Red Bull threatens to quit…yeah, so did Mercedes

Well, here we go again. I see two arguments over very similar things. First Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the FIA might take a look at equalizing the grid just like they did to RBR, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in the past and the interweb goes ballistic about his being a crybaby. Fair enough, you feel Red Bull was hobbled by the FIA because they were known cheaters and everything the FIA did was due to them cheating—never mind their front wing passed every test the FIA did and they even upped the load of the test and it still passed.

Now Dr. Helmut Marko Marko Helmut says that Red Bull may take a long look at their investment in F1 given the domination by Mercedes—and this isn’t Red Bull type domination, this is a completely new level of awesomeness that Mercedes has performed.

“We will evaluate the situation again [in the summer] as every year and look into costs and revenues,” Marko told Austrian media in Melbourne.

“If we are totally dissatisfied we could contemplate an F1 exit.

“Yes, the danger is there that Mr. Mateschitz loses his passion for F1.”

Again, the interweb goes crazy with caustic 140 character quips about Red Bull and how they can just go off and die somewhere. Really? It was just a couple dozen months ago when Mercedes was struggling, running mid-field and threatening to leave the sport if the FIA didn’t immediately change the entire playing field to a hybrid format (which the German company had been beavering away at) and they even had a confidant in, of all people, French lump maker Renault.

That’s cool? No harm there? Their whining about the social responsibility and road relevancy begat the hybrids that put HRT, Caterham and Marussia out of business and now has Lotus, Sauber and Force India making payday loans with F1 and that is perfectly fine? Threatening to quit F1 on the heels of the mass exodus of Toyota, Honda and BMW wasn’t a heavy-handed move to get F1 to comply with your future galactic investment in the series? You recall Mr. E and his special meetings with Ross Brawn to get Merc happy?

You see, the mobocracy is really tedious and I’m reminded of Captain Beatty’s monologue in Farenheit 451 to Montag:

“Speed up the film, Montag, quick… Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline!… Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!”

Let’s avoid the bravery of being out of range for a moment and look at Red Bull’s investment and why they invest. They, like Mercedes, have an agenda and while I am not for hobbling Mercedes as long as their kit is legit, I do understand that Red Bull may find the playing field somewhat unfair as I’ve seen little or no blowback from fans regarding the processional racing and marginalization of Mercedes, Nico or Lewis’s winning in a dominant car. It seems people are elated with what’s going on when just a little more than 13 months ago, they were threatening to leave F1 forever due to Red Bull’s dominance.

There was a day in F1 when the mob did not rule and the rules were applied without malice or bias but with the intent of creating a better product. Sure, those days may be gone but does the integrity of Red Bull or Mercedes or the FIA have to be thrown out the window too?

Let’s be measured on what we’re doing here and think this through. The proposed 2017 changes are not far away but perhaps the series should re-consider a 2016 change for everyone’s sake? If the series is moving to an entirely new format in 2017, then let’s not continue the current spec development program as if it is remaining until 2020. Let’s advance the development for the final year on this spec (2016) and allow full development of the engines for the final year of the format. Let the hounds run!


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Yep… I agree with the comments in the podcast… If the regs are going to change for 2017 I think that the all the remaining tokens (by that I mean through to the 2020 limit) should be given to the engine manufactures to use between now and the end on 2016. Let them go for it and let the games begin. At the end of the day things appear to be out of Red Bulls hands right now. They can handle the aero but they can do nothing about the 100+ bhp deficit that they are facing. You can understand… Read more »


Be careful what you wish for. By 2020 most of the power unit is frozen, so the opportunity to spend those tokens is extremely limited. By the performance really will be baked in. Currently there is still a significant amount of the power unit that can be changed. Both Renault and Ferrari seem to want to make their changes slowly, so I don’t know that speeding up the rate at which tokens can be used (and parts of the power unit frozen) will help them catch up.


I was only suggesting that the speed of token spend should increase if there is going to be major power unit regulation changes in 2017. If there isn’t then probabley should be a steady as she goes situation