After four consecutive seasons of winning the constructors’ and driver F1 titles, the fact that Christian Horner is bemoaning the current Mercedes dominance appears rather surreal. Horner argues that Red Bull and Vettel’s four-year dominance of the sport was different from the position Mercedes now find themselves in.
“I think that predictable and serial results, serial winning, is difficult for any sport,” said Horner. “We were accused of it but we never enjoyed the continuation of success or longevity of success. Two of our world championships went to the last race and we never ever finished 1-2 in a world championship, and I think that inevitably with that kind of predictabilty, people get turned off and it needs a re-jig to bring it closer together”.
Given the fact that Mercedes are just two years into their ‘dominance’ and that the title in 2014 went to the last race of the season, Horner’s top line comparison between Red Bull’s success and that of Mercedes is just wrong.
Spice boy then waxes lyrical over the ‘great’ drivers currently in the sport and whether their current teams are affording them the opportunities they deserve. “I don’t think anyone wants to see Fernando Alonso just taking part, we want to see him competing, we want to see Daniel Ricciardo competing, we want to see Sebastian Vettel competing against Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg”.
The reality is that Red Bull Racing have never given a hoot about ‘great’ drivers, their focus is on bringing through the likes of Vettel and Ricciardo through the young driver programme. Platitudes about long standing senior F1 race drivers are not something Red Bull can honestly speak about from experience.
Ten FOTA teams wrote to the FIA expressing their dismay about the lack of cost control for the new V6 Turbo Hybrid era – but Red Bull had decided to leave that collective of FOTA, because Bernie Ecclestone provided them with a pot of gold beyond anything they deserved – the price being that Red Bull immediately sign a bi-lateral agreement with FOM.
Ironically Horner continues his attack on his fellow competitors lack of desire for real competition: “The teams will never achieve that, because there is far too much self interest, and you cannot expect the teams to achieve that. That is for the regulator, and the governing body, to come up with a set of rules that achieves those objectives.” Cute… Christian, given Red Bull Racing’s propensity to pursue self interest at every opportunity.
Is Formula One in crisis? Christian thinks not. “Crisis is a strong word. There are things that need sorting out for the future. We need strong leadership at any time of uncertainty. That is vitally important and we need strong leadership from the commercial rights holder [Bernie Ecclestone] and the governing body, to plot the path of the future that addresses what the fans need and what the fans want to see”.
From many who work within Formula One, TJ13 has been repeatedly presented with the view that F1 is held together by string and sticky plaster – which is ridiculous for a multi billion pound revenue sport. However, until there is a clean sweep of those whose pathetic attempts to run Formula One fail year in year out – nothing will change and the same old mantra’s will be spouted ad nauseaum.