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Debate: 3/4 of Formula 1 fans have no sympathy for Red Bull engine situation

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Debate: 3/4 of Formula 1 fans have no sympathy for Red Bull engine situation
Oct 7, 2015, 5:24 PM

Formula 1 fans feel little sympathy for Red Bull over its 2016 engine supply problems as the company debates whether to continue in the sport next ...

Formula 1 fans feel little sympathy for Red Bull over its 2016 engine supply problems as the company debates whether to continue in the sport next season, according to our JA on F1 fan poll.

The energy-drinks giant is currently evaluating its position in F1 after an acrimonious split with long-term engine supplier Renault. Red Bull has expressed its dissatisfaction with Ferrari’s offer of a lower specification of power unit for 2016 after Mercedes ruled out offering the Milton Keynes-based team its own units.

In a JA on F1 poll, we asked you, “should we feel sorry for Red Bull's predicament or is it their own fault?” Over 3,100 of your responded in eight hours and the overwhelming majority of you said that you did not feel sympathy for Red Bull.

Over 2,300 (75.18 per cent) F1 fans said they did not feel sorry for Dietrich Mateschitz’s teams compared to just 528 (17 per cent) of fans who did sympathise with Red Bull. The rest of the votes (243) were undecided.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 16.24.59

Overnight, Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has said that a final decision will be made by the end of this month. Red Bull and Toro Rosso have a 'take it or leave it' offer of 2015 specification Ferrari engines on the table and no sign of any upgrade on that situation. The company has always maintained that if it cannot get a 'competitive' engine for 2016 it will withdraw both teams from the sport.

Here a selection of your comments on the subject:

Mark H explained why he did not sympathise with Red Bull:

“It’s very hard to feel sorry for RedBull. While they have poured millions into F1 in the past few years, this has been to the detriment of F1 overall. They’ve blocked cost saving measures and wrecked FOTA, Just so that they can leverage the advantage they have (a massive budget) to win.

“Now the past 2 seasons they’re still spending the same budget, but can’t win, and so moan loudly and publicly. Yes Renault have badly messed up this year, but other manufacturers in the past have sorted this stuff out behind closed doors mostly.

“If cost caps had been implemented, along with a fairer distribution of revenues, the sport would be much healthier nowadays, and while some of the blame for that lies too with Ferrari, a fair chunk of it lies with RBR.

“DM is the Roman Abramovich of F1. I hope he either buys the whole shooting match, and runs it properly, or takes his ball and goes home. There’s no shortage of buyers for F1 teams and someone will snap up RB and TR should DM leave.

The only plus point I can see is RB’s young driver programme. Though if the sport was more equitable, then there would be more teams, and more race seats would also mean more young drivers getting to race on merit.

Dietrich Mateschitz

Chris said it was F1 itself that has caused the problems facing the sport today:

“On one hand it is difficult to feel sorry for Red Bull because of the way they conducted themselves during their dominance and post their dominance also. They are a team who I find difficult to like with a certain disregard for some rules and certainly not playing within the spirit of the rules in a number of cases such also.

“Finger boy didn’t do much for their plight either in my opinion. Coupled to that the attitude of we’re not winning anymore so we are going to kick and scream but as nobody is listening we’re going to leave isn’t the most enigmatic way to conduct yourselves either.

“However, you have to think about the state of Formula 1 without them. They employ thousands of people in their race teams and it would be a tragedy to see their jobs go. The grid is already too small and the exit of Red Bull would obviously not assist this situation and there would be even less competition at the top.

“Frankly it boils down to the ineptitude with the way Formula 1 is run with the competitors making the rules. This is utter nonsense and the reason why we are seeing Mercedes and Ferrari not willing to supply Red Bull with the same specification engine which they run their cars with. No team within the current framework is going to agree to a rule which sees their competitive advantage diminished.

“Until this significant factor is addressed Formula 1 will remain certainly a 2 tier motorsport or you could fairly argue it was 3 tiers this year with Mercedes all on their own in the top tier. Therefore Formula 1 has to shoulder much of the blame, the testing rules are prohibitive to allowing Renault to catch up, and the competition rules mean that Red Bull are left with hardly anywhere to turn.”

Max Verstappen

Rockie said that Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes should shoulder the blame for Red Bull’s woes:

“On the Red bull argument, considering they don’t build engines it’s hard not to feel sorry for them. Renault to my mind has no where to hide, as it seems they have no clue of what to do!

“As for people wanting Red bull to leave, I think the problem is people don’t like competition. Red bull embodies what F1 is meant to be about a fiercely competitive team, who’s ready to win at all costs by bending, but not breaking the rules.

“For Mercedes and Ferrari not willing to sell them the current spec engine, sit back and think is that really competition? Which means what we have witnessed in the last two years has been a farce, as if Red bull had a competitive engine they would be winning.”

Helmut Marko ESP

Devilsdvocate did feel some sympathy for Red Bull:

“Yeah, I do feel at least partially sorry for them. During the height of their dominance, every week leading up to the next race consisted of the Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes trying to dismantle their car and get them disqualified or some other effort to clip their wings.

“Yet now Mercedes is on a similar (arguably more dominant) run of form and everyone is just sort of sitting around twiddling their thumbs and letting Mercedes stand in the way of any meaningful changes to the regs that would allow them to catch up.

“Do I think Red Bull burned some bridges during their run of dominance? Probably, but that doesn’t justify how they are being done over now. I think some people are too blinded by the fact that their favourite driver is winning right now to see how bad of thing it will be if Red Bull leaves.

“This looks bad on Ferrari more than anyone else right now. If they have two specs of engine one for the works team and one for the customers, that’s completely their prerogative, but to have an additional 3rd spec that is specially reserved for anyone they see as a threat, that is a special kind of hypocrisy. At a minimum they need to treat the customer teams the same.

“If I was for Dietrich Mateschitz I would leave too, as would anyone in the same situation. The deck has been continually and disproportionately stacked against him, compared to other teams who have had similar runs of dominance.”

Daniel Riccardo

Do you agree with the arguments stated above? Do you have a different opinion on Red Bull’s future in F1? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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