Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

2015 a “write-off” for Red Bull – Horner

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Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015In the round-up: Christian Horner says Red Bull’s reliability problems means this year’s championship is already a “write-off” for them.


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Renault reliability has made 2015 a write-off for Red Bull - Christian Horner (ESPN)

"We are so far on the back foot with reliability anyway that, to be honest, this year is pretty much a write-off"

Raikkonen made ‘sacrifice’ for Ferrari (F1i)

"I think yesterday I was prepared to take the risk and sacrifice a little bit myself and if we can learn and we can speed up our learning and knowledge then that will obviously help us."

Formula One clamps down on fuel systems (Reuters)

"There has been speculation that Mercedes and Ferrari, the two most competitive teams, have been boosting flow rates for short periods of time when it might bring an advantage."

Ferrari rule out signing Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes for 2016 (Sky)

"Lewis? No. We are focussed on the current development of the car, we would like to keep the situation as it is as much as Kimi is performing well."

Lotus won't blame drivers for clash (Autosport)

"Obviously having your drivers touch is not ideal and I can't say it was one or the other's fault, honestly."

Gene Haas: “I think there’s still a lot of scepticism…” (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"We’re certainly not going to start off with a novice driver that has no experience in F1."

Red Bull RB11 - new nose (F1)

"This new nose also moves the centre of pressure backwards and gives more downforce to the diffuser."

Meanwhile, not in Spain... (Joe Saward)

"The road safety world is getting very upset about Todt’s appointment to be UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s special envoy for road safety."



Comment of the day

The FIA should focus on F1’s biggest problems instead of making minor changes to the tyre rules, says James:

The more the FiA try to appease everyone, the more disastrous it gets. Here we are talking about allowing teams to choose their own tyres. This can only lead to one thing – even more complaints in the future.

The racing is good for the second year in a row. The championship is still early, alive and well. If Nico recovers, as it seems, we may have a fight to the finish. Seb still has a shot.

What F1 really needs to look at is cost, cost, cost. Their is absolutely no reason why a team should spend a billion dollars to put two cars on a grid.

Those that want to spend that kind of money should have their own chmapionship. To expect Force India, Marussia, Sauber, Lotus and any other new team to compete well with billion dollar teams is madness.

That is what should be looked at, not such rubbish as telling people to choose their own tyres. Pirelli is doing a good job as an unbiased umpire.
James Devon (@Tata)

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  • 42 comments on “2015 a “write-off” for Red Bull – Horner”

    1. “Those that want to spend that kind of money should have their own chmapionship. To expect Force India, Marussia, Sauber, Lotus and any other new team to compete well with billion dollar teams is madness.”

      Or perhaps if they can’t afford it they should go race somewhere more suitable for their budgets.

      I think now that the only way the F1 cost issue will be fixed is if the sport suffers a BTCC-2001 style collapse where 1 year only 3 teams show up, viewing figures plummet and the governing bodies’ hands are forced. Why on Earth they created the ludicrous conflict of interests where the teams have an influence on the regulations is beyond me.

      1. So you’d rather see 12 cars on track than see some form of lowering costs? Sounds like a boring series to me.

        1. The problem is, the attempts to lower cost are doomed to fail, because they’re trying to make one-size-fits-all cost cutting measures.

          Most of the cost-cutting measure, I suspect, have wound up costing the big teams significantly more money, while the smaller teams simply get farther behind due to the inability to compete.

          Give the teams a research budget, something akin to the engine tokens (but better designed), where the teams can barter resources-for-tokens. If you think that sounds like cap-and-trade, you’re understanding my concept. ;-)

          Then again, I’m crazy– I think active suspension would be cheaper, more effective, and safer– and would probably make aero development significantly less expensive as well.

      2. I suspect it is no coincidence that James Devon uses a tag that is the the name of an FOM partner.

        1. Lol. @hohum, I took the name Tata without any thoughts about their FOM partnership. Neither owned any of their products nor done any business with them.
          But ur comment is funny anyway.
          Thanks Keith for the COTD.

          No one is saying the field should be leveled it’s just that the financial power of some teams is so much more than others and it is affecting the competition so much.

          1. @tata, My apologies, but you do seem rather aligned with Berniethink.

    2. While I agree that cost is a main problem in F1 right now, I don’t think a budget cap is the right way to go because if a team like Merc or Ferrari has money to spend let them spend, it’s there problem to solve.

      What I think it should be done is distribute the money equally and then make a bonus budget accordingly to the Constructor Championship! Those contracts nowadays with bonus for teams like Ferrari just because it’s a legend team should be banned from the sport.

    3. A shame for Red Bull and Ricciardo, who like Grosjean, is driving alone for most of the time this year.
      Hope they improve and give the guy at least a chance to fight for podiums later in the year. He is good enough to still get it with this car.

    4. The main thing that is bothersome about Christian Horner as team principal is his lack of grace at times. He has been around racing for a long time and everybody has their individual style, but that doesn’t mean speaking often with a lack of class or dignity is a job requirement. It is easy to understand his frustration, but that doesn’t mean blasting others in public constantly, including your partners sometimes, is the best way to go.

      Maybe he’s insecure about his job since often the team principal’s fortunes go the way of the team’s results. Maybe the power unit is out of his hands, even though he is always making sure everybody in the world knows that. But, he is still the guy in charge, win or lose. Right now he seems a bit worried about his job.

      I’ll give him credit for this part:

      “You just have to go for it, even if they end up using 20 engines, it would be better to learn and make progress for next year. It would be far easier to make a fast engine reliable than to make a reliable car fast, so our philosophy has been to push performance.”

      RBR are in a difficult position this season, the whole team knows that. I would still hate to hear such negativity from my boss no matter where I work:

      “…this year is pretty much a write-off.”

      Wouldn’t a team rather hear, “We’re in a tough spot, but we’re going to try some things and give it everything we’ve got.”

      1. If you think that Horner’s comments are bad, I presume that you’ve not seen Marko publicly demand that either the team is given a competitive engine or that Audi must supply them with an engine, otherwise they will walk out of the sport. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/32688667

        Frankly, I think that Marko’s attitude probably means Audi won’t touch them with a 10 foot barge pole…

        1. I think if Audi does end up buying out Red Bull the only key person they might wish to have stay on would be Newey. If Newey would be willing to stay could be doubtful, but that’s another story.

          Marko and Mateschitz both have been quite disparaging towards Renault. They seem to have totally forgotten who helped them win 4 consecutive driver and constructor championships. I understand their frustration now but the way they are publicly humiliating Renault now is disgraceful.

          If Audi does buy out Red Bull Racing I think Marko and Horner both would be out of jobs. Mateschitz will just keep on selling his energy drinks.

    5. Regarding COTD, I agree that the cost problem should be sorted out.

      I also believe that it should be upto the teams to pick what tyre compounds they want to run which is something teams could do for most of F1’s history. Teams been told what compounds to run has only been a thing since the rule forcing them to run 2 compounds was introduced in 2007.

      I see Pirelli & some fans saying that teams would pick the wrong tyres or whatever, But when they were able to pick there own compounds in the past there were no problems so I fail to see why there would be problems with them doing it now.

      I still think they should have all 4 compounds at every race, no mandatory pit stops & that teams should have complete freedom over race strategy. If they want to run the whole race non-stop they should have that option, Just as they should have the option to make 1, 2, 3 or more stops.

      Forcing them all down the 2-3 stop route with no room to do something radically different & forcing teams/drivers to use a compound they don’t like because it may not work with there car or driving style isn’t what they should be doing & I’d argue strongly that its taking away from the racing & not adding anything to it.

      Can you imagine how much better it would be if Mercedes decide they had the pace to run the hardest compound & plan a No-stop race while Ferrari run a medium & plan a 1 & teams behind opt for the softer compounds that are a lot faster but wear more so need 2-3 stops. And at the same time they all have the option to change there strategies & switch to whatever compound they wish to mid-race
      Thats what we had Pre-refueling & we saw a lot more variety with strategy, A lot more unpredictability as you never knew what strategies anyone was running & if often never became 100% clear until the end & also the racing was far better for it with more surprise results than we see today.

    6. replaying to a part of the comment selected for COTD that isn’t in the selection….

      I stand fully with Pirelli on this one. No point adding another useless and unwarranted measure into an already over-regulated sport.


      You say its over-regulated while at the same time defending a part of that over-regulation.

      Up until 2007 the teams could pick whatever compounds were a part of the tyre suppliers range & they were not forced to run 2 compounds, As such the rule forcing teams to use both compounds & it been in the regulations that Pirelli select those compounds are parts of the over-regulation of the sport.

      Here we are talking about allowing teams to choose their own tyres. This can only lead to one thing – even more complaints in the future.

      Nobody was complaining the last time this was the case.
      I don’t remember anyone saying in 2006 that teams should be forced to run 2 compounds or forced to run the compounds there supplier told them to run. The only reason these things were introduced was because Bridgestone felt it would ‘spice up the show’, Something it simply hasn’t done, Its actually caused more problems than its solved as now 90% of the grid run the same strategy & they have very little room to do anything different because the tyres fall to pieces too quickly.

      Removing the rules forcing teams to run both compounds & removing the rule forcing teams to run what Pirelli tell them to would be taking away a part of the over-regulation & since you seem to argue against over-regulation then surely you should support this & not be against it.

      1. I agree that the idea to let teams have their pick certainly does have some merit to it RogerA, @tata.

        The issues Pirelli sees with this should be easily countered:
        1. the notice period has to be long enough that it won’t mean higher cost/more complicated logistics – why not stay with approximately the same period we have now, meaning 2-3 races up front.
        2. The technical/safety aspect – valid point, but surely Pirelli should be able to tell a team that their choice is unsafe and be able to block it if the situation arises.

        However, I also agree with the real point of the COTD that instead of solving minor issues, the FIA should take back control of the sport and start regulating the whole thing to make it viable to compete in again.

    7. If you don’t mind, I’d like to respond to Button’s comments about his “scary” race. Compared to a lot of other instances in racing, Formula One is not scary at all. Yes, Button’s car seemed to be a nightmare all race and he could easily have spun with such an ill-handling car, but crashing nowadays in F1 never happens for two reasons – the ridiculous tarmac run-off areas and the fact that the drivers are driving nowhere near their limit.

      Forget everything and watch a single car drive around a track. Seems pretty boring with just a single car? Not if it’s racing on the limit, both in terms of speed and the risk of failure is high. It’s this risk of failure which is basically non-existent and it’s killing my love for the sport. If you have a corner which has barriers, gravel traps or even grass very near to the track, suddenly it becomes so much more exciting to watch because if the driver makes a mistake, they’re going to lose a lot of time and potentially mess up their race. But with the tarmac run-off area this isn’t a factor, therefore the feeling of risk and adrenaline for the driver and the viewer watching is lessened significantly.

      Monaco is still brilliant with the constant possibility of failure with the barriers so close, but because of all the tyre and fuel saving, it’s again detracting from the excitement. The amount of drivers who have actually crashed out of a race due to driver error in recent times is so much less compared to the past, not because of a higher standard of drivers but because of the reasons I’ve mentioned above.

      With many races in the Schumacher era with Ferrari, they were boring. But at least the drivers were driving at their maximum. I feel as though less people would complain about boring races in that era of Formula One because even if there was hardly any overtaking and no battle for the lead, there was still that underlying excitement watching the cars/drivers. Nowadays, the backlash is so much more apparent because for us to actually be properly excited anymore, we have to have overtakes, great battles etc. Without all of that, it’s like watching paint dry. That might be an exaggeration, but a lot of the time it’s like that for me.

      1. The “driving on the limit” thing i understand and appreciate but unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it and neither can the drivers or the engineers; those are all people who love racing and have it as their full time job so if they could they would but it is more complicated than just putting the foot down;a solution isn’t as straight forward as we armchair experts think…Regarding the run-off ares i disagree with you.Something people forget is that circuits host F1 just 1 weekend a year;the rest of the time they are mostly used for endurance races lasting from 4 to 24 hours with at least 30 cars on track (mostly with pro drivers mixed with amateurs)!F1 cars and drivers are high level enough to not need them but the circuits implement them for all the other non professional drivers or huge grids that race the other days of the year.For example the parabolica at Monza was made safe because of complaints from motorcycle racers.Also if i may let me add that you shouldn’t wish for any driver to crash or for a race to be entertaining for you,that is just wrong

        1. Also if i may let me add that you shouldn’t wish for any driver to crash or for a race to be entertaining for you,that is just wrong

          When did I say this?.. I’m looking at risk of failure and danger as two different things. For example, let’s just say that a concept was implemented on a race track where if you run wide at a corner and touch any ground which isn’t the actual racing surface itself, you get a black flag and you’re disqualified. That is a kind of risk that I want to see more of. Of course I don’t want to see any driver get injured. I’m not a sadist.

          1. Yea fair enough,sorry but at first glance it came across like you don’t want runoff ares and the sport should be made somewhat unsafe given how reliable are the cars and less accident prone the drivers…Anyway all that aside i agree with most of what you say,even though i’m not losing love for the sport :) could be in better shape but i quite like it

      2. The “exciting” Schumacher era led to what you are watching today.
        And if the cars were constantly on the limit on todays F1, Mercedes would lap the entire field.
        Fuel and tyre saving exists in F1 since 1950. And fuel is far from being the problem today.
        And tarmac run-offs are there for a few reasons like safety and costs.

    8. Brogan Fraser
      11th May 2015, 5:28

      What on earth is Joe Saward talking about, the FIA is not Formula 1.
      The FIA is responsible for Automobile Associations around the world. Which promote driver safety.


      The AA in New Zealand is a member of the FIA,
      The AA being the association in NZ you have to go to, to obtain a license, to get road side assistance, to do defensive driving, to insure your car.
      You cant just throw the FIA and Formula1 in the same category, Formula 1 makes up a small percentage of Jean Todts time, he spends most of his year on things other than Formula1.
      In fact, the comments about the “Rare appearance” of Jean Todt at the F1 Race in Spain solidifies my comments.

      No conflict of interest here, just people who have no idea what they are talking about.

      1. Joe Saward is saying that the FIA or at least it’s presidente, are more concerned with road safety campaign than with F1.

    9. ColdFly F1 (@)
      11th May 2015, 7:02

      Horner should get over his need to blame Renault for everything.

      Renault was the only engine manufacturer to get all their cars into Q3.
      Ferrari lost half of theirs in Q1, Honda all theirs in Q2, and Mercedes was only able to be boringly average.

      1. Yeah, would have to agree. Renault aren’t all that bad. Sure Ferrari and Mercedes have a slight performance and reliability advantage over Renault, but it’s not the end of the world. The only thing that could affect Renault’s performance is Horner’s constant whining

        On the bright side, Renault is leagues ahead of Honda in every respect. A team like Mclaren would kill for a Renault engine instead of that advanced gp2 PU they are currently working with

      2. @coldfly – It would be wonderful to hear Horner try to explain how the two rookie drivers in STR beat both of his Red Bull cars in qualifying. Especially while using the same Renault engine that is cause of all Red Bull’s problems.

        1. yes and explain why Homer spent 1.2 million on front wings with no gain.
          Homer needs to shut up,
          Renault will get there, its like everything it takes time, Renault have a reputation to protect they sell cars not soft drinks.

    10. Horner out!

      It this was football (or Ferrari…) he’d be on his way by now.

    11. Quite a big difference in how RBR and McLaren are talking about 2015. Would prefer to be in Honda’s shoes instead of Renault. Maybe RedBull IS in the end just a drinks company? And this shows that F1 really needs true F1 teams – like McLaren.

      1. Maybe next year if Honda doesn’t improve you will hear similar stuff from McLaren too. Just a thought…

    12. Lol @ that dumb tweet about DRS. Which tyres were these cars on? Examine your head on that …

      1. @patrickl He made that tweet very early on in the race when everyone was on the same compounds & similar age tyres. And A lot of other fans were complaining about DRS in the live chat on here at the same time.
        In fact DRS was a complaint I saw from a lot of fans yesterday & even the Sky F1 commentators made a comment about it been too much.

    13. @Cotd: I do agree Pirelli is doing a very good job, light years better than what we had with Bridgestone. One should remember that when today a driver chooses to not attack in order to conserve tyres, he is taking a choice he didn´t have with bridgestones when following closely wasn´t possible at all. Furthermore, tyres aren´t the reason following closely is difficult, as this phenomena has been around since the invention of wings and diffusers, throughout multiple generations of tyre history. Tyres are simply modifying that effect to a degree, getting the noses closer to the ground and/or making diffusers smaller would help far more.
      That said, I fail to see how a rule-change to allow the teams to choose their compounds would do any harm. It wouldn´t address major problems either, so I´d just take it as it comes.

      Regarding the major problem being costs: No, it is not. Yes, the major problem is about money, but the top-teams aren´t spending any more than what McHonda and Ferrari did 25 years ago (around half a billion), meaning the costs have not risen along with general inflation at all, they have fallen if you take inflation into account. The problem is team-income, and especially the spread of the income over the field. The teams are lacking sponsorship, be it because F1 isn´t that special “on-the-edge-of-life-and-death” bravery stuff any more (not that I would want it back, but it was a big part of the image F1 had and hasn´t got anymore), and/or be it because F1´s media-strategy has failed to keep F1 in everyone´s eye and thus has decreased the exposure sponsoring an F1-team gives.

      1. @crammond Its true the tyres are not the core reason the cars cannot follow as closely as woudl be ideal (That is as you say down to aero), However the High-Deg nature of these tyres does mean that been in the dirty air is a far bigger problem than it was with the Bridgestones because the tyres are wearing out a lot faster by design & sitting behind another car will do a lot more damage a lot faster to these tyres.

        I personally woudl prefer the tyres to be a bit more durable because there’s just something about seeing situations where 1 car is a defenseless sitting duck because of differences in tyre life which I find really dull to watch. I’d rather see proper racing where drivers can fight & battle without 1 car having a big tyre performance advantages or speed advantages thanks to DRS. The sort or really competitive hard fought for side by side battling which I used to love watching has been lacking in the DRS/Pirelli-Era which is a big part of why my interest’s have been moving elsewhere (WEC for example).

        1. In the bridgestone-era, the dirty-air was a brick wall. When drivers were aproaching 1.5-2 seconds of the car ahead, they weren´t getting any closer, no matter how hard they pushed. There was no hard-fought battling side-by-side, the last time we saw that before the Pirelli´s was the mid-80ies. Now with the Pirellis they can actually do that, we have that kind of battles again (see Vettel-Alonso Silverstone last year as a prime example), and even though they opt out of that to conserve tyres ever so often, that means the option to battle is there. It simply wasn´t there with the bridgestones, they simply couldn´t close the gap no matter how hard they pushed.

          1. There was no hard-fought battling side-by-side, the last time we saw that before the Pirelli´s was the mid-80ies.

            @crammond You obviously missed a lot of racing then because there was plenty of good racing in the Non-Pirelli era’s.

            For example-

            Thats the sort of pure racing I’d love to see come back. No Gimmicks like DRS or High-deg tyres, Just pure racing where closing gaps & overtaking is 100% down to the skill of the drivers rather than artificial speed boost’s or tyres that are designed to fall to bits within 10 laps & be 2 seconds a lap slower or whatever the difference is on that race.

    14. Horner is playing his part well! Someone has to push Renault and as principal of the TEAM it’s his job! Would you rather he kept quite and loose his job once Dietrich pulls the plug? Let him wear his heart on his sleeve as we all love a chap who does that

      1. @mim5 – There is a difference between pushing your partner for better performance and publicly bludgeoning them at every possible chance.

        One thing we know for sure, if and when Renault re-enter F1 as a full team Horner will not be their new team principal.

        In fact, where will Horner have a job in F1 if Red Bull does pull the plug? Does he think his persona is endearing himself to a possible new Audi (or however branded) team? Doubtful.

        1. @bullmello Well Christian has been a highly successful team principal so I’d think Renault or anyone else would consider keeping him.

          One of the main things a team principal has to do is organize the team & ensure everyone is in the best position to best suit there talents & get the best out of them & Christian has been great at doing that.

          1. Lynda, I think you are right that Horner has been a successful team principal and does have a lot of racing experience to bring to the table. That’s why it’s sad to see him acting out this way. He should have grace under fire as well as when things were going well.

            At this rate he may end up being known as the team principal who succeeded mostly because of Adrian Newey. Since Newey has been less involved how has Red Bull fared? Now Red Bull is struggling to do better than the Toro Rosso junior team with two rookie drivers using the same engine.

    15. So 2 of the top 4 teams have already written off 2015. Red Bull due to Renault, and their own incapability to make a great chassis without Newey, and Mclaren for the disastrous PU partnership. Have a feeling that Horner’s not going to be around for Red Bull’s revival, and Honda isn’t going to be in the sport as well.

      Maybe next year we could see a Mclaren Renault?

      1. @todfod How come you name McLaren a “top 4 team”? Aren´t they P9 in constructors?

        1. @crammond
          Sorry, I meant a former top 4 team. Legacy is all Mclaren’s got now

    16. It seems to me that Horner and Marko have been drinking way too much Red Bull…

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