ABU DHABI — Christian Horner was in a mischievous temper on Friday.
Talking at the ultimate F1 press convention of the season forward of the season finale, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Pink Bull boss took a couple of digs at two of his counterparts and frequent sparring companions who joined him at the desk. He additionally in contrast the job going through F1 CEO Chase Carey to the one going through British prime minister Theresa Might, who’s at present attempting to navigate the nation by way of ‘Brexit’, the controversial means of leaving the European Union.
His first shot was at Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul, who was sat subsequent to him. Horner and Abiteboul have clashed steadily up to now over Renault’s issues to grasp the V6 turbo engine laws, which Pink Bull feels has price them any probability of difficult for a championship since 2014.
These frustrations culminated this yr in Pink Bull deciding to finish its long-running partnership with Renault and change to Honda energy subsequent yr. Pink Bull can be dropping driver Daniel Ricciardo to the French producer in 2019.
When he was reminded of that reality, Horner mentioned: “Yeah, it is barely awkward, as a result of I am sitting subsequent to Cyril who’s taking each parts again after the weekend. I am going to begin with Renault.
“It has been 12 years. Cyril was making the tea once we first began with Flavio [Briatore]…”
Listening to that, Abiteboul half smiled and mentioned: “He is all the time good.”
Toto Wolff and Esteban Ocon
Horner wasn’t completed there. He soon noticed a possibility to reference the conflict in Brazil which price Pink Bull a victory, when Max Verstappen was hit whereas making an attempt to lap Mercedes junior driver Esteban Ocon, who was working in 16th. Lapped automobiles are often anticipated to adhere to blue flags, which inform a driver to transfer over for an additional automobile.
Wolff was requested what the crew’s plans have been for Ocon, confirming he’ll keep on with the crew in a reserve position subsequent yr having failed to safe a race seat.
“The plans are fairly clear,” Wolff mentioned. “He is going to be very shut to the works crew, to Mercedes, he is going to be our reserve driver, our third driver. We hope to possibly do the odd take a look at with him additionally. We’re wanting at pre-season and in-season, however that isn’t sorted out but. He’ll spend quite a lot of time within the simulator and be prepared for a seat in 2020.”
At that time, Horner interrupted and mentioned: “If you happen to might present him what the [blue] flags imply, as properly, that may assist.”
Whereas Horner smirked at his personal remark, Wolff did not reply.
Brexit and Chase Carey
A query soon adopted concerning the political negotiations surrounding the UK’s separation from the EU, which is probably going to have a huge impact on the F1 grid, with seven out of its 10 groups primarily based there.
F1’s new homeowners are at present in a vital level of their tenure, as they’re ironing out the ultimate particulars of the subsequent set of contractual agreements the groups will likely be sure by after 2021. Horner has beforehand expressed frustration at F1’s incapacity to come to a consensous on key points.
“Dwelling within the UK, we’re residing and respiration it like a few of the remainder of you guys and you get a little bit bit uninterested in, each time you activate the information, listening to about Brexit: what the deal is; what it is not.
“Theresa Might, she’s clearly doing the most effective she will be able to with not an ideal hand – a little bit bit like Chase Carey, actually! – and it is a advanced scenario however I feel over the subsequent couple of weeks there ought to begin to change into some readability and I feel the underside line is that folks will proceed to do enterprise with the UK if we’re aggressive and stay good at what we do.”
Because the crew principals on the panel spoke about Brexit, Horner’s response included the next line, referencing British prime minister Theresa Might: “You recognize, Theresa Might, she’s doing the most effective she will be able to with not an ideal hand, a little bit bit like Chase Carey actually…”