say, the second day of testing in Barcelona, it is easier to bring in new parts overnight to fix the car and get it running again for the next day – if that happens in Bahrain, that increased transit time potentially means that you’d have to scrap the third day of testing altogether.

      3. The answer was in todays paper… babies are expensive!!!

    4. Formule E 10x bigger than F1!
      That’s a bit disappointing given that it is the South China Morning Post from Hong Kong.
      My local paper spends at least 20x as much on the local bake-off compared to F1

      1. I was wondering which paper it was – thanks for that.

      2. I don’t think I have ever see F1 in our newspapers, let alone on the front page.

        1. @xtwl – Going by the title it appears to be the Sports pages, not the front page.

      3. nico is the 2016 wc.mark my wrdz.

    5. Guybrush Threepwood
      11th October 2016, 8:07

      Horner just doesn’t want Mercedes to figure out any tyre temp issues in hot conditions – which is fair enough.

      interesting that ricciardo was around 1.5 tenths down on power around Suzuka. One wonders how this has effected him at other tracks…

      1. You are making an assumption on Horner’s thinking and then you agree with your own assumption….?

        Ric doesn’t always drive an engine that is down power, I think his current one is just a bit furore along on it’s life cycle and is starting to wear. With 5 engines for the season, everybody driver experiences this at some point.

    6. I guess Formula E must have a good following for that newspaper to justify 2/3 of a page to it. As a thought, I wondered how popular is it. It turns out Formula E is, at least according to one news story, more popular in North America than F1 is. So it seems the reason why the paper was able to justify 2/3 of the paper to the Formula E is more people will find that article relevant (and hopefully be encouraged to buy the newspaper) than F1.
      https://cleantechnica.com/2015/11/14/formula-e-surpasses-formula-1-in-viewership-say-what/

      1. FE’s biggest advantage is its accessibility. Just subscribe to their channel on YouTube and you are set. No hoops to jump through to watch the race live or re-watch it from any point. I think it’s a good recipe to start gaining popularity. And then in races themselves you have an added bonus of witnessing a ticking bomb of depleting batteries on cars on top of regular racing. It’s all on screen and very entertaining to watch.

    7. If Pirelli pays the test, then why not bring some midfield teams to the test instead of top teams? I know those who participate are supposed to share data with the others, still I believe it’s better to actually be there rather than just being given some data.

      1. @corrado-dub – Seconded. Given the divide between the top 3 and the rest based on points, the others can definitely be thrown a bone by your idea.

        The only problem is that those teams tend to have weaker downforce packages than the front-runners, so tire loading might not be as much as a front-runner. Its not insurmountable, just something for Pirelli to factor in.

      2. They are talking about the official pre-season tests, all teams will be there. That’s probably the reason Red Bull suddenly don’t have money, they paid for testing the tyres when it benefited them, now that everybody will have the chance to test they don’t want to go to Bahrain because Barcelona is more convenient for their own objectives.

    8. Just a little FYI that unsurprisingly the media didn’t want to mention post race… Suzuka was Hamiltons 100th podium, 3rd on the all-time list, only bettered by Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher.

      1. Pretty sure I heard that but you have obviously heard all media comments and have determined that ‘unsurprisingly’ the media ‘didn’t want’ to mention this stat, because that would support your paranoia and your conspiracy theories. Tell me, did they serve refreshments at the anti-Hamilton media conference that you attended? You know…the one where they miraculously all agreed to dis LH?

        1. “Pretty sure I heard that”

          Pretty sure I didn’t.

          1. Oh well. Perhaps they mentioned it at the last race when he was looking to podium before his engine blew. Certainly Keith has mentioned it in his stats and facts article. Anyway you are obviously implying a snubbing of LH by the media and if you are right perhaps LH has only himself to blame. Perhaps he should be a little more mature in the press conferences.

            1. @robbie, it’s not exactly as if drivers haven’t screwed around in press conferences and acted very immaturely – remember when Irvine got bored in one press conference in Canada and started chucking stuff at Hakkinen (firstly throwing a towel at him and then tipping a glass of water over his head)?

    9. Tommy Scragend
      11th October 2016, 11:49

      “He just had this thing that unless you were writing nice things about him, you weren’t on his side,” said [Maurice] Hamilton.

      That’s from the 1986 Mexican GP article, about Nigel Mansell, but doesn’t it apply just as well nowadays to Maurice’s namesake?

    10. FYI any ‘Hot Weather’ test that does happen isn’t guaranteed to take place at Bahrain.

      The Losail circuit in Qatar as well as the Dubai Autodrome are also been discussed

    11. Here’s a novel idea, why don’t the FIA / Formula 1 pay for the test?!

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