Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Red Bull are quick enough to beat Ferrari – Horner

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In the round-up: Red Bull is quick enough to beat Ferrari, says team principal Christian Horner, despite the team having little to show from its first two races.

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What they say

Horner was asked whether Max Verstappen left Lewis Hamilton enough room and whether Red Bull was quick enough to challenge for victory:

The problem was that [Fernando] Alonso was there as well, so it was obvious what Lewis decided to try and do. It was hard racing between two very competitive drivers. It is just unfortunate that there was some contact.

It robbed the fans ultimately of a great race today because I think, I genuinely do believe that the last couple of races we have had a car capable of beating the Ferrari. We don’t have the points to show for it.

[…] We could see throughout the weekend our pace was good, and it was stronger in the race than it was in quali.

Daniel commented that even in the two laps that he was able to do, he was able to close pretty comfortably on Kimi [Raikkonen]. And Max the feeling he was getting from the car, the fact that he was on the same tyre he used to line up and pass Lewis, showed that the potential was really there.

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Comment of the day

Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018
The Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo divided opinion
Porsche’s 919 Hybrid evo: pointless promotional stunt or inspiring example of the spirit of motor sport?

I’m not sure why there is so much animosity. They’re having fun and showing what they can do. To me, this is no different than Adrian Newey designing the X1 (or X2010 or whatever they ended up calling it).

It’s just fun to imagine what you could do with less restrictions on something. They got lucky, they got to try it for real and I say good for them.

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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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50 comments on “Red Bull are quick enough to beat Ferrari – Horner”

  1. I need to know the story behind that photo. Seriously, what on earth was going on?

    1. is that alonso? I can barely make his brand on the hat….

    2. All the reply was just as funny :D

    3. Looks like an Alonso style photobomb!

  2. It’d be interesting to study how many injuries have been suffered in the last decade during pit stops. This one was probably the worst we’ve seen since that time at Nurburgring when a tyre escaped Webber’s car and ran over a cameraman. And that was back in 2013 I think. It’s risky business but they all do a terrific job to stay safe. All in all, I don’t think minimum pit-stop times are needed.

    1. @fer-no65 – Very true. It’s one of those rare times that I find myself agreeing with Charlie that teams have a strong incentive to avoid pit stop errors, as it often leads to the retirement of the car involved (last Sunday), or a hefty amount of time lost (Webber, though he was later helped by safety cars). I do hope the overall pit stop and pit crew format remains unchanged.

      @w-k – if the light went green due to it being accidentally triggered, I think your idea of pressing it for a minimum amount of time is a good one.

      1. @phylyp the green light is just one thing. My main concern is not with the light, but with the rear jack man dropping the car. Surely he could/should have seen the right left hadn’t been switched so seems like human error. If the rear stays up then Kimi can’t even get going so no harm done.

        1. David (@davidsthompson)
          10th April 2018, 9:16

          The jacks are not manually dropped anymore. When the system gets green lights from the tyres the jacks release the car automatically.

          1. @davidsthompson
            That’s plain nonsense, I’m afraid.

        2. @mattds i was wondering about the rear jack man also.

          1. I can’t recall exactly where the rear jack man stands, but could be off to the side so he wouldn’t have good visibility of that tyre. however, it seems like an easy fix to avoid.

          2. @frood19 @lucifer as soon as he gets the car up he is smack in the middle and has an open view on both tyres. I’m not sure what his procedure/visual cue is though to let the car down.

            You can see it better here: – apologize for the graphic material (just press pause right before he drives away if you don’t want to see it).

          3. Chances are the rear jack man is staring intently at the lights, waiting for them to turn green. In a 2-3 sec pitstop, I can’t imagine there’s much time to glance around at each tire. Combine the noise, heat and adrenaline and I’m not surprised he focuses on one thing and one thing only.

  3. I thought there would have been more love for the Porsche too.

    Imagine how easy it would have been for management or accounts to shoot-down the suggestion of doing some crazy development and touring the world to break records on renowned race tracks!

    Companies don’t do enough of this kind of thing!

    1. Probably because most companies that produce cars this fast, is actually racing them in a racing-series. Not to often someone sits on a car with so much potential, and decides not to race it, which is a shame :/

      1. As I said yesterday I do think it is cool, but if it can’t actually be raced that takes something off of it for me. No air conditioning, no wiper blade, no lights, no fuel restriction etc. makes me think several entities could strip cars down to being illegal to put in impressive lap times, so it doesn’t feel extra special to me.

  4. Min pit stop times probably will not fix the problems.
    What I think might be a better idea, is that the ‘engineers switches/buttons’ must be pressed for a minimum time. This minimum should be able to distinguish between an accidental operation and a valid one. And also be long enough that the engineer can cancel if (s)he thinks there could be a problem.

    1. Interesting idea but I could see engineers pressing the buttons early and taking the risk, Valtterie-style. Could cause more accidents…

  5. Bring back the lollipop man, a ‘human’ touch never goes amiss in formula one!

    1. @swh1386 Yeah, except that quite a few times even the lollipop man released a driver before everything was fully ready, so I doubt going back to that would really make a difference in the long-term.

      1. @jerejj Ah very true! I guess mistakes will always be a factor when margins are so small and pressure is so high! What is / are your opinion(s) on pit crews being behind the garage ‘white line’ until the car is fully stopped and / or 1 man per wheel, a-la A1GP?

        1. I think they should ad an extra button on the wheelguns. And the mecanic has to push that button when he is ready. When the 4th mecanic pushes the button, the light can go green.

          1. They already have a button to confirm the wheel change is complete!
            You mean a second button, or two-factor authentication ; )

        2. @swh1386
          I think the ‘white line’ proposal is the only one that makes sense so far. But still, do we want to see super slo-mos of mechanics sprinting around, resulting in penalties because one mechanic’s heel was still 1mm too close to a white line?
          I say the current pit stop format is one of the things that shouldn’t be fixed, as it isn’t broken. A mechanic has been hurt, which is never a good thing, but it’s all rooted in the ineffaceable factor of human error. It would be possible to minimise its impact, but at what cost? Let the FIA investigate into the problem and try and find out whether Ferrari’s and Haas’ system is fundamentally flawed, or if it was just a streak of bad luck. Maybe that’ll result in minor rule specifications that eliminate the most risky aspects.
          But, in essence, I would like the pit stops to stay the way they are. They need to be short to offer an incentive for divergent strategies with more than just the one required pit stop. And they’re a spectacular human achievement, resulting in the occasional sub 2 second pit stop, which is is very befitting of F1’s high-speed perfectionist image.

          1. Why don’t they just have a mandatory pause before release of 0.5-1 second. In this period a warning tone is played to ear buds the mechanics are wearing so they know the car is about to release.

            If something is wrong they at least have time to dive out of the way or hit the emergency stop button.

          2. @tdm
            For what? That’s a new complicated rule that would be difficult to control because one mechanic’s leg has been broken. No more knee-jerks, people. Let that poor fella recover and wait for the FIA to uncover if there’s a big risk of that happening regularly. If not, carry on.

  6. “Introducing minimum pit-stop times will look rather mundane and boring and still won’t guarantee zero risks, and let’s not forget that the vast majority of stops are just fine. I think the teams have to back off on this one and go for consistently rapid rather than impossibly fast stops.” – Would and wouldn’t. I don’t understand why it seems t be so hard for people, in general, to use conditional words when talking about something that isn’t guaranteed to happen?

    ”There were some great battles all through the field, although those ready to declare that the overtaking issues don’t exist need to recognise that the extended DRS zone on the pit straight was too effective for the following car.”
    – Wrong, the overtaking issues do exist, and the extension of the DRS activation zone of the S/F straight didn’t really make any difference to aiding overtaking into turn one compared to previous seasons.

    1. ‘seems to be’

  7. I just remembered that Sky gave Nico Rosberg a 9.5/10 for his performance in Singapore 2016.

    1. And gave Vettel a 9.5/10 for this weekend as well. Don’t understand how either of them could’ve done any better.
      (PS: they’ve given a certain driver 10/10 for a number of similar performances, some of them even less impressive than the aforementioned two)

      1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
        10th April 2018, 6:07

        Not surprised if I’m honest.

  8. What about two engineers, each with their own button? Both buttons need to be pressed for the light to go green. Each engineer watches one side of of the car (or front/back) and presses their button when the tires on that side are changed and the car is ready for release. It’s much easier to concentrate on watching one side of the car than shifting focus back and forth between all four wheels.

    1. Isn’t there 4 buttons/engineers at the moment?

  9. The media is trying really hard to amp up f1. Nothing has changed, f1 has problems, we still watch it we still enjoy it but now when we have a really static race, cue Melbourne, the media desperately tries to see the brighter side, it’s just that the media has gotten onboard with the idea that we can’t openly criticize too much because there’s nothing that can be done and in the end there’s still a lot to like and being so negative influences, pin headed viewers. The Bahrain race was nothing special, a lot of it was DRS, we lost 3 quick cars and a mechanic got injured, that last bit soured the race for me. I can’t put a straight face, fake smile and say what a cracker, it wasn’t. It was a 7 in f1 terms.

    1. Out of curiosity, which races in the past do you rate 10?

    2. The Bahrain race was nothing special, a lot of it was DRS, we lost 3 quick cars

      I can’t put a straight face, fake smile and say what a cracker, it wasn’t

      @peartree I agree with this. The end was exciting but the battles were mostly DRS. Even Hamilton’s triple overtake, spectacular and well-executed as it was, was a DRS drive-by. I enjoyed the few that weren’t. It was a huge shame to lose three fast cars.

      It doesn’t help that the coverage is so mundane. The cameras are all a mile from the track which is so wide the cars appear move in slow motion, the microphones they use pick up hardly any sound, and the commentators sound so mundane it could send me to sleep.

      I didn’t even think it was a seven

      1. Ironically, the only non drs overtake ended in tears…… :)

        But I gave it something between a 7,5 and an 8.

      2. @strontium I agree, Ham’s moment was great but it’s not a Ricciardo Baku overtake, it’s a DRS 30 KPH move, it’s like watching an LMP1 overtake 3 LMP2 cars, Ham then lapped all 3 cars he overtook. The microphones, oh the microphones, there was a lack of energy this race.

        @savagebaboon Pundits screaming on our ears that something is spectacular is not a 10 for me, unless you enjoy the drama of a pitstop gone wrong.

  10. Isn’t it a bit early for Horner to talk about beating Ferrari!

    1. No. If he senses they’re competitive, which obviously he does, what’s the harm in saying it? They’ll finish races soon and we’ll see, and then it might depend on the track too, so he’ll either be proven right, or to be a bit overly enthusiastic. Don’t see the harm. It’s not hard to believe him right now. The problem is still going to be Mercedes.

  11. I like Horner but he loses a bit of credibility when he implies that Max gave Lewis enough room. He quite clearly didn’t, and he continued to open his steering throughout the corner. Just acknowledge that your young driver still has a ways to go, even if he is a genius and a future world champion. No harm in him learning a few lessons early on. Unless Horner is afraid that a few home truths will have Max looking elsewhere for a drive.

    1. Since Max did what LH would have done, which is what I believe happened, (since LH has done it often), and yet he still has a ways to go, then he’s got a huge future in F1, but then I think we all sense that anyway.

      1. Absolutely he has a huge future in F1. No-one is saying any different, but that doesn’t mean he’s above criticism, nor does it mean just because Lewis would do it that it’s somehow right. It’s possible (and proper) to criticise and to be a fan of someone at the same time.

        1. Oh for sure, these incidents are always going to be worthy of debate, however, it was deemed a racing incident, so F1 seems to think there is nothing wrong with what Max did nor when LH et al also does it, so I just don’t see where Horner ‘loses a bit of credibility’ nor where Max needs to learn from this. Not to say drivers aren’t always learning and looking to improve anyway, nor are above criticism, and they’ll have already reviewed this situation in detail, but I just think Max thinks he did nothing wrong, and in fact blamed LH for hitting him, so I think Max would do this again, and nothing is telling him not to do so.

  12. Heres a random thought . Often we hear complaints of how boring f1 is and how difficult is it to overtake and stuffs like that. While its true that overtaking is difficult due to the aerodynamic dependency of these cars, the solution is not that simple. We cant just simply abolish aerodynamics as suggested by some here . It cant be unlearned. I think the easiest solution would be to conduct races in tracks like bahrain where overtaking is still possible albeit with the help of drs. All those narrow tracks like hungary, monaco, baku etc should be scrapped.

    1. That’s not going to happen. The solution is one they are working on, which is to deal with aero in ways they have never done before, because for the first time they actually have two cars one in front of the other in a wind tunnel, and will act on their findings. Both these things are unprecedented in F1. Having to select specific tracks to race at just because they lend themselves better to overtaking, would be putting yet another bandage over the problem rather than just fixing the problem, which they will do in due time.

  13. minimum pit-stop times will not solve anything.
    To prevent tire fitting issues the green light needs to be activated manually.
    The only way to do that is that every wheelgun operator needs to press a button after he has fitted the wheel.
    He is the only one whom knows that fitted and correctly fitted the wheel.

  14. They should reduce the number of people allowed in the pitstop because it is completely unnecessary and obviously dangerous for twenty-something people to change four wheels on a car. There are few people working on the cars during pitstops in other racing series and I have never ever seen anybody get run over by a car leaving a pit box or a wheel fall off due to not being attached securely in any motor racing outside Formula One.

    1. It’s a fairly common problem in NASCAR and IndyCar – for example last weekend:

      1. Exactly, it does happen in other series as well. I think in the case of F1, incidents are so rare that they needn’t change anything. Just learn from what happened on the weekend with Ferrari.

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