Christian Horner has expressed his frustration after talks over an engine unfreeze for 2015 collapsed in Brazil when Mercedes again declined to agree to a deal.
While all the manufacturers can make substantial changes over the winter, their power units have to be homologated by the end of February. RBR, Renault and Ferrari, supported by McLaren and Honda, are pushing to open a second window of development later in the season – for the simple reason that they cannot completed the upgrades they want to make in the time available. All parties have to agree to a rule change for next year.
“It’s all rather frustrating,” said Horner. “You sit down and talk about things and you leave the room thinking you’ve agreed something, and then it all changes. I think you probably need to ask Mercedes their reasoning behind it. It’s a ridiculous situation that we can’t find a solution to, so I really have no idea what the outcome will be.
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“You can sit in a meeting and agree things with people that then change their minds five minutes after they’ve left room. It’s a very frustrating situation. We spent a long time talking about, and we’ve agreed a position twice now, and it changes and it constantly changes. I think there’s an awful lot of frustration now between the teams.”
The alternative path for the teams that want changes is that they vote for development to be opened up beyond 2015. The regulations can be done my majority vote prior to June 30 next year.
“I think that’s the only option, because with a majority vote ’16, ’17, ’18 can be opened. So we’ll have to face the pain in ’15 in order to open it up in ’16, 17, which is ridiculous since we’ll all end up spending a lot more money over a longer period of time, whereas what should happen is a window should be opened to allow Renault, Ferrari, Honda to try and close that gap.
“There’s no guarantees that we can close that gap significantly to Mercedes. But not having the opportunity to do so, that’s the thing that seems pretty unpalatable, especially on engine technology that is immature.”
Asked about the specific issue of Red Bull Technology’s new engine group coming together so late, Horner added: “It’s timing for everyone. To introduce a brand new engine for February is impossible.”