Formula 1 | Horner doesn’t believe Mercedes F1 deliberately broke the rules

Just as it is clear that Lewis Hamilton’s rear wing in Friday qualifying was illegal according to official FIA rules, so it is clear that Mercedes did not attempt to « deliberately » violate regulations in order to have any performance advantage in straights.

This, it is not just the FIA ​​which affirmed it, in its official press release: but Red Bull itself.

« I’m sure it wasn’t » Christian Horner replies when asked if the offense was intentional. The Milton Keynes manager also remembers a similar disqualification of the two Red Bulls at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“People don’t design things to break the rules, because that would obviously be illegal. « 

“This is the only conclusion the commissioners were able to reach. In this situation, it’s black or white. « 

Clearly, continues Christian Horner, this is what happens when we want (in good faith) to push the limits of the regulations: sometimes, we exceed these limits …

“Engineers will always push the limits of the regulations. If you look at them it’s like an encyclopedia so you have to try to translate and interpret it. Engineers will always push the limits and we’ve seen that this year; we were challenged, and Mercedes was challenged. « 

“And it gives the FIA ​​a headache because they have to control it. « 

What could happen to Mercedes could one day happen to Red Bull … but Christian Horner remains confident.

“It’s been like that for eight or ten years, whatever, so they’ve been tested I think three or four times in the last four races. « 

“So what happened happened. It is and we certainly do not dwell on it. We are very focused on ourselves. I am glad that it is not us who are in this situation. « 

It was Red Bull who indirectly pointed the attention of the FIA ​​to the rear wing of the Mercedes (but not specifically to the offending DRS). For Christian Horner, it’s fair game.

“If we weren’t pushing, we wouldn’t be doing our job. It’s a competition, you have to push in all areas and look, we get it back with interest the other way around. « 

“And it shows that Mercedes is at the limit. They are being pushed to the limit this year and it’s great. We take advantage of it, we have worked hard to get to this position but we can only control what we do. « 

The new engine, the most important and powerful factor in the straights?

Without this illegal DRS flap, could Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes still be very fast on the straights? The sprint qualifiers have shown that it is; what does Christian Horner think? According to him, it is above all the effect of the new thermal engine on the Briton’s car that plays a role.

“I don’t know, it wouldn’t be massive, it would be progressive. « 

“But there is a test he has to pass. I don’t think that was what made the difference for pole or not yesterday (during qualifying on Friday, note). I think they have a huge straight line speed, they put in a new engine and we know they’re pretty powerful when they’re new and they degrade as they go, so they did. For a reason. « 

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