F1 News, Views and Reviews

Horner And Red Bull Push For Engine Equalisation

Christian Horner and Adrian Newey of the Red Bull Racing team have announced they are pushing the FIA to allow full engine equalisation from the start of next season.

Red Bull have had a good season thus far with multiple race wins and pole positions for both of their drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.  The outfit which is based in Milton Keynes, England uses Renault customer engines and has done for some seasons.  However it is widely known that the Renault power unit is not as quick as some of the other engines in the field, by around 35bhp.

The team attempted to become a customer to the Mercedes Benz performance engines, but this was blocked by McLaren under their special right to veto as the main customer for the German manufacturer.

Red Bull point out that they are happy with Renault and their service, they just want a power equalisation programme.

“I think if you look at basic studies you would say we are about three per cent down on power – which is probably about 30-35bhp,” said Horner. “That is as much as four tenths per lap, but until you run all the engines in the same conditions on a dyno and do a fair and proper comparison you can never be sure.

“You often hear Ross Brawn talk about weight distribution, or the centre-of-gravity and cooling efficiency so on, and the more power you have the more heat you generate.

“But you need to look at all the aspects in a collective format. The most important thing moving forward is that chassis will for sure converge, as there is freedom within the regulations, and that is where the engines will become a bigger factor.”

He added: “It is getting a bit boring. Through the regulations, there is nothing that specifically deals with engine equality, and that is the problem. I think it is acknowledged that there are differences and there is a format that was agreed last winter to evaluate the engines, which was agreed upon by all the manufacturers, but some of the teams stopped that from happening. We are back in to that situation.”

“In terms of supply, we are very happy with the relationship we have with Renault,” explained Horner. “They treat us very well, and we have a very good partnership with Renault.

“Unfortunately the product, due to the homologation, is frozen and therefore you have a performance freeze.

“Mercedes have made it transparently clear that they will not be supplying any additional teams for next year- so we rely on the FIA and the teams and manufacturers to create a healthy situation. It is not healthy to have a situation where one engine is significantly ahead of the rest.”

Renault supply both their own works team and Red Bull in 2010

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