Horner downplays link to “mightily impressive” Cowell

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner played down a suggestion former Mercedes power unit designer Andy Cowell could be a target for their new power unit division.

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Red Bull Powertrains is being formed to run the team’s ex-Honda engines from the 2022 F1 season, but Horner downplayed suggestions Cowell, who stepped down from his role in charge of Mercedes’ hugely successful engine programme last year, was a target for their operation:

Andy Cowell, what he’s achieved in the recent 10 years of the sport has been mightily impressive. And he was obviously a lynchpin of what Mercedes and HPP have delivered.

I think that he’s obviously chosen to pursue other activities outside of Formula 1. But of course he’s, as far as engines are concerned, he’s been the guy that’s delivered year on year on year. But my understanding that his interests currently lie outside of Formula 1.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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A Red Bull power unit could be a potent thing indeed, reckons Marcus:

Red Bull have already built chassis that have beaten those built by car manufacturer’s as prestigious as Toyota, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Renault, BMW, Lotus, Alfa Romeo and Caterham despite not being a car manufacturer themselves.

So given that they’re laying down the infrastructure now, who’d bet against them building an engine that’s the class of the field in 2025? The other teams should be very scared by this development.

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81 comments on “Horner downplays link to “mightily impressive” Cowell”

  1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    17th February 2021, 0:25

    Yep, Andy Cowell stated he had been blown away by Project Pitlane and wanted to pursue something along those lines. He’s also got an agreement in place with Mercedes to work on non F1 related projects for a year or so. I highly doubt Redbull could get him to work against Mercedes.

    1. @davewillisporter Cowell hinted in an interview (Beyond the Grid) that his wish was to work with the chassis side of things as well, which I took to mean he wanted to be like a team principal, so I was half expecting him to show up at Aston Martin or similar, but nothing makes more sense than for him to head up Red Bull Powertrains now.

  2. I wonder if RedBull Powertrains’ unit will be worked into the new rules as the ‘FIA’s stock unit’. Haven’t heard talk of that FIA plan for years, but it’s been floated in the past.

    Not saying I agree with it but picture:

    F1 writing allowances into the 2026 rules to let RedBull continue with the ‘Honda base’.
    They sell to customers who are allowed to rebrand eg. Mclaren-Mclaren

    Mercedes/Renault/Ferrari make new 2026-spec hybrids.
    Customers can choose to buy these instead but they keep the engine brand eg. Mclaren-Mercedes

    1. Stephen Higgins
      17th February 2021, 8:53

      So, like the TOCA engine in BTCC ??

  3. Rosberg 2016.
    He won because Hamilton’s PU broke in Malaysia, no other reason.
    Hamilton won 10 races to Rosberg’s 9, would probably have been 11:8 without that PU failure.

    1. @w-k

      Hamilton won 10 races to Rosberg’s 9, would probably have been 11:8 without that PU failure.

      You do know that Rosberg didn’t win at Malaysia 2016, right?

      1. Yeah, he came 3rd, 15 points and won season by 5, so your point is?

        1. Rosberg’s tally of wins would have remained at 9 if Lewis won in Malaysia.

        2. @w-k

          so your point is?


          Rosberg’s tally of wins would have remained at 9 if Lewis won in Malaysia.

    2. @w-k There is a saying in my country that roughly translates to: “The value of the loser gives glory to the victor”.
      At the end of the day, diminishing Rosberg’s value, makes Hamilton’s achievements -against him- less impressive.

    3. There are plenty of examples throughout F1’s history that give the impression that a single incident decided the championship outcome. But in reality, the championship is measured by the entire campaign and Rosberg knew how good Lewis was/is so needed to capitalise at every available opportunity. To beat someone like Lewis, you need to have a few things go your way but you also need to work bloody hard which is what Nico did. Malaysia was a terrible race for Lewis and the timing could not have been worse but that incident in isolation did not make Nico world champion.

      1. Also, Massa won more races than Hamilton in 2008.

        If not for Timo Glock, Hamilton doesn’t win in 2008 yet no-one tries to discredit that championship.

        1. Oh please! Hamilton was robbed Spa 2008 by the Ferrari International Assistance!


          1. @jaymenon10

            Not discrediting Hamilton’s 2008 title but following your logic Massa was robbed way worse in Singapore

          2. Also, if everyone claims that Hamilton had the Malaysia issue and lost 2016 title, the same can be applied to Massa in 2008, who besides Singapore also had his terminal failure in Hungaroring when he was leading the race comprehensively until 3 laps to go when he had an engine failure. If we use this logic Massa should be the champion. The thing is Hamilton had much more luck come his way than bad luck. Ultimately, whether Hamilton fans like it or not, Nico Rosberg deserved his championship and he beat him fairly. It wasn’t his fault Ham had this engine issue.

        2. Timo Glock didn’t make a pitstop and gained one position in doing so. How on earth did he help Hamilton?

          1. @f1osaurus What I remember about that weekend was that LH did pretty much everything under his power to lose the WDC, while it was Massa, who also had to have a solid weekend, who got pole, fastest lap, and the race win. LH just barely squeaked it through but it was Massa that stepped up when the pressure was at it’s greatest for him.

          2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
            18th February 2021, 11:47

            @robbie It was a McLaren strategy to just do enough that race to win the championship without taking any risks. This is according to Hamilton’s and Marc Priestley’s books.

          3. @davewillisporter Interesting. Bet they didn’t strategize to make it quite the nail biter it was though, lol. They sure left themselves no margin if indeed everything went exactly according to plan. Lol, like buddy that trips and falls and then gets up and says ‘I meant to do that.’ Or like when a race commentator says something like ‘oh what a brilliant recovery from that spin!’ Umm…if he was so brilliant he wouldn’t have spun to begin with.

          4. @robbie Well it looks like they got the setup wrong. Not for wet, but for dry conditions. Getting shoved off by Kubica unlapping himself didn’t help and Glock not making a pitstop neither.

          5. @f1osaurus Lol shoved off by Kubica. If that was shoving off, then LH himself has to be accused of doing much worse countless times throughout his career. But nice try.

          6. @robbie Well he lost a place to Vettel because of it. For Kubica needlessly unlapping himself. But sure nit your pick and pretend in your head that you made a clever point

          7. @f1osaurus Yes I made a clever point. And yes you have avoided that indeed if that was ‘shoving off’ then LH can be accused of doing far far worse countless times. I wouldn’t have to make a ‘clever point’ if you didn’t open the door for it.

          8. @robbie Yeah I “avoided” you potato potahto bs

            The POINT is that Hamilton lost a place due to Kubica’s clumsiness while unlapping himself. Whatever you feel the need to call that is irrelevant.

          9. @f1osaurus Nah I don’t think it was clumsy at all. But of course the way you like to bend things makes the way you call things suspect sometimes, and needing to be taken with a grain of salt. Case on point we’ve gone from ‘shoving him off the track’ to just ‘clumsy’ now, and it wasn’t even that.

          10. @robbie Did Kubica unlapping himself cost Hamilton a position? Yes it did. Period. End of.

            Whatever you or I want to call it is irrelevant.

            I didn’t even say “shove of track”. He shoved Hamilton off the racing line.

            I’m just astonished how low your IQ must be that you think you are being clever with nonsense like this.

          11. @f1osaurus Ah yes the predictable insults now that you’ve been fact checked. Usually ‘getting shoved off’ would mean off the track, but of course now you have revised that to meaning off the racing line, lol, like people say that. Lol shoved off the racing line would mean ‘passing a guy.’

            Anyway once again typical of a Trumposaurus to now claim it is me with the low IQ. Your usual go-to when you’ve got no defence for your nonsense.

          12. @robbie Man you are dumb. Wow. Just get back under your bridge troll.

          13. @robbie Yeah I get it, you are too dumb to even understand how dumb your arguments are. It’s like Flowers for Algernon.

      2. Agreed, & all though i dont like rosberg, ill give him credit were its due. He won the opening 4 races of the season to lead Hamilton 100 points to 57 coming into spain (beating lewis fair & sqaure in all except china where Hamilton started from the back after qualifying issues). If Hamilton hadnt had to play catch up from then on, his Malaysian gp engine failure would have probably been iirrelevant

      3. @tommy-c It’s not just one outcome. Hamilton started from P10, P22 and got punted off on the first lap in 3 of the first 4 races. He suffered several technical incidents over the first half of the season and because of that he had to start from the pitlane in Spa. Yet another race lost. Then he couldn’t participate in free practice in Singapore, costing him another race.

        Overall in most of the races where Rosberg won, Hamilton had not been able to partake in quali or he had some technical issue along the way. While the other way around, Rosberg only lost Germany due to their start system failing.

        1. @f1osaurus

          While the other way around, Rosberg only lost Germany due to their start system failing.

          Also Hungary

          I would also question if Hamilton really lost Spa because of bad luck. He was already up to 5th after an early safety car thanks to an absurdly lucky opening few laps. His race pace was mediocre and he was significantly slower than Rosberg even on the same strategy and in clean air.

          Here’s some interesting parts about 2016 that are rarely discussed:

          Monaco: Rosberg let Hamilton through to help him win the race. Rosberg himself was suffering from glazed brakes in that race.

          Canada: Rosberg punted off by Hamilton on the opening lap and suffers a puncture later on in the race

          Austria: gearbox penalty for Rosberg on qualifying followed by brake problems towards the end of the race which allowed Hamilton to close up

          Britain: gearbox problems at the end which cost him a position to Verstappen

          Germany: as you said, a faulty clutch

          Mexico, USA, Brazil, Abu Dhabi: Hamilton enjoyed a much fresher engine as a byproduct of all his mechanical failures

          Did Hamilton even win a single race on merit in 2016?

        2. Before you lose your mind @f1osaurus, the post above is a parody of how Hamilton fans typically argue… aka only telling one side of the story while completely ignoring the other side.

          1. @kingshark With the difference that you are mostly just making up nonsense and you know it.

            Only Britain would actually have some merit. So lets give Rosberg 3 points for that. Other than that he would lose by a landslide if Hamilton had had a fair fight

          2. @f1osaurus
            You claim that the bad starts in 2016 were outside of the drivers control, so give Hungary and Germany to Rosberg too.

            Rosberg’s Austria brake problems are well documented

            On the final lap of the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix the two Mercedes drivers had a collision while battling for the race win. Immediately following the race it was revealed that Rosberg’s Mercedes W07 had suffered from a Brake By Wire (BBW) failure shortly before the collision.

            Rosberg did let Hamilton through at Monaco 2016, without that gesture Hamilton wouldn’t have been there to luck into the win when Red Bull messed up Ricciardo’s pit stop.

            Rosberg was on course for a podium in Canada until a puncture

            Rosberg was taken out by Vettel at the start in Malaysia

            Hamilton had much fresher engines than Rosberg in the final four races thanks to the engine penalties in Spa.

          3. @kingshark Yes Mercedes had a start system issue. Rosberg suffered problems with it 3 times and Hamilton 4 times. So that more or less evens out.

            In Austria Rosberg was lucky with the SC and he threw away more points with his dirty defending against Hamilton. Same in Germany actually.

            Rosberg finished in Malaysia. Hamilton didn’t.

            Hamilton didn’t have much fresher engines at the end of the season. He needed all those parts to replace what had broken already.

            So the fact remains, most of Rosberg wins were gifted to him because of issues on Hamilton’s side. While Rosberg mostly just lost some points for not finishing P2 like he should have.

        3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
          18th February 2021, 11:51

          @f1osaurus Lewis lost the 2016 championship after COTA 2015. He took his foot off the gas and gave Rosberg the last three races and thus momentum and confidence going into 2016. As a Lewis fan its a stupid trait I’m glad he has addressed after 2016.

          1. @davewillisporter I very much have held that opinion since then too. Nico won seven straight races after Cota 2015. My personal opinion that won’t be as popular amongst LH fans is that after Cota 2015 LH took on a trait of entitlement. Hence his language throughout 2016 when it wasn’t going all his way. ‘They want Nico to win.’ Perhaps that was foreshadowed from his in-race language in those three races after Cota 2015. As you say he took his foot off the gas and went into party mode…even said at one point he wished the season was over since he had won the WDC. But in fact as Nico lead LH in those last three races, and had earned those leads, LH was on the radio asking for extreme strategies that would put him ahead of Nico…strategies that were denied him for they would have been wholly unfair to Nico who had earned his placing.

          2. @davewillisporter @robbie That only makes sense if you solely look at the scoreboard and don’t actually take account of what actually happened.

            Hamilton got pushed off in Bahrain on the first corner, he had to start from P10 in Russia because of an issue in Q3 and he had to start from P22 in China because he couldn’t take part in qualifying at all. Plus he ha d a start system fail in Australia (both had actually, but Hamilton starting from pole was more affected)

            So all of the first 4 races, Hamilton had an issue. Even if you want to pretend the start system issues where not actual issues, he still had 3 races where he had to come from very far back.

            Rosberg was gifted those early wins in 2016. Plus in Europe they sent him out with the wrong engine settings, in Spa he had to start from the pitlane, in Monza another start system fail, in Singapore he couldn’t take part in free practice sessions, in Malaysia the engine blew.

            There was barely a race in 2016 that Rosberg won on merit.

            While Hamilton only got Germany and Monaco wins gifted because Rosberg had a start system issue in Germany and in Monaco Rosberg just was slow

    4. Rosberg had 9 wins to Hamilton’s 6 before Rosberg just brought the car home in second for the final 4 races.

      Hamilton lost the championship because he butchered half a dozen starts, crashed in Baku qualifying, had a dummy spit in Shanghai basically didn’t try.

      Of course Hamilton will blame Malaysia and not the crash in Baku qualifying, or starting at the front in Italy, Japan and being down to about 6th by the first corner.

      Hamilton just wasn’t good enough in 2016.

      1. Mate…dont let facts get in the way of a good story. A loud minority has decided that Rosberg is an undeserving champion, hence, it must be true!

    5. I would not be surprised to hear that merc gave ros a helping hand in 2016 on the other hand I would not be surprised to hear that merc gave 2014 to lewis.

    6. No, he sabotaged Lewis’ engine.

    7. Rosberg () won because Hamilton’s PU broke in Malaysia, no other reason.

      The only reason he won the title is because he had more points at the end of the season.

      His Malaysia points haul merely allowed him to play it safe in the last four races.
      Nobody knows how the season would have ended if Hamilton had no PU issue in Malaysia.

      Even Nico states that Hamilton is the best, but that doesn’t take away that Nico beat him fair and square in 2016.

      1. @coldfly

        And then the only reason Rosberg had more points was because Hamilton suffered a ton more technical issues than Rosberg. So …

        Not just in Malaysia, but also in 7 of the wins that Rosberg got.

        1. Yet still the one with the most points becomes WDC, even if you idolise another driver and try to bend arguments :P

          1. @coldfly No one is arguing that. The argument is how he came to get most points.

        2. Which 7? I count Australia, Baku, Italy, Singapore, and Japan where Rosberg beat him fair and square, on track. You can hardly claim Baku’s engine setting issue (that Rosberg also had, but solved quicker), or the loss of part of an FP session in Singapore (Rosberg still steamrolled everyone in qualifying and had similar brake issues in the race as Hamilton). That leaves Bahrain, Russia, China and Belgium. 4, not 7.
          Then we have Hamilton’s wins in Monaco, Canada and Austria where Rosberg had issues.
          In saying that, it should be obvious to everyone that Hamilton is/was clearly the better driver of the two, but that shouldn’t take away how hard Rosberg worked. The fact he felt he couldn’t do it again is testament to Hamilton’s skills.

          1. @hsvdt15
            Australia: start system issue which was worse for Hamilton starting from pole.
            Italy start system issue.
            Singapore: couldn’t do FP. With no proper setup you are not going to get pole and or win
            Baku: they sent Hamilton out with a car with the wrong engine settings while Rosberg put his car in these wrong settings himself during the race and could undo them. Although indeed granted Hamilton was in no position to win that race anyway.

            Monaco: Rosberg was just slow on his own account. There was no issue.
            Canada: Rosberg dive in a gap that didn’t exist and ruined his race from there.
            Austria: Rosberg ruined his own race with his dirty move on Hamilton.

            It’s not how hard Rosberg worked, he didn’t do anything better than in seasons before. He was beaten 4 to 1 in the races where they had working cars.

          2. @F1oSaurus

            Never read that about his starts in Australia and Italy, F1.com review of Australia says he just made a poor start, and Hamilton himself says he got lots of wheelspin in Italy (also mentioning it was a similar problem to Rosberg’s start in Germany.
            Baku, valid point.
            As for Singapore, I see in another comment you mentioned he couldn’t take part in FP, which is completely untrue. Yes, he did have car issues but still posted times in each session, and would have been aided from the other side of the garage in terms of setup.

            Monaco, Rosberg had brake problems, Canada a slow puncture, and Austria a brake-by-wire failure while leading, allowing Hamilton to close in (granted, a poor pit stop for Hamilton did allow Rosberg the lead in the first place).

            As I said, Hamilton was clearly better in ’16, but diminishing what Rosberg did just brings Hamilton’s performances down.

    8. Rosberg started that season with 4 back-to-back wins. Call me back when Bottas manages to do the same.

      1. @paeschli And in 3 of those 4 races, Hamilton was basically out of contention from (or even before) the start. If Bottas gets that same advantage he would do exactly the same.

        Hamilton is not going to beat Bottas starting from P22, P10 or after being punted off on the first corner either.

      2. Rosberg doesn’t get any credit, i would give anything to have him still in the car over bottas.. is Hamilton the better driver? Yes, absolutely, but the ham ros battles in those years are the only thing that kept the championship battle interesting. Even bottas 20.5 with new improved features isnt close enough like rosberg was unfortuantely

        1. What HAM ROS battles? When Rosberg cheated selecting a higher engine mode? Or maybe when they were close at the start. The same happens between Bottas and Hamilton.

    9. @w-k It was much worse than that. Hamilton had issues with the car (or got punted off) in Australia, Bahrain, China, Russia, Spain, Europe, Spa, Monza, Singapore, Malaysia

      Pretty much for every win Rosberg got, Hamilton was affected by something outside of his control.

      1. But Malaysia? It’s sabotage.

    10. Hamilton’s PU broke in Malaysia, no other reason

      Had He got a clue about how to start properly, he would have won with or without the Malaysia PU failure. This BS is getting really boring.

    11. Absolutely agree.
      Hamilton truly came alive at the end of 2016, smashed every race. Had that engine not failed in Malaysia, (a brand new engine no less) he would undoubtedly have been champion.

  4. Whenever I read about that PU failure I think about Massa’s blown engine while leading, with three laps to go, in Hungary 2008, and Ferrari’s refueling mistake in Singapore 2008, that cost him 10 certain and other 10 potential points, and nobody says Lewis was an undeserving champion that year…

    I do feel Felipe deserved better luck, because that was clearly his best chance, and Lewis had all his career ahead of him, but it doesn’t take anything away from his first championship.

    1. Feel the same but if you watch Lewis’ compared to Massa’s Silverstone race would be hard to say Massa would have been a deserving champion. Of course one race is not representative of a whole campaign but that race was a massive embarrasment for Massa

      1. Silverstone was a bad day, but Massa also won two races that year in challenging, changeable weather conditions, so I think he redeemed himself well enough over the course of the season.

        1. @red-andy Like Australia and Malaysia where he spun off?

          Or are you referring to Spa? Where he was gifted the win by Alan Donnely, the Ferrari consultant who was the sole steward at the time.

        2. Hamilton a lucky boy in Japan too to not take Kimi out on the first corner. Ended up ruining Massa’s race to because Massa got caught up in Kimi being pushed off the circuit by Hamilton.

          1. It was Kovalainen who almost took Raikkonen out, but Hamilton was gifted the penalty. That’s the daftest definition of luck

      2. If you watch Hamilton in Shanghai where he had a big dummy spit and didn’t try to maximise his finishing position, when you look at how in Monza and Suzuka he had dropped to about 6th or 8th by the first corner, when you look at Hamilton crashing in Baku qualifying making a rookie error, what makes him deserve the championship over Rosberg exactly?

        1. Being Hamilton, of course. It’s a shame He didn’t win all the qualis and races since 1950. All due to the FIA conspiracy, of course.

      3. One could say the same about Interlagos 2008 , a flawless race by Massa with a very convincing win, and a subpar race by Hamilton, so it goes both ways.

  5. The Autoweek link directs to the Forum.

  6. Haha, nice twisting of reality from Nico Rosberg. They only thing that is proven is that the car became WC every year (indifferent to who drives it) and Lewis managed one non Mercedes (team) title. Nico quit but never really got over it, didnt he? I thought he was smart, took a title and moved on with his life, yet he seems to have some unfinished stuff

  7. Domenicali’s logic baffles me: ‘‘Detroit or Miami. Indianapolis maybe.’’

    There’s plenty of great racetrack in the US, so instead of building a new one, why not upgrade an existing one?

    – Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen, Sonoma, Road Atlanta, Daytona… the list goes on.

    1. ‘Upgrading’ Grade 2 circuits to Grade 1 has only ever ruined them.
      Please don’t ruin those tracks too.

      A far better and more sensible option is to lower F1 car performance to a level suitable for Grade 2 circuits.

      1. I’m all in Grade 2. There’s far better tracks.

  8. No, Nico, just no. You lucked into that title by all means. Be ok with it, and we are all fine

    1. Certainly did better than bottas, but as pointed out, bottas would’ve also fared better vs hamilton with that level of luck, doesn’t make rosberg the best driver of 2016, although even hamilton isn’t, none of them was close to flawless.

  9. Re: CotD – When Red Bull are spending manufacturer levels of money, it’s not really all that surprising that they are reaching manufacturer levels of performance.
    Given their budget, they really should be where they are – at the very least.

  10. I always feel that the ‘X only won the championship because….’ things is silly because a championship is always decided over a full season & not just one race.

    It is indeed true that events at one race or general misfortune for one driver can swing the championship, But the benefitting driver still needs to have been good & consistent enough over all of the other races to be in position to benefit from it.

    1. @stefmeister Agreed, and well said.

    2. That’s true, example 2020 bottas was less lucky than hamilton, but the points difference was something like 150! That gives you no chance whatsoever to run out with a title IF hamilton had been unlucky like in 2016 and bottas like rosberg.

      1. @esploratore But that example makes it exactly clear that Bottas would have been just as likely to be WDC in 2016. The only reason Rosberg looks better is because he didn’t have the technical issues while Hamilton did. Nowadays Hamilton suffers some questionable stewards decisions, but Bottas keeps having the vast majority of the bad luck.

        Hamilton getting punted off in Bahrain, starting from P10 because of a Q3 issue in Russia, then from P22 in China, in Baku they mess up his engine settings so he can’t race properly, in Spa he has to start from the pitlane because he had to replace so many broken powertrain parts, Monza a bad start system issue, Singapore Hamilton couldn’t really drive in free practice so he had no good setup, in Malaysia his engine blew, Japan another start issue.

        If Hamilton had had all those issues against Bottas he would also have finished behind Bottas for all those races (or not at all like in Malaysia).

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