May 12 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Christian Horner has leapt to the defence of Red Bull’s drivers.
Amid the Renault-powered former champions’ deep crisis, team official Dr Helmut Marko warned Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat after the Spanish grand prix to “look out”.
“Paradoxically, the more inexperienced ones did the better job,” he said, referring to the sensational rookie pairing of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz over the Barcelona weekend.
The implication is that Red Bull might now be badly missing the input of its Ferrari-departed quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel.
Would Red Bull have been able to avoid its current crisis if the German was still at the wheel?
“No, not at all,” team boss Horner insists to Kleine Zeitung newspaper.
“Sebastian could not have done much with the car we have at the moment either. We also can’t forget that Daniel showed well enough last year what he can do.
“The drivers are not our problem. Our real problems are car handling and power,” the Briton, who will marry former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell on Friday, added.
As far as Red Bull is concerned, another big problem at present are the F1 rules.
They will be discussed on Thursday during a crucial meeting of the Strategy Group, which will also vote on the proposal to increase this year’s engine allocation from four to five ‘power units’ per driver.
“You know that I’m not allowed to talk about that. The content of those meetings is secret,” Horner is quoted by Speed Week.
“So maybe you should ask Toto (Wolff) instead.”
Horner’s biting jibe aimed at the Mercedes chief could be because Wolff and Niki Lauda have been openly talking to the media about the ‘fifth engine’ proposal.
Wolff has also been talking about other potential rule tweaks for the future that will be discussed at Biggin Hill on Thursday.
“We want to bring the costs under control for the small and the big teams,” he told APA news agency, “and still have a set of attractive regulations.
“We want cars with plenty of power, spectacular races and faster laptimes.”
Asked if Mercedes is prepared to give up some of its current dominance for those things and the good of F1, Wolff answered: “You have to keep reinventing F1 and improve the product for the fans.”