Horner: 50 per cent of the field could retire in Australia

Horner: 50 per cent of the field could retire in Australia

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has warned that half the field could retire at the season opener in Australia, with reliability being a big concern ahead of the new campaign.0815LW1D3807

He believes the attrition rate could be extremely high at the first round of the season due to the new regulations – particularly with the introduction of 1.6 litre V6 Turbo power-units. Winter testing, which starts on January 28th at the Jerez circuit, will give us a first glimpse of the 2014 cars. Red Bull Racing confirmed today that they will run at the test, with the RB10 being given a pit lane launch.

Designers are facing the biggest technical shake-up in recent history, but it isn’t just the new engines that are causing concern. Each driver will be limited to just 100kg of fuel to race with, and this could prove to be difficult to manage at the Albert Park Circuit – which is a track with relatively high fuel consumption.

“I think you could see a very high retirement rate, maybe even 50 per cent in the first race,” Horner told Bloomberg TV. “Petrol is a challenge this year because we are limited to 100 kg of fuel to start the grand prix with, but more reliability issues in the early races will be a key factor.

“And of course we only have five engines for the whole year.”

He is also expecting the gap between the big and smaller outfits to increase. “For the back of the grid it is a huge challenge with the costs that are going be incurred with this power supply unit,” he said. “The differences between the teams will be bigger.

“Whenever there is a reset, the teams that have the investment, that have the resources and the facilities will always turn up with a more advanced product.”

Image courtesy of Octane Photographic

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.