F1: Horner throws down gauntlet, makes bombshell claims on FIA, Mercedes
- Horner has suggested the new FIA Technical Directive is 'overtly biased to sorting one team’s problems out'
- Merc tested a secondary floor stay at FP1 & 2 at Montreal, which raised eyebrows in the paddock
- Horner appeared to suggest there might be some under-the-table communication between FIA and Merc
Red Bull chief Christian Horner has launched a thinly veiled dig at Mercedes and the FIA, claiming that the FIA’s call to allow teams to run a secondary floor stay is “overtly biased to sorting one team’s problems out”, also hinting that rivals Mercedes may have been privy to specific insider information that had not been shared with the other teams by the FIA.
Mercedes has perhaps been the team worst affected by the phenomenon of propoising and bouncing, and its 2022 car- the W13, has given its drivers a harrowing time with the degree and frequency of violent vertical oscillations leaving Hamilton in particular out of sorts and having to deal with back and neck pain.
Also read: F1: Winners and losers from the Canadian GP
The FIA came up with some short-term measures via a technical directive issued shortly before the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, and one of those measures included permitting the use of secondary floor stays.
In spite of this very late communication, Mercedes, unlike any other team, managed to bring in and experiment with a secondary floor stay in Canada- testing it out in FP 1 and FP 2, and Horner was quick to smell a rat.
Horner said, “What was particularly disappointing was the second stay because that has to be discussed in a technical forum.”
“And that is overtly biased to sorting one team’s problems out, which were the only team that turned up here with it even in advance of the Technical Directive.”
“So, work that one out,” he slyly suggested, hinting that there might be some unscrupulous communication between the governing body and Merc.
While the Mercedes drivers and Wolff have spearheaded calls for immediate changes on the grounds that the current rules and regulations might expose drivers to both short-term as well as long-term health hazards, other teams have scoffed at these suggestions, seeing this lobbying as nothing more than attempts to use these issues to bring about a rules change in order to see a change in fortunes for Mercedes and their floundering W13 car.
“The issue with Mercedes is more severe than any other car,” said Horner. “That surely is down to the team, that’s within their control to deal with that."
“It’s not affecting others. I know they’ve said that other drivers have been complaining, our drivers have never complained ever about porpoising.
“Certainly, we haven’t had an issue with bouncing.”
Horner is convinced that the issues plaguing the W13 are nothing more than conceptual and design issues rather than wider issues with the overall regulations per se and feels that the FIA should stick to just disqualifying any potentially unsafe cars.
“You can’t just suddenly change technical regulations halfway through a season,” said Horner.
“If a car is dangerous, a team shouldn’t field it. It has that choice."
“Or the FIA if they feel an individual car is dangerous they always have a black flag at their disposal,” said Horner who was clearly not in a magnanimous mood.
Like Red Bull, Ferrari are completely against any mid-season regulation changes. This is because with the technical directive of a bouncing limit being imposed, it might force the Italian team to raise the height of its cars, which would all but extinguish its already vulnerable title ambitions.
This matter is said to have been discussed in a meeting of all the team principals this Saturday, and Toto Wolff apparently minced no words in that meeting expressing his displeasure at the inaction and pushback against the rule changes from the other team bosses.
This clearly left Christian Horner quite amused, who chuckled: “I think there was an element of theatre going on in that meeting.
“Maybe with Lewis’s new movie coming along, he (Wolff) is getting a role for it!”
One person who will definitely not be starring in Hamilton's upcoming movie is Christian Horner!