Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Sochi Autodrom, 2016

Red Bull “biggest beneficiary” from 2017 rules

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In the round-up: Red Bull stand to gain the most from F1’s new rules package for 2017, according to Helmut Marko.

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Is it time for Red Bull to look beyond their young driver programme in search of their next hire?

This could be the time to go outside the Red Bull driver program and get Alexander Rossi. Since John Booth gave Rossi a chance to drive the Manor car last year, then it won’t hurt Toro Rosso to check him out.

Let Rossi stick it out with Manor this year and evaluate the option into giving him the Toro Rosso ride in 2017.


Porsche 919, World Endurance Championship, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016
Porsche 919, World Endurance Championship, Spa-Francorchamps, 2016

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  • 65 comments on “Red Bull “biggest beneficiary” from 2017 rules”

    1. gosh, you mean that the team who is supposed to be miles in front in terms of aero than anyone else will benefit more than anyone else in a ruleset that puts aero performance at the forefront, what a surprise

      1. Mustavo Gaia
        7th May 2016, 0:32

        Let’s just sleep on it for five years.
        Until then F1 will have abandoned this aero-based concept or the public will definitely abandoned F1 – in any case, in five years we will not care about it at all.
        One can hear a motor and see a tire burning. Unless one can see air, this concept is doomed and damned.

        1. You can see air because aerodynamics make the car look different. You can’t see the engines and it is rare to even hear a difference. And with aero everyone can build a competitive car. With engines you are stuck with what the engine manufacturer bothers to deliver to you. Unless you are engine manufacturer in which case you can control the speed of 6 other cars on the grid. Not just by selling them worse engines but also making sure the rules stay as it is so nobody can catch up.

      2. I wonder how Red Bull would have reacted if the aim of the new rules had been “to bring down the aerodynamic differences between teams to 0.3 seconds per lap”…

        1. Well Marko is incorrect right off the bat. In the past when new regs came in they have not always come out ahead. They are still struggling to be competitive in this new chapter we are currently in.

          I think much remains to be seen as to what will happen for 2017. I don’t think it can be simply boiled down to being all about aero and therefore RBR. Merc seems to be no slouches with aero either, and it is all about the overall package. There are just way too many variables and unknowns for anyone to be making any claims about 2017.

          We’ve heard talk of as much as 30% more downforce, but we have also heard about how that would affect the tires, not to mention fuel economy, so the tires should be drastically different than they are now, not just in size. And 30% more downforce might not even be realistic if that harms straight line speeds ie. They might have it within the regs to have that much more downforce, but can they use it feasibly?

        2. You mean like when the flexi wings were regulated (you can’t ban wings from flexing completely but you can control it with rules), when double diffusers were banned, when f-ducts were banned, when wheel covers were banned, when complex additional wings on the car body were banned or when exhaust blown diffusers were banned? I’m sure they will get along with it just fine like they always did. They never cried this much mercedes is doing now! Not even close…

          Focus on aero performance balance between teams is nothing new just like balanced engines is nothing new. I’d hope mercedes would get over it just like everybody else have during the whole history of f1.

          1. If you are saying RBR has never whined about reg changes as much as Merc is now, I completely disagree. We very often heard Newey complaining about further and further restrictions to rear diffusers and aero work in general, he ignoring the fact that the type of development level he would have preferred only separated further the have teams from the have not. I don’t really hear Merc being all that vocal against the changes, and they seem all for harder to drive cars and closer racing. Their issues have been as much about the reg changes being done the right way and not to miss an opportunity to make F1 better.

            1. “Their issues have been as much about the reg changes being done the right way and not to miss an opportunity to make F1 better.”

              Right way = make sure mercedes keeps winning!
              opportunity make F1 better = make sure others are not winning!

            2. I suppose…just as the other teams would do, just as you or I would do too.

          2. @socksolid, I would like to point out that a number of those inventions were pioneered by other teams instead of Red Bull and, in several instances, Red Bull were the ones trying to have those devices banned initially instead of trying to fight off a development ban.

            For a start, back in 2009 Red Bull originally tried to have double diffusers banned from the sport – they were one of the four teams which launched a formal joint protest to the FIA at the 2009 Australian GP to have Brawn, Toyota and Williams all disqualified from the event for using an illegal car (Ferrari, BMW-Sauber and Renault were the other three signatories to that protest). In that instance, Red Bull would have been the beneficiary, rather than the penalised party, if that aerodynamic device was banned.

            With regards to the wheel shrouding, if you are thinking of the ones I am, then Ferrari introduced their wheel shrouding solution back in 2006, with Red Bull not copying their design until partway through the 2008 season. It was a decision that really impacted on all teams, but probably more Ferrari than Red Bull given they’d invested more time and effort into that area – furthermore, the ban was made on safety grounds because the shrouds had come loose and caused a number of punctures in the previous seasons.

            As for the F-duct, as is well known, it was McLaren that pioneered the device on the MP4/25, whilst Red Bull were the only team to launch a formal protest in the opening race in Bahrain to try and have the device banned at the start of 2010. Red Bull really struggled quite a bit to develop their own version to begin with – smaller teams, like Sauber, managed to get there several months before Red Bull did – with many at the time complaining that, if anything, it was Red Bull that was using its influence to cripple its opponents aero advantage (particularly McLaren, given they’d perfected the design first) rather than the other way around.

            1. Jimmy Price
              8th May 2016, 0:30

              Don’t bring facts into this debate. We all know Mercedes is perfect and never threatens to quit the sport of the regs don’t go thier way.

      3. The new rules were written to help Red Bull, they do not need a veto they heterogeneous rules written for them, the customer engine idea was also to appease them. Watch their anger when the 2017 rules are watered down.

    2. Why is Kimi down 9 spots in your power rankings Keith? His qualifying was not top notch, but 2 podiums in 4 races is the best start he has made in a season lately.

      1. Even if Kimi wins he will never gets the proper power ranking, everyone is busy with Verstappen

        1. +1. Underrating its called.

      2. To be honest, if he has a trouble free race with Vettel crashing out in the first lap, he is expected to be on the podium.

        It is for the same reason why the Merc drivers don’t usually get voted for DOTW in our polls even if they have completed the Grand Slam.

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        7th May 2016, 9:51

        @afonic, AFAIK it’s just a race-by-race rating.
        Thus don’t pay too much attention to the up/down.

        Personally, I still don’t see MAG on #1 in Russia, but the rating overall is similar to our DOTW discussions.

      4. @afonic
        I think his performance was (for the first time this season, I’ll give him that) pretty unimpressive. His podium doesn’t mean much, considering that he has the second best car on the grid. After Vettel’s DNF, he brought the car home in P3, but this position was endangered by an uninspired drive:
        – First of all, the qualifying. Half a second down on Vettel, locked out of the front row by Bottas. If you’re a midfielder, losing half a second means you’re stuck in Q1 instead of Q3. Luckily for him, the gap behind Ferrari has become quite large.
        – Then, the sluggish restart behind the Safety Car. Crossing the line over a second behind Rosberg, and losing his position to Bottas right away (without DRS): nothing to be proud of.
        – Getting caught flat-footed by Hamilton in the twisty part of the track, wasn’t too great, either.

        In the end, he needed some luck to finish on the podium: After his pit stop, Bottas lost 2 seconds in his fight against Hamilton and Alonso, and Räikkönen came out of the pits just 2 tenths ahead. After that, Räikkönen easily pulled away at a rate of more than half a second per lap, proving that his equipment was indeed far better than Bottas’s.

        So, all in all, I think his rating isn’t undeserved. He had a good result, but his performance was far from outstanding.

      5. Luca Garofalo
        8th May 2016, 21:13

        Because Keith.

    3. What a surprise. Who would have though Bernie was looking for a way to help Redbull get back to the top?

      1. Oh he’s always looking out for Ferrari too. I think right now he’d take anybody that could stop the Mercedes train. I just don’t think these changes are any guarantee Merc will end up destabilized. Best case scenario though would be 3 fairly close top teams with nobody dominating.

    4. The wider tires will only benefit Mercedes.
      The wider profile of the car might benefit RBR more, if they indeed have more optimized aero solution.

      In the end, more drag is more drag, even if RBR claw some back on Ferrari and Williams, Merc won’t be far behind on a slippy car, and their motor will seal the deal by at least a second I would wager. Merc’s only chance is to support one driver and to have that driver run slower to keep up the appearance of competition. The worst thing that can happen to Mercedes is real competition, either between teammates or another team, cause they will always be able to go faster the way the rules are written. Nobody is any where near Merc’s Power unit, and unless someone leaks the plans/data, info about the fuel, it’s not going to change any time soon.

      I have watched and seen rules tailored to promote certain agendas in pro-racing for a while now, unless those strict fuel regs go away, you can be assured, there is absolutely NO INTEREST in seeing anyone challenge Merc. Trust me.

      1. Forget about Mercedes or any other team for that matter.
        With the new regs looking to favour Redbull, need I remind you of Bernie’s recent threat of tearing up 2017 regs if PU performance are not equalized (to a diff of .3 sec) in addition to what is already on paper.
        I don’t know if you have read about.
        Redbull stand to reap big come 2017. Will they maximise every single opportunity the regs will give them? I guess we will know 11 months from now.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          7th May 2016, 9:54

          Tata, forget about believing most Bernie says.

          I don’t think he has any power to make a change to the (PU) regulations for next season by himself.

          1. Let’s not forget Ferrari in this. They have the power, along with BE, to not be too destabilized by the new regs, so this is far from being about replacing dominating Merc with dominating RBR.

            Let’s see these cars first. Let’s see that they are indeed harder to drive and maybe that will separate the men from the boys on the grid a bit. Let’s see what the new tires will be like because we know they will have to be quite different beyond just their dimensions.

            As much of a manipulator as BE is, he can’t just rip up rule books, but given his threat to, based on insufficient equalization, it sounds to me he would moreso prefer 3 top teams fairly equal, to one team dominating again, RBR or otherwise.

        2. I’d hope people would stop trying to pretend only red bull can design good aerodynamics in f1 car. Red bull, mclaren, mercedes, ferrari and renault all have the expertise to create a winning chassis. But because of the big engine disparity only mercedes and ferrari (in that order) can do so. It is almost literally impossible for other teams to catch up.

          1. Disagree. The token system is being dropped. BE is pushing for equivalency. There’s no ‘impossible’ in this at all.

    5. COTD is both a good and an absolutely terrible opinion. Yes Red Bull should look beyond their current youngsters because, even though Gasly is good, I don’t think he’s particularly better than Kvyat or Sainz.
      But to suggest Rossi is laughable. All of the above-mentioned are better.

    6. Concerning the 2005 US GP. So the conclusion is that teams running Michelin tyres would have started the race if Ferrari had not vetoed the chicane? Pity the video stops 1 second too soon

      1. Well, the FIA also said no to the chicane. I think one of the main points was if someone had crashed badly and a driver or a spectator was injured or killed then who would be blamed for it (especially in the US with lawsuits galore)?

        Having said that, Paul Stoddard summed it up pretty well in his mid-race interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY7IdWpqYXI

        1. davey (@djdaveyp87)
          7th May 2016, 10:57

          I want Paul Stoddart back in F1!

        2. That little clip basically sums up the disgust felt by most fans, most drivers and, I suspect, nearly all staff of F1 teams whenever Bernie or the team principals try to improve ‘the show’. The circumstances are different, but the underlying feeling is the same. F1 is a sport, not reality TV, and as a sport the entertainment is in the competition.

          “This is crazy. The FIA needs to get a grip [on] itself and sort this sport out before there’s no sport to sort out. This today is .” ~ Paul Stoddart, 2005.

      2. @grammo
        I would have vetoed it as well. A chicane at the fastest and most exciting part too watch at Indianapolis….
        That’s right up there with Bernie’s sprinklers idea if you ask me.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          7th May 2016, 9:56

          Still more exciting than a race with only 6 cars!
          (or 2 cars plus 4 others)

      3. @grammo The problem with a chicane & the reason it was never going to happen is that it would have broken all the FIA regulations in terms of circuit homologation & therefore voided all of the insurance policies (Which are signed off when the circuit is homologated & given the FIA circuit grade) which as @kaiie points out would then have left the FIA, Teams, Drivers & Circuit owners/promoters at risk of a lawsuit should anything have happened that resulted in any sort of injury or death. Additionally none of the teams or drivers would have covered which would also have caused problems in the result of an accident resulting in injury to driver or team personnel.

        Teams were actually told that they could install a chicane & run the race as a non-championship event with no FIA officials involved but the teams refused to do that, Again due to insurance concerns.

        The thing about that whole situation was that the Michelin/GPMA backed teams were accusing Ferrari & the FIA of playing politics while themselves playing politics & at times mis-leading fans.

        For example its also often ignored that the Michelin tyres had only suffered failures on 1 team’s car & that other Michelin supplied teams had run 20+ lap stints without having any problems at all & more then likely could have run the race & the FIA did say that they would be allowed to change tyres during there fuel stops as a precaution if required. The Michelin/GPMA teams never mentioned that in public & in fact went out of there way to not bring it up & to make the problems seem far more widespread than they actually were because at that point the Manufacturer backed teams within the GPMA were in the midst of a breakaway threat & wanted to garner as much fan support as possible….. They saw an opportunity & used it to there advantage & continued to do so long after they had left the US.

        1. I sure hope this has been fixed and the contracts allow addition of chicane to a race track if there is a safety issue… Seriously doubt it though.

          1. @socksolid Nothing has changed & nothing will change because a circuit has to be homologated before the race weekend starts & once homologated no changes to the layout can be made or it voids everything because it then essentially becomes a new circuit.

            It may seem like a silly thing but you have to race with insurance policies in place for a variety of reasons that protect everyone involved in F1 as well as those running the circuit & a part of those policies is that the FIA & circuit owners have carried out safety inspections on the layout been used & that the circuit layout was homologated based on the FIA regulations on circuit safety.

            Adding a chicane may seem like a small thing that doesn’t change the overall safety of the circuit, But your adding a new braking zone & if its a tyre chicane your putting more very solid obstacles on the circuit & changing it to that degree requires it go through the homologation process again…. But as I say it needs to be done before the weekend starts.

    7. Hope the convergence ultimately fails, equalisation has no place in F1. There is no point in having different manufactures if the engines have to be the same. How the hell can F1 call it self a Motorsport if the motor is not allowed to play a part??? You want Aerosport go and fly or make a plane, join the Red Bull air race. How can you also call it a sport also? The sooner Red Bull and Bernie leave is when the sport can start making progress again add to that give F1 a independent engine, it might not be the best but it’s good, if its the best lucky you. If a manufacturer builds the best engine they should be able to use it the other manufactures should catch up or get better, that what i see in every other sport that claims to be one. EqualEngineAero thats what it should be called not Motorsport.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        7th May 2016, 10:00

        How the hell can F1 call it self a Motorsport if the motor is not allowed to play a part???

        And how the hell can F1 call it self a Sport if the best are demoted or performance randomised???

        Thus not MotorSports but ChassisShow ;-)

      2. Post of the year.

      3. @foreverred – So then all the teams should make their own engines. Otherwise, they are all just customer teams and may as well buy a Red Bull chassis as well as a Merc engine.

        1. Yeah. Rules should be amended such that chassis can also be purchased from either Redbull or any other team.
          Since we are on the giving everyone equal opportunity train, let’s not restrict it to only motor cos that is a one-sided affair in favour of the best chassis builder the sport has ever seen.

        2. @petebaldwin – No. All customers of the certain Manufacturer should get the same engines and performance potential as the works team. But no-one Manufactures should be handicapped because others are incompetent, things should converge naturally. Like i said there is no point in having different manufactures if all their engines have to be the same, they will all eventually leave and then you can have your Red Bull Racing Pro series, where only the team with the best chassis designer win. Thats the way F1 is heading. F1 is about competition not only between the teams and drivers but the Manufactures also. Equalisation has no place in F1

          “So then all the teams should make their own engines”
          Didn’t i say F1 needs a good independent engine???

        3. Considering the money they waste on aero they could easily built an engine.
          Sauber has a 150million budget, so does Force India. They give 20million for engines and people and Bernie and Red Bull come and tell us that the engine costs too much.
          Really? Let’s see you built anything better with 20million. Actually they get a good offer as customers. Even if they supposedly are a tenth or two behind the engine in the manufacturer car that really isn’t anything big.

          On the other hand bad aero from good aero is from 1 to 4 seconds difference and teams like Sauber throw 100 million on it and not 20. And yet here we go trying to claim that the engine is the one keeping the small guys down and not the aero and that the aero supposedly allows everyone to fight.

          And all this in MOTORsport not AEROsport. Ban aero tunels. Allow them to use only CFD and put a rule on what computer system they can have. Give them something small and allow them to use it however they like. Then big teams will truly have less advantage and ingenuity will play a role.
          And with that they will waste only 20million on aero too and have 80 million to spare to built engines if they want. If Sauber needs three to four years to built a Sauber engine like Mercedes was working for three to 4 years before this engine appears then Sauber will have a budget of 240 to 320 million to built that engine by saving 80 miilion a year. More than enough to built a competitive engine.
          And when that engine is released they will save another 20million from not buying engines anymore and all teams will have their own engines etc and be real full blown teams and they can use that know how to make money outside of F1 because engine tech is a lot more relevant than little wiglets that have no use outside of F1.

    8. I know this sounds surreal and hyped, but with Renault’s improved engine, and in Newey’s 2017 Red Bull, Verstappen could be a WDC challenger at the age of 19.

    9. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      7th May 2016, 9:27

      “So Verstappen will be a Red Bull Racing driver not just for 2016, but 2017-19 too.”

      So what happened to, “At the end of the year the cars will be reshuffled again. It also means that Carlos Sainz has a chance to move up.”?

      1. Sainz needs to beat Kvyat and vice versa to have a shot at driving the RBR next year ánd hope that RIC moves on. Verstappen is there to stay I recon, because why ele improve and extend his contract and move him up.

        Otoh, it is RedBull we are talking about here. If they feel Verstappen doesn’t cut it and/or Ricciardo leaves, then they could even go for Vandoorne or Ocon I think.

      2. I think the only chance Sainz has of a future now is if he destroys Kvyat and Verstappen destroys Ricciardo. Either that or if Ricciardo goes to another team next year which I think is highly unlikely as he is very marketable and Red Bull will want to hang on to him.

        Basically Sainz needs Verstappen to crush Ricciardo which on reflection would make the effort he made against him at Torro Rosso look more impressive.

        1. If the fighting at Torro Rosso was as bad as is being reported how can Red Bull even consider putting Sainz in the team with Max?
          Sainz may have to start looking outside of Red Bull if he wants a top drive in the future. Red Bull have basically made a statement that Max is their future and anyone who joins him in the team will have to be able to get along with him.

          1. @eoin16

            Bending too farm to a drivers whims is dangerous. Red Bull kept Webber and Vettel together despite a fair amount of animosity, they brought Ricciardo in despite Vettel’s desire to bring Raikkonen in.

            1. @philipgb I agree with you 100% but maybe Red Bull have fallen into the trap of bending to a driver’s whim this time. Red Bull are DESPERATE to get the championship back so maybe this time they are putting all their eggs in one basket?

    10. Guybrush Threepwood
      7th May 2016, 10:37

      Engines are not the domain of teams but manufacturers. F1 should be about how good a team is and anything that gives each team their own chance of winning is a good thing IMO.

    11. I remember the 2006 European Grand Prix very well. It was the first F1 race that I was supposed to visit, having watched every race from the couch for 10 years. I had got the tickets and booked everything else for the trip but then I had an acute appendicitis, which had to be surgically removed. So I could not go anywhere. Schumacher was my favourite driver back then so it was painful to see his victory on TV, knowing that I should be celebrating it at Nurburgring.

      I kept watching F1 on TV, kept dreaming and my dream to go to an F1 race came true three years later, at the 2009 German Grand Prix, which was held at… Nurburgring. I have been to four more Grands Prix since then.

      1. That’s tragic @girts – and painful too!

        1. @NickWyatt Yes it was really painful then but ultimately I made my dream come true. Maybe it was too early and the right time for such experience had just not come yet. I was always worried that ‘live’ experience might disappoint me but in 2009 I was clearly ready for it. After that first visit my love for F1 only grew stronger, I started to pay more attention to different F1 websites and found F1 Fanatic and people like you ;)

    12. Having more emphasis on aero will make it possible for more teams to build winning cars. You have many teams in f1 who don’t have good engines but can build race winning chassis. Now you have mercedes who is the only team capable winning. If mercedes has mechanical failure it will be ferrari who wins. With more emphasis on aero you have teams like red bull, mclaren and renault who have the money and resources to jump in and compete and innovate in the spending wars.

      Aero will also converge at much faster rate than engines. Aero bits are visible on the car and if you bring in something new everybody can see it and reverse engineer it. Everybody! And they may not just copy it but improve it. When your engine manufacturer creates a special thingy that makes the car faster nobody will ever know about it.

      The best thing about aero is that it moves more power and responsibility about performance into the hands of the teams from the hands of engine manufacturers. While more aero may not be the best thing for wheel to wheel racing it can at least make it possible for more teams to win races on true pace instead of simply hoping both mercedes cars have mechanical issue so someone else could win too…

      I also don’t think red bull is the magical aero creator of f1. Mercedes, ferrari, renault (ex-lotus) and mclaren can all build great chassis. Lotus could do great things when they had money, mclaren has proven it can out develop red bull during a season and ferrari is at upwards performance development curve. Mercedes has not just good engine but good aero as well. With balanced engines we can have more than just one team winning everything. It can’t get any worse than it is now.

      1. Two identical Mercedes cannot get past each other once in each other’s dirty air. Aero dependence is the biggest detriment to close racing. I don’t really care if somehow by your hypothesis more cars are competitive, if every race is a procession. We need to see the drivers taxed with cars harder to drive and able to combat closely, not just get pole and keep everyone else in his dirty air.

    13. RP (@slotopen)
      7th May 2016, 12:34

      The clutch article touchs on something I’ve wondered about. We know Bernie wanted to shuffle the grid. It worked. Merc seems vulnerable at the start, and Hamilton has coped poorly..

      I heard the NBC team comment last season on how well Ferrari start.

      I’m sure within F1 the strengths of each team are understood. I wonder if the switch away from electronic clutches was partially motivated by the hope Ferrari would manage it better.

      So elimination qualifying was a failure. But the clutch changes were a major win! Bernie got his shuffled field. The fans don’t object because we identify with manual clutches. Bonus that it disadvantaged Hamilton, and we’ll likely have a tight championship this year.

      I think it is just manipulative, and normal when one team dominates. But if you are desperate for a conspiracy…

      1. Great, I love new clutches too. Lewis having a poor start from pole is enough randomization. We dont need more than that.

        Maybe make sure clutches behave in a linear way, so teams dont start some crazy mechanical solutions around the wonderful situation we have.

    14. What do you mean Red Bull always gainds most from rule changes? Like 2009 and 2014? It seems some Barkley outfit gains most from rule changes…

      What RBR benefits most from is aero optimization. They just do aero well. What they want is equal engines, equal tires and then may the best aero team win.

      Unfortunatley they have to contend with them Mercedes guys… Who seem to be good on aero now aswell, meanwhile having a better engine.

      This wont change in 2017. Mercedes wont forget their aero know how.. And we can assume Renault wont magically produce class leading engine, when they havent done so in over 30 years.

      1. Do you remember the Renault V10 that was the class of the field back then? Then decided to retire from F1 engine supplying due to the lack of competition.
        It was un late 90s, some 20 years ago.
        Furthermore, Newey choose the V8 Renault over the competition. If it was good enough for Red Bull (4 times un a row world champion just 2 years ago), your point is becoming moot. @jureo

    15. Will the racing get any better if all the 22 drivers drive the W07 or will the winner be decided at the first corner? Is it that much difficult overtake on track?

    16. I remember the US GP fiasco like it was yesterday – fascinating viewing that footage, great find @keithcollantine

    17. Fun fact for all:

      Nico has same points as Lewis and Kimi combined….

    18. That’s funny… I seem to recall the last significant regulation change benefited Mercedes and left Red Bull reeling.

      Oh, right, when it’s bad it’s all Renault’s fault. I forgot.

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