F1 2019: Red Bull, Renault furious about car changes, Liberty Media


After the 2018 season they were at each other’s throats, but Renault and Red Bull finally have something to agree about.

Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault opened up plenty of opportunities for the teams to lay into each other at any opportunity but the 2019 changes have sparked a furious agreement.

Both teams have aimed their aggression at Formula 1 owner Liberty Media.

F1 have had to rebuild their cars to meet a host of new regulations for the 2019 season aimed at increasing opportunities for closer racing and overtaking.

The new aerodynamic regulations include a simplified front wing, simplified front brake duct and a wider and deeper rear wing.

The rules were brought in regarding how difficult it is to follow other cars under the current specs, but some of the teams have been less than thrilled.

At last years’ Spanish GP, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner slammed the decision as “rushed” and said costs would spiral.

After spending $AU24 million in development to adhere to the new aero rules, Horner is still of the same opinion, calling the rules a “mistake” and said he expects no difference in the quality of the F1 except extra tinkering early in the year.

“I think they would even accept that it was probably a mistake to rush through this front wing change for this year,” Horner told Motorsport.com.

“They have cherry picked something in isolation off a future concept for 2021, and rushed it through onto the current car.

“Like with all these things, there is no silver bullet. It has to be everything working in harmony with everything else.

“Just taking a front wing and saying that will make racing better, it is quite a naive and ultimately expensive approach. And of course the burden of that expense is on the teams.”

The changes came through after the Melbourne Grand Prix was criticised for a lack of overtaking.

Horner blames the circuit rather than the cars.

“I think the race in Australia will be exactly the same,” he said. “The problem isn’t the car so much in Australia, it is the circuit.

“You don’t have any big stop braking zones into a slow corner in Australia, so unless you have a significant speed differential between the cars, overtaking there is damn nigh impossible.

“That has been the same for years. It is not unique to this set of car regulations. It is a great place to go to, a great venue, but as a circuit it has its limitations in providing good racing.”

Renault’s executive director Marcin Budkowski backed Horner’s take.

“We think it will go in the right direction a little bit, but we don’t think it’s going to make a significant change,” he told Crash.net.

“In the data I see at the moment, I don’t see a massive difference.

“Overall we were against this regulation change. Initially we voted against it.

“We made that public at the time because we didn’t believe it was going to reach the objectives that it was set to reach, which is to ease overtaking.

“We felt it was a lot of resources and a lot of money. A lot of last minute work that had to be done for a very unclear objective.”

The F1’s director of motorsports Ross Brawn said the move would look to address the issue of “dirty air” from cars in front causing turbulence and the changes would make a 20 per cent improvement of the racing spectacle.

“On paper it is the right direction, and some of the work that’s happening for 2021 is along a similar line,” he said.

“The difference is going to be smaller in terms of aerodynamic performance. Whether that is actually going to translate onto the track into easier overtaking and easier following — in our opinion it’s going to be fairly small.

“If that’s not the case and suddenly we have lots of close following and overtaking then great, we will be happy about that.”

While Renault and Red Bull are in agreement about their anger, it appears Ferrari and Mercedes are still positive about the move.

In December, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the move was a 50-50 decision for the team to back the controversial change.

He also said it could change the F1 world order.

Ferrari chief technical officer Mattia Binotto said his team thought it was the “right choice” and a “game changer”.

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