Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has welcomed the FIA’s plan to ban high-performance engine ‘qualifying modes’, comparing it to restrictions on exhaust-blowing.
The FIA told teams earlier this week it intends to outlaw the use of ‘qualifying modes’, which increase engine performance on-demand, by introducing a technical directive preventing them from changing modes between qualifying and the race.
“We were encouraged with the engine TD that they’re talking about,” said Horner. “That could close up the racing.”
Horner has previously drawn attention to the scale of advantage Mercedes enjoy in qualifying. Prior to the last race he described the team’s qualifying pace as “awesome” and they were “looking to understand where that performance is coming from”.
Speaking yesterday, Horner said the ‘quali mode’ ban will have implications throughout the field. “It’ll affect all teams,” he said. “The question is how much?
“These qualifying modes have been pushed and developed over the years. I think it’s something that with exhaust-blowing, for example, we had to run a standard map throughout the weekend. This is just adopting a similar methodology to that, which I think is a sensible for Formula 1.”
The ban will spare manufacturers significant expense, Horner added. “There’s inevitably enormous costs associated with developing these different modes,” he said. “And I think that actually it’s a healthy thing for the manufacturers and I think anything that creates better and closer racing is positive for Formula 1.”
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who has previously said it would be “unfair” to ban ‘quali modes’, said the planned change would be consistent with other rules.
“In a way maybe it’s good because we are not really allowed to touch the car after qualifying except those kind of things with engine modes,” he said. “So probably if you want to go down that route anyway by not touching the car I think it’s good that you get rid of that of that as well.”
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