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F1 ‘not about fastest car and driver anymore’

May 1, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-F1-BAHRAIN

Dietrich Mateschitz, co-founder of Red Bull and owner of two Formula One teams, is concerned about the direction the sport is heading in.

“Formula One no longer has anything to do with ‘classic’ racing,” warned Mateschitz. “Today, it’s not the fastest driver in the fastest car who wins, but the one with the optimum tire management.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has repeatedly criticized the softer tire compounds being used this year, claiming they disadvantage his team.

Mateschitz reiterated that point in his recent quotes: “We’ve even had to scale down our car, because the tires were not lasting. If we really went as fast as we can, we would need 10 to 15 pit stops.”

Red Bull’s perceived disadvantage has not prevented them from enjoying a successful start to the season.

The team scored a one-two in Malaysia and Sebastian Vettel took a second win in Bahrain. He’s been on pole position twice, on the podium three times and is leading the drivers’ championship. Red Bull also enjoy a 16-point lead over closest rivals Lotus in the constructors’ championship.

However McLaren’s Sam Michael believes the tires have turned F1 into “a thinking man’s game”.

“If you look at China, the top five places were filled by five world champions – and that is not an accident,” said Michael.

  1. tifosi73 - May 1, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    I take it that Red Bull would like it to be a parade of sorts instead of coming up with strategy to win races they still win.

    I like M Schumacher but watching his parade of wins in the early 2000s did get a bit dull knowing he would win most of the time.

    I prefer F1 now than the early 2000s when victories were virtually assured after qualifying.

  2. indycarseries500 - May 1, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    The DRS is way worse than the tires but I agree I want it to be opened up and pure, I’d even be up for eliminating pit stops all together. I want engine manufactuers to say “what are we going to do turbo V6, turbo I-4, NA V8, NA V10, V12?” I want the aero guys to say “what would happen if we put a wing here there everywhere?” I want to ask every weekend “Is this weekend’s race going to be a Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear, etc. race.” I want to see the Ferrari V12 spank everyone at Monza or Spa, Red Bull aerodynamic masterpice zoom through the esses at Suzuka or Austin 10mph faster than anyone else, McLaren find the balance for places like Montreal, Lotus finding a compromise to run well everywhere. Stuff like that, the only regs should be a safety standard, that the cars must be open wheel, and fit within certain dimensions.

  3. apexassassin - May 1, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    As much as I hate to agree with Dieter he’s 100% right. The “show” is hardly a sport at this point… the results are a result of the spectacle and the spectacle is all about ratings.

    Much like gaming, the modern F1 is designed to entice children rather than keep the existing fanbase. With the silly tyres, DRS, introduction of road car technology, F1 is falling fast from it’s place as the premiere racing series.

    And with next years rules and hybrid, weakling power units this could very well be my last season as a dedicated fan of 30+ years.

  4. mcmillang2013 - May 1, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    DRS is great, V6 turbo? Not so much. I will miss the sound of the current V8. Go watch NASCAR where the only action is a crash. People are living in the past. Guess people complained when F1 introduced paddle shifters too.

  5. icemanpjn - May 2, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Apexass, you did read where the “weakling” V6 turbos will have similar power to what we currently have, right? You also realize that the only series that has more power is NASCAR because that’s all they have and it isn’t a problem on enormous banked superspeedways. All road series have less for safety concerns. No road series is ever going to have 1000+ horsepower ever again.

    • apexassassin - May 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Similiar power? Where are you getting your information? It’s obviously incorrect.

  6. purplesectornet - May 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    More pathetic whinging and diatribe from apex – big surprise. Isn’t it funny when you can read something and see that the author hasn’t done a bit of research and has absolutely no idea what he is talking about?

    F1 is and has been the premiere racing series and will remain so. Tires, DRS, engines it’s the same for everyone…let’s see Vettel/Redbull and Alonso/Ferrari have won so far – not the fastest drivers in the fastest cars winning anymore? What a load of rubbish…one look at the results totally debunks the statement…how about we stop with the whining and race.

    Apex you have no idea what you are talking about – lap times in 2014 will be similar and these engineers know what they are doing – some wanna be racer who burns up his street car at a track day like you, well, you don’t even research the subject before you post your diatribe about F1 being for children and blah blah blah…there is plenty of information available on the new formula – try doing some actual reading…so tired of reading your nonsense….just a wanna be racer kid that doesnt have a clue…

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