Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2017

Red Bull closing on Ferrari – Horner

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the team has closed on Ferrari heading into the summer break.

Comment of the day

Is the end for the internal combustion engine coming sooner than we think?

I spent part of my evening watching youtube reviews of battery powered chainsaws and lawnmowers. I didn’t even realise such things existed or could work for any sustained period of time but they worked just as well as petrol variants. These weren’t prototypes either. They are commercially available and affordable products running off battery packs similar to what would come with a cordless drill.

Everyone thinks internal combustion won’t die until it is banned in 25 or so years but with the breakneck pace of investment and development in energy storage F1 could be a total anachronism within 10 years. Look how much things have changed since 2007.

F1 may need to go even more hardcore on energy recovery if it is to hang on to the manufacturers.

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On this day in F1

  • Elio de Angelis won the Austrian Grand Prix in a photo-finish with Keke Rosberg today in 1982

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  • 38 comments on “Red Bull closing on Ferrari – Horner”

    1. F1 could be a total anachronism within 10 years

      The whole concept of a human driving a car could be a total anachronism in 10 years as well.

      1. I don’t think so. People have too much faith in technology. Or too much faith in programmers! We still employ pilots on planes – even though the autopilot computer can handle most circumstances of flying the plane.

        The keyword is “most”! When things go wrong with tech, they are remorseless in their mistake! Sensor failures. Programming errors. CPU overheating. Electrical power surge. All can destroy the competence of the computer in a heartbeat.

        I will not be a passenger in a self-driving car.

        1. Self driving cars will come and none of those things you listed are the issues that cause problems… cpu overheating, are you even serious?? The issues are that the onboard cameras do not sometimes recognize things correctly, the cars can’t handle small roads, have trouble with traffic work sites and other unexpected situations and have trouble in harsh weather conditions. Sensors and software need to improve. But electrical issues are no more of an issue than for any other vehicle. Cyber security is also not any more an issue with self driving cars as it is with normal cars. Simply put a self driving car won’t have the same issues as your badly overclocked computer.

          In addition to those there are some big unsolved issues with laws and liability. Who is guilty if self driving car is driving? The passenger or the owner or the car? The infrastructure is not there yet for big boom for self driving cars. One of the big things about self driving cars is that they can basically work like an independant taxi. So people don’t need to own a car. But if nobody owns it then where is it parked? All cars need to be parked somewhere and currently there is no space. Infrastructure is also hurting electric cars already because charging stations and locations are not easily available whereas fuel stations are everywhere.

          Personally I’d much rather sit in self driving car than a human driven car. The self driving cars already out there are performing better than average drivers. It won’t happen in 10 years because the infrastructure change is too big but it will happen.

          1. When computers complete their take over of the affluent world, I will still refuse to have my sexual reproduction powers be substituted for a machine that “performs better” and “reduces the risk”. I’d still prefer to do it myself, thanks.

            Same goes for driving.


        2. Aside from the absurdity of comparing driving a car with landing a plane (yes, there are a LOT less variables and difficulties) the only _real_ barrier to adoption to fully automated travel is, well, people like you.

          This isn’t some sort of insult, it’s just a matter-of-fact statement about human psychology. most people do not trust technology, especially in situations where they are used to being in control.

          Self-driving technology, once fully implemented (and this will require tech both on the cars and on the road) will be invariably safer than human drivers, just like robots have proven more effective and reliable than manufacturing employees for automatable tasks.

          Clearly we are not there yet, but not that far either. I’d give it 15 years before they start picking up, 25 before they are mainstream.

          Now, the big problem, and main reason why it doesn’t happen quite yet… when (not if, when) something happens that where the tech fails, then there will be dead people, and those deaths will be felt, feared, hated exponentially more than the same deaths happening over time due to human drivers. Overall, over both short and long periods of time, the overall number of dead and injured people will be infinitesimal for the automated system compared to the human-run system, but most humans won’t be capable of processing this, they will attack the “killer computer”, rather than realize the computer saved millions of lives.

          Nothing is perfect and not all accidents can be fully prevented all the time, but stating “i will not be a passenger of a self-drive car” demonstrates the worst kind of mental disposition.

          Keep in mind we already have plenty of autonomous vehicles working very well (the metro for instance).

          1. Yeah, that last one is NOT an apt comparison. First rail service in ANY way can not be compared to autonomous vehicle research. College roommates are heavily involved in that now and sorry but the things the last two comments have dismissed ARE huge concerns of theirs. Cars will involve as many checks as aircraft before distribution and possibly will require 6 month update of these checks by professionals to maintain. All systems will likely have to be redundant, something most modern cars do not have, in case of system failures. Before people will accept and trust the operation of something else there, at least in the US and Canada, HAVE to be major assurances of the operational viability of the vehicle. And sorry but the cybersecurity is a HUGE concern of theirs, the ‘hacked’ cars of today you see have NOT been hacked externally. They were inside the car and plugged in to the system to take control. The external sensors may allow access and that is some of the work I have discussed with them and the struggle for a rain adaptive sensor, it’s not going so well yet. Both of my friends have estimated over 25 years before we could see a true self driving network even being constructed and that’s likely to be a downtown cities grid where you park and have to use the system. Ironically the same people backing the systems now were crazy upset at the estimate of millions of unemployed cabbies when the system designers showed how easy it would be to integrate Uber/Lyft/etc in to the system. It also would free up a lot of parking, cars can be rented out during the day for local use while you are at work. Instead of paying for parking you could be paid for your vehicle. Yes, they admit it’s a pipe dream at best and many Americans would be hesitant to rent out their car to strangers.

            Yes, drivers for the most part suck at their task and would rather be doing anything else. But when you actually ask and look at human nature, regardless of age, the acceptance of autodrive is well under 50% on a daily basis. The novelty is loved but if you ask about actually using it, the drop-off is substantial. That’s for ALL age ranges and has been replicated many times. People are not willing to put that large a system, traffic and random movement, in the hands of computers that possibly can not handle the necessary computations to make the system efficient. Running traffic lights and lights have shown to be a much larger and more expensive task than first estimated in many US cities, the full ‘linked optimization’ over individual intersection controls has had struggles. If that barely works, or doesn’t at times, adding more variables in isn’t going to make the system smoother. And that’s a huge portion of Google’s plan integration of cars, lights, traffic flow and the ‘elimination’ of traffic jams.

            And the biggest obstacle from their testing, and yes there are 1000s of autonomous vehicles testing on public roads in the US at any time, the non-autonomous vehicles and human behavior. So far only a few scrapes, one a little more major in northern Virginia, and ALL have been the fault of the human driver. But do you immediately make everyone buy a new car because a TINY minority wants self-driving cars. I buy a car every 12-18 years, purchased one 5 years before self-driving cars come out. Are you going to force me to buy a new vehicle?? I can tell you there is no chance at all that’s happening.

      2. I don’t think what you two are talking about is as close in time as you are suggesting. Of course I do not know what is on the drawing board, and I’m sure what is is inspiring, but I just don’t buy the short time frame being thrown out there.

        Just because they can make autonomous cars doesn’t mean they will be feasible any time soon infrastructurally, nor that everyone will want to go that route. There is going to be a desire to drive and an art to racing cars for years and years.

        Oh they’ll advance well in the next decade with batteries and hybrids, but the culture is going to take several generations to change, and even then it won’t be complete change unless you just won’t be able to buy a car to actually drive. If and when we

        1. …get to that point, there will still be an interesting in watching racers do the art of racing. By then they won’t have to stop and change to cars with fresh batteries halfway, and they might be as fast and run as long as today’s current cars.

          There is nothing yet in an electric lawnmower that is going to cut the 2 and 1/2 acres of grass I cut. Nor a chainsaw that will cut many of the dead-standing trees on my buddy’s property. It’ll come though, but we do have to be careful of the environmental consequences of the making and disposing of the batteries too.

          1. @robbie, with regards to cultural changes, it’s been noted that there is in fact a quite marked change already taking place.

            In the UK, for example, over the past 20 or so years the average mileage that is driven by those under the age of 30 has been falling, and the number of younger people who don’t have licences has been rising, because falling living standards for younger people means that they no longer have the disposable income to afford a car in the first place.

            By contrast, older people – who have seen their living standards and disposable income continue to rise – are driving more: overall, because of that split in behaviour, the number of miles covered by cars per year has remained close to static since the late 1990’s.

            A similar trend has also been observed in the US over the same period, where younger individuals are effectively being priced out of car ownership whilst older individuals are driving more than in the past, resulting in a similar volume of traffic on the roads.

            To somebody in their early 20’s in the UK today, autonomous vehicles may be more attractive because it may be possible to share the usage, and thus the cost, with others, bringing down the overall cost of the cars (i.e. effectively using autonomous cars as more of a bus service than owning it themselves).

            1. @anon That’s fair comment. Similar to here in Southern Ontario, particularly in the Toronto area because housing costs have gotten so high, young people have enough trouble saving for a down payment on a house let alone owning and operating a car. Car dealers have made it easier than ever to buy or lease a car, but there are many other financial pressures too. Ironically the more the cost of living in the city remains a problem, other than for tiny matchbox size condos, the more one has to buy outside of the city, where there is less public transit, and more need for a car. I just think we are not 10 years away from any major changes and it will happen more slowly than that in terms of any real and all encompassing infrastructure changes than can accept autonomous cars along with driving cars. As many people who might find that something they look forward to, there are far many more who want to drive as they have been doing it for so long.

          2. As someone who works in tree care, there are PLENTY of electric chainsaws out there for pruning, bucking and felling trees. As an international company we have tested many of them and have had batteries last with daily use well beyond what the petrol saws did. And expect it to be coming in the UK soon, all we heard was the push for electric saws. Surprisingly more for town noise complaints than petrol use, funny cause the chippers are a whole lot louder than a saw ever was. Even the bat-crap crazy hot saws with a snowmobile engine.

      3. I can’t see motorsport with a human driver vanishing completely, after all we have sports that involve horses.
        The biggest problem F1 faces is its policy of restricting their viewing to a exclusive audience. In contrast, Indy car put their full races onto Youtube, they want to make sure their sport is seen by a wide and appreciative audience. I can’t see F1 merging with a series like Indy car in the next ten years, but how they manage what they’ve got will influence that.

    2. “Gene Haas ‘really depressed’ by size of gap to top F1 teams (Motorsport)”

      Haas, the guy that supported multiple times the completely inequal revenue distribution system, to then complain about the top 3 teams behind too far ahead because:

      “They are also the teams that develop their own engines, transmissions and chassis, so there’s an inherent advantage in doing that”

      Kaltenborn/Vasseur/Mallya, to name a few, must be ‘really depressed’ reading such incoherent non-sense from a team principal…

      1. I dunno, seems like just objective statement of fact, really. He’s basically just saying that you can’t win as a customer team. Though surely this can’t be news to him.

        1. Well he thought other teams that had come before didn’t try hard enough. He benefited from lax rules that allowed customer cars, but has been denied even the Redbull teams, to score lots of points in his 1st year. He then assumed he’d be winning races this year.
          Let’s see how the team fares the next 3 years.

          1. “He then assumed he’d be winning races this year.”

            Here’s an excerpt from a Haas interview in Autoweek:

            What would you like to achieve in 2017?
            “If we can do a little bit better because our business model in Formula 1 allows us to operate more efficiently, we might be able to move up a position or two.”

            I can’t recall ever reading anywhere that anyone involved with Haas F1, certainly not Haas himself, had designs on winning races in 2017.

            Read more:

            1. @schooner, as you say, I can’t recall Haas making any comments about winning races in 2017 – indeed, when he first announced his bid to enter F1, he said that his main objective was to simply ensure that his team had a solid enough financial foundation to still be on the grid in five years time, whilst noting that it took far longer than that before he started winning races in NASCAR.

    3. Again Abiteboul is a really bad professional. What benefit do you get for publicly criticise your engineers. Installation problems are unacceptable and frustrating, surely that has to be the reason why Palmer has had many more issues than Hulk but that’s also an internal problem, one that’s the Abiteboul’s responsibility.

      “That also multiplies the operation and has been very difficult for the engine guys, who also – with all the operations we have done – happen to make some finger mistakes.

      “On the chassis side, we [the Renault works team] have also had a couple of reliability issues – the last one being Jo’s [Jolyon Palmer] installation lap in Silverstone, which was unrelated to the engine. It was a power assist system, and that’s a big frustration.

      “I’m putting that down to the fact that it is a team that is young. We have had a lot of turnover in the mechanics, a lot of turnover at the factory.

      “People are getting experience and for me lack of quality is lack of experience.”

      Cyril doesn’t have a lack of experience, he has a lack of quality, he’s not qualified to do his job.

      1. @peartree
        “lack of quality…” I might have to steal that line occasionally.

        He should understand that quality control in the garage wins races. I’d love to hear more about how top teams manage engine swaps and other major tasks.

      2. Agreed, Cyril has never struck as the right type individual to run an F1 team. He appears to be more well suited to a corporate type job, certainly not on the pitwall.

      3. I made a comment about this in the Kubica article also, Cyril is making the entire Renault manufacturer backed operation look less than respectable. He and Palmer need to vacate asap.

      4. Great line.

        Cyril also seems to think that we’re going to just accept what he says. He’s trying to suggest that they changed their engine over the winter break and didn’t have enough time to get it right.

        Really???? Surely, especially since their PU’s in 2014, 2015 & 2016 were dogs, they would have been working on the 2017 concept from shortly after the start of the 2016 season.

        You can bet your ass that Mercedes are already well down the track of developing their 2018 PU or at least have all their conceptual designs completed.

        Renault seems to want to be called a “manufacturer” without putting the time effort and resources in to it. They continue to be fortunate that they’ve escape criticism because Honda has been so poor but if Honda suddenly jumps forward they are going to be really exposed and people are starting to notice.

        1. He’s only fronted disasters. First he got a job at Caterham, then he was among RB when he got into a public war with the team that left RB running badged engines and now he gets a job at Renault and look at what Cyril has achieved in their 2nd season.

    4. I’m very disappointed in Haas. Purists complain about Halo, louder engines, DRS, tyres, dirty air. NO. Teams like Haas are the fundamental cause of why all these inventions keep getting implemented.
      Do people seriously believe that the guy with $250m in net worth that is known for winning the Nascar Cup twice, being the sole stakeholder of the largest machine tool manufacturer in the U.S, and serving 16 months in prison after being arrested for things like for example… witness intimidation or false tax returns (just to name a few), went into F1 unprepared of the even higher budgets and inequalities back then?

      He is just being used as puppet for Ferrari. His team was already one, if you remember, he allowed Ferrari to bend the rules by using his team – or more infamous his wind-tunnel – as an illegal (well… allowed by FIA as the loophole wasn’t forbidden) testing location while denying that he was Ferrari’s second team. That specific Wind-tunnel all the way in North Carolina was even banned by the FIA for example for 2 years from 2008 to 2010 (because forcing the teams to have a maximum of 4 visits wasn’t enough to show you powerful this thing was).

      Every now and then he says things which suit Ferrari well, every month you see some stuff. Oh boring F1 weekend and Red-Bull/Verstappen/McLaren fans complain about too big gaps? Suddenly Gene has some article in which Ferrari should keep their historic prize allocation. It’s fine business. But a disgraceful way to ruin integrity of a sport.
      These kind of business philosophies are guilty for the greed that corrupted F1. It is one of the reasons we don’t have much more equal teams like in 2012, or 30 drivers who weren’t rich or needed to have big business backing, like how Lauda got into the sport. Isn’t it weird that in a more natural and equal class like Indycar the last 3 Indy 500 winners are labelled unsuccessful or crazy former F1 drivers?

      Gene’s team inflates a market which needs revolution but instead drives competitors to either get out and just day-trade a F1 company as stock (Sauber) or just leave the sport and don’t ever come back regardless of the Euro crises because 10th place gets you nothing (Manor) or become a sister team and just help Ferrari widen their advantage at Mercedes’ sister teams = Mercedes & Renault do the same = so Gene is actually preserving the status-quo in F1 in budgets by going with it.

      Now people ask reading this long post: So why does it matter?
      F1 is more broke then most people think as there are just 3 completely independent teams. All the others are de facto sister teams. RB can’t escape from Renault after being their works teams for years, Willams won’t ever win the WDC again and without the PU they would’ve been behind Sauber(!) last few races and poor McLaren (read up some reasons as to who pressured Ron Dennis) has a vital 100m deal with Honda with no other team wanting to help them recover.
      His team is one of the iconic symptoms as to why the EU investigation should severely punish some elements within F1 into oblivion.

      1. What inventions are you talking about? Almost everything you mention was around before Haas ever arrived on the scene.

      2. Idk why but there always seems to be a lot of hate for the Americans. Don’t get why bc Haas has done nothing but good for the sport of F1. It shows that if you do it right a team can come in and be competitive unlike the last 4 new teams who couldn’t get out of their own way. It’s understandable to be sad over the gap but he isn’t complaining. He just is speaking the obvious. He knew this going in. Also you state a lot of stuff that is crazy and don’t know how you came up with it. When haas came to f1 he wasn’t just there bc of Ferrari. They searched around for the best deal. Also what inventions would you be talking about? It’s a team that’s been around for 2 years so they have nothing to do with almost any inventions pushed forward in F1. They arnt a puppet to no one bc if they were they would still have the driver line up Ferrari would have liked but they went with skill over pay drivers. Last year they deff had some help in the aero bc a lot of their old guys worked there. The FIA looked in to the wind tunnel stuff and found no foul play so mark that off your list. Also this years car has almost zero Ferrari in it. Also you wanna talk about genes tax issue but what’s that have to do with F1? He isn’t running as a fugitive for owing millions of dollars like VJ is. He was a man and fixed it. Haas is something F1 needed. Someone to show it can be done as a mid field team. So honestly I don’t get why you would be going on a big fit over a great new addition to F1. Anyone else agree with me? Oh and by the way the drivers he has are great drivers. RG has been a new driver for yours and not his old self so you can’t say he is crazy. Anyways this shocked me to read and I hope others back me up on this

        1. He did not mention america or americans even once…

      3. Oh and before you say it I a HAAS fan but I’m replying in a very middle of the road way. I just don’t get it and like the guy above what inventions are you talking about? They have done nothing. Oh and of course they want to try and help Ferrari keep their money Bc Ferrari gives them a big discount. It’s only smart business

        1. I’ve noticed that, too, regarding the Americans. It seems like NASCAR and Indycar are always the go-to series when an insult is desired. I’ve yet to see someone single out DTM, V8 supercars, Super Formula or other series as examples of what they don’t want F1 to be or as the playground of drivers who weren’t talented enough to be in F1.

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            15th August 2017, 9:24

            It’s just petty ignorance from people who spend too much of their lives arguing on YouTube.

            1. Hate for Americans: you elected Trump. Case closed.

            2. For CarWars — so it’s OK to hate a whole group of people based on what some of them have done? You sound like a Trump supporter yourself.

    5. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      15th August 2017, 8:39

      I suspect with the way technology is going there will reach a point in the next 20 years where F1 will become a ‘drivers series’ focused around entertainment and a bit of escapism. Possibly something like the Indy Car mould but with teams able to design their own chassis. Technology overtook the speed we were willing to let racing cars travel at 30 years ago and this is the ultimate problem with F1. The paradox between designing new technology and letting engineers loose but also within a finite safe lap time, all the while trying to force the competition to be close. There will come a time when it just isn’t viable anymore, combined with a safer greener electric world, F1 may just have to become some old fashioned entertainment. Prophecy of the day.

    6. I’m glad Mr. Haas has eventually realised that he’s competing in Formula 1.

    7. I keep wondering what planet Christian Littlefinger Horner lives on.

      (between Montreal and Silverstone) Ferrari have only outscored us by two points

      I’m all for optimism, but this is a prime example for a bikini stat (looks suggestive, but hides what is essential)
      – It conveniently ignores the Hungarian GP, where Ferrari were miles ahead and scored a deserved one-two.
      – Canada was by no means representative of Ferrari’s performance (Vettel with an overlooked front wing damage, Räikkönen with BBW issues)
      – Baku was by no means representative of Ferrari’s performance (Räikkönen’s race ruined by Bottas and debris, Vettel’s 4th place didn’t really have anything to do with how fast he was in the race, which sums up the entire race result, not least Ricciardo’s win …)
      – Silverstone was by no means representative of Ferrari’s performance (tyre failures that promoted both Red Bulls up the ranks, while costing Vettel dearly).

      In short, Horner arbitrarily picks a sample of four races (ignoring the latest race because it’d lend itself to unflattering conclusions), conveniently leaving out a Ferrari one-two before the start of his sample (Monaco) and after it (Hungary), a sample that is, among other aspects, characterised by the fact that Ferrari only had one ‘normal’ race (Austria), while Red Bull regularly benefitted from their bad luck and/or other shortcomings that had nothing to do with the cars’ performance, culminating in Ricciardo’s ludicrously lucky win in Baku.

      What does this really tell us? That Horner had to be extremely creative, not to say disingenuous (he likes using this word a lot, which I’ve come to think is a prime example of psychological projection), to find a completely arbitrary string of races in which Ferrari’s results were atypically bad, and Red Bull’s atypically good. And even in this maximally contrived selection, Ferrari still managed to outscore Red Bull.

      Therefore, the real conclusion is not: “Ferrari have only outscored us by two points”. The real conclusion would be: “Even if we look at their worst and our best stretch so far, they still outscore us”, which sums up the situation Red Bull are in.

      1. Horner littlefinger that’s good but also flattering, these types of articles are mainstream media way of managing the summer break.

      2. Horner talking in fairness to Max Verstappen, not to the press. He fear Max want leave for a more competitive car and tries convince/illude him RB is gaining position in the rank.. simply.

    8. I think it is understandable that Gene Haas is feeling a bit left out, after all the front running teams will get paid vastly more than his team will in the TV rights payout for last year. He has my sympathy, but he should have been aware of F1’s team payout policy as it hasn’t changed for a long time.
      I did look at this earlier this week and Force India seem to be “punching above their weight” in terms of performance verses F1 TV rights payout, so maybe Gene needs to study their business model.

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