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Horner calls for restriction on engine qualifying modes

NEWS STORY
27/03/2018

The qualifying mode that saw Lewis Hamilton take pole position for the season opening Australian Grand Prix, left Daniel Ricciardo devoid of his usual ever-present grin.

"That sucks," said the Australian. "It's frustrating, because everyone else wants to see them get challenged a bit more, so that was a little bit of a punch in the stomach to everyone."

Indeed, the so-called 'party mode' left rivals teams feeling there was precious little to celebrate.

It comes as no surprise therefore to hear Christian Horner become one of the first to call for a restriction on the qualifying modes that allow Mercedes to consistently raise the benchmark ever higher.

Indeed, the Briton is calling for engine modes to be included in parc ferme conditions at the start of qualifying, thereby preventing teams using them to ramp up the power over the course of the session.

"You have parc ferme when the cars leave for qualifying," he told Sky Sports, "maybe engine modes should be the same from the moment you leave the garage to the end of the grand prix.

"Lewis' time came predominantly between Q2 and Q3," he added. "They have a qualy mode that they don't need to use in the earlier parts of qualifying, because why stress the engine?"

Ignoring the fact that last month the FIA issued a directive aimed at ensuring customer teams have engine performance parity with works teams, Horner points to the obvious disparity between the Renault engine and its rivals.

"You only have to look at Saturday's speed traps where all the Renault engines were grouped together with varying amounts of downforce on the car," he said. "That is where we need to make progress.

"There are bits in the pipeline," he added. "Renault are not divulging everything that they're up to but it's certainly something that we're pushing for."

Though Max Verstappen was 0.715s down on Hamilton in qualifying and Ricciardo 0.988s, the Australian went on to post the fastest lap of the race.

"We got one lap in clean air in the grand prix to judge our pace on which Daniel set the fastest lap," said Horner. "I think we have a quick race car, it's just unfortunate on this track not to be able to use it.

"Taking the positives out of the weekend, it's the first time in the hybrid era we have got two cars to the finish. We got the fastest lap of the race, and that wasn't through putting a set of ultrasofts on, it was genuine pace. I think we have a quick race car.

"The negative for us is still the deficit in qualifying," he concluded. "The party mode... we'd like to go to Lewis' party."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by C5, 29/03/2018 6:53

"@Rob - I think what Horner is referring to is, that it's the first time in the hybrid era Red Bull have both cars finish the *Australian* GP."

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2. Posted by Redphyve, 28/03/2018 13:11

"Christian

Don't be jealous of other children's toys. You get your daddy to buy you some toys of your own. Stop whining. When you had better toys than the others I didn't see you trying to share.

Play nice now with the other children

Ps I use the children and toys analogy beacause that what you all are. Children.
"

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3. Posted by Rob, 28/03/2018 11:00

"What is "it's the first time in the hybrid era we have got two cars to the finish" all about?"

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4. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 28/03/2018 7:59

"Agree with Red5 comments, at the end of the day Mercedes are just doing a far better job than the rest."

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5. Posted by mds167, 27/03/2018 20:29

""You have parc ferme when the cars leave for qualifying," he told Sky Sports, "maybe engine modes should be the same from the moment you leave the garage to the end of the grand prix.
I agree with this, regardless of who said it or why.
Or, if the engine can be manipulated, it should be by the driver with no comfort blanket, no ‘can I have more?’ Or ‘which mode can I have?’ If they blow it up, so be it.
No engine limits per season but a fine per engine loss paid by the team - a percentage of their budget so there is parity across teams. But then, what if customers were given ‘weaker’ engines?
No, I’m back to square one - keep it simple - one mode.


"

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6. Posted by Stitch431, 27/03/2018 19:11

"Horner says this in his own interest, but I bet the other Mercedes team like Force India and Williams do not have this party mode and that would be a breach of the rule that Mercedes has to deliver the same performance also for their clients. However they seem to get away with this, the same way Ferrari gets away with a lot more than others on track. Therefore it would be great not only to have a rule book but also a book where the penalties are set in advance and not given halfheartedly afterwards, where they first seem to look who is the culprit... Is it Vettel in a Ferrari (Baku)? he is not getting more than a repromand. Is it Versappen in a Red Bull, he is sure to get a heavier penalty than the others (remember Mexico, where he was punished for the same mistake both Lewis and Nico were not punished for at the start of the race). This should not be possible on such a high level ..."

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7. Posted by Red5, 27/03/2018 18:57

"Horner really is a pathetic sad little man. If Mercedes decide that they want to crank up the power for a short blast and risk some reliability, that's their decision. If Hamilton's engine pops at some stage you can be sure Horner will be in party mode.

Of course if Renault, sorry...Tag Heuer, had this mode it would be fine - it would be "Gives you Wings" mode or something..."

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