• Australian GP

Horner calls on FIA to rein in Mercedes

Laurence Edmondson in Melbourne March 15, 2015 « Raikkonen laments missed podium | Vettel mocks Rosberg over post-race comments »
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has called on the FIA to rein in Mercedes' advantage over the rest of the field after admitting Renault had a 100bhp deficit to the world champions at the Australian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished half a minute ahead of the rest of the field, with Red Bull struggling for power, driveability and reliability from Renault's updated engine. Ahead of the engine regulation changes that set Mercedes on its way last year, Red Bull won four consecutive world championships making Horner's position seem somewhat hypocritical. However, he claims his team faced far more regulatory hurdles than the current champions.

"When we were winning, and we were never winning to the advantage that they have, I remember that double diffusers were banned, exhausts were moved, flexible bodywork was prohibited, engine mapping mid-season was changed … anything was done, and that wasn't just unique to Red Bull but Williams in previous years and McLaren etc. Is it healthy to have this situation? The FIA, within the rules, have an equalisation mechanism and I think it is perhaps something we need to look at."

To emphasise the gap to Mercedes, Horner said: "We're probably 100bhp down on Mercedes at the moment.

"It's been a tough weekend and a very tough weekend for Renault. The engine is quite undriveable and you can see and hear that from the comments that the drivers are making. The clear evidence was at the start when Daniel got a pretty reasonable start before drivability came in and you can see the holes that are in the power delivery."

Asked what would happen if Mercedes dominance is allowed to continue, Horner added: "I would fear the interest will wane. I didn't see Mercedes much on the TV this afternoon and I can only imagine that's because it's not interesting watching a precession and the producer was looking to pick out other battles in the race. There wasn't that many cars out there! The highlight for me was to see Arnie on the podium!"

Horner said there is no magic bullet to catch up to Mercedes but believes the problems that McLaren-Honda and Manor faced this weekend are proof that something is wrong.

"I think they have a very reliable and a very together car. The power unit is so complicated. Looking at a company the size of Honda and the preparation time they've had, to come here and be so far off the pace at the back of the grid - it demonstrates how hard it is. Maybe these things are just too complicated. We've made life complicated and off the back of that is cost and off the back of that is why teams are in trouble - Manor couldn't even start their car. How right is that?

"The FIA have a torque sensor on every engine and they have a power output that they can see what every power unit is producing. They have the facts, they have that, and they could quite easily come up with some form of equalisation."

Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1

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Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1 Laurence Edmondson grew up on a Sunday afternoon diet of Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell and first stepped in the paddock as a Bridgestone competition finalist in 2005. He worked for ITV-F1 after graduating from university and has been ESPNF1's deputy editor since 2010