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Christian Horner

Horner takes swipe at Mercedes: It's logical they'd try to slow us down

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has grumbled that it's 'logical' Mercedes would try to get them slowed down, feeling that Mercedes know they can't beat Red Bull in some areas.

Horner Verstappen Marko
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Red Bull's Christian Horner isn't happy with how his team are being 'punished' for their record-breaking pit stop times, with the introduction of a new FIA Technical Directive aimed to slowing down pit stop times in the name of safety.

Red Bull's Helmut Marko has already voiced his displeasure, having pointed out ahead of the French GP weekend that Mercedes were taking aim at their pit stops, and team boss Horner has now also weighed in.

"We have been very competitive. We've got the world record on pit stops," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.

"We've had the majority of fastest stops during the year and it's not by accident. I find it a little disappointing, and it's the duty as a competitor to ensure that the car is safe.

"The penalty for a wheel not being fixed is you have to stop the car immediately so it's a brutal punishment if you haven't got all four wheels securely and safely fastened. So what the technical directive is trying to achieve, I'm not quite sure because I think that there's an awful lot of complexity to it."

"When you're in a competitive situation, if you can't be beaten, then obviously the most logical thing is for your competitors to try and slow you down. And that's obviously what's happening here."

"I think you can see there's an awful lot of pointed activity in our direction at the moment that comes with being in the territory of being competitive and an awful lot of energy is going into trying to slow the car down, which is what obviously happens in a competitive business. So it's something that we're used to, but not losing too much sleep about."

Wolff responds

Toto Wolff certainly didn't seem quite as informed as Horner about the contents of the Technical Directive, saying, "I've tried to read it, but it's very complex in length. We had internally some question marks about some things, but it's the technical people, including the sporting director, who are in charge of that area."

Elaborating, Wolff explained that he isn't quite sure why the Technical Directive has come up.

"It's interesting to see, because there must be a reason why that TD has come up, and I'm not 100 percent sure," he said.

"The operation of the wheel gun, and the release of the car, are a highly complex matter. And I'm certainly, all of us in the team, up for competition, because it's a competitive field. But there is also the safety argument, that Christian mentioned it before, you will have always put everything into your pit stop. So you avoid the wheel just detatching or coming off, because the penalties are enormous.

"We in the past had a policy of making sure that that wouldn't happen and that also meant to have some circuit breakers in the system, in a way that that could never happen. And that slows you down in terms of the pit stops.

"But that was our own decision, it had nothing to do with anybody else.

"Fast pit stops are nice to have and they look cool, but I'm not 100% sure that there's such a huge performance differentiator because we are talking about a tenth or two on average, not talking about the slowest to the fastest pitstops. So it's interesting to see where that came from and what the basis was."

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