May 11, 2018 / 6:47 PM / 3 months ago

Red Bull and Force India disagree over aero changes

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Red Bull boss Christian Horner accused Formula One on Friday of shooting itself in the foot over aerodynamic changes for 2019 which he said would cost teams like his millions in extra expense.

Formula One F1 - Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia - March 23, 2018 Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner during the press conference REUTERS/Brandon Malone

Rivals Force India, who operate on a far smaller budget, disagreed, however.

Aerodynamics is a touchy subject for Red Bull, whose expertise in the area has enabled them to stay competitive against teams like Mercedes, who have more powerful and reliable engines.

“We talk about costs and being responsible, but what has just been introduced is a completely new concept which will cost millions and millions of pounds,” Horner told Sky Sports television at the Spanish Grand Prix.

“Shouldn’t we be looking at the tracks and the tyre compounds and how they influence races rather than burdening the teams with what will be hundreds of millions in costs?”

Horner also suggested the proposals were a “rushed set of regulations” that had not been fully analysed and with no proven conclusions.

The governing FIA this month announced modifications to front and rear wings and front brake ducts for next season to make it easier for cars to follow each other and increase overtaking.

The measures followed research carried out by most teams and backed by commercial rights holders Liberty Media.

Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said more research had been done than “at any other time in the history of changes.

“Maybe there isn’t enough but there is more than ever,” he added.

“He (Horner) will say it if he thinks he’s got a competitive advantage in that area and now it’s being erased,” said Szafnauer, whose team finished fourth overall last year.

Force India technical director Andy Green said other regulation changes for 2019 meant the team would have to build a new chassis anyway.

“From that point on we’re happy to take any regulation for 2019. If the fuel regulation hadn’t gone up... then we’d have been in a completely different position.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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