Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted concurrent development between 2013′s RB9 and getting a head start on the 2014 car has left the team’s engineering resources back at Milton Keynes “thinly stretched”.
“It’s a big challenge,” said Horner during a media tour with Infiniti at Ann Arbor, Michigan. “The challenge we’ve got this year is combining this year’s championship challenge with obviously big regulation changes for next year, so it’s spinning a lot of plates at the moment.”
“We’re obviously pushing to continue to develop this car right until the end of the year.
“We’re just managing that situation. It’s a big packaging exercise to integrate the new engine into next year’s chassis and regulations.
“We’re thinly stretched at the moment, but just about managing.”
Horner also addressed the team’s reasons for protesting Mercedes AMG F1’s tyre test with Pirelli after the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona. A hearing on the protest has been scheduled for 20 June before the FIA’s International Tribunal.
“Look, Pirelli have got to test their tyre,” said Horner. “So I don’t think the issue that we have is certainly not with Pirelli. I think what happened is Pirelli came to a couple of teams and said, ‘We want to run our tyre. We want to develop the tyre. Can you run it on a contemporary car, i.e. a current car?’ and our view is you can’t do that. Because the regulations are very clear. Mercedes has a different view. We believe that’s not in line with the regulations, so that’s why we protested it.”
Horner reiterated the team’s quarrel isn’t with Pirelli, but with the interpretation of the regulations set forth by the FIA.
“When you enter the championship at the beginning of the year, you agree to abide by its sporting and technical regs. It’s not the responsibility of a third party supplier.”
Horner was also content with the level of technical regulation within the sport, adding that Formula One has always been a game of cat and mouse between the engineers and Formula One’s regulators.
“The problem is you’ve got some very clever people that are looking to circumnavigate the regulations continually. So no matter how much they squeeze the rules, the engineers will always come up with a solution.
“If there were no rules, obviously that would be too much. It’s finding that balance between not going too far but still allowing the creativity for a team and constructor to make a difference, and of course for the driver to make a difference.”