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F1: Red Bull Ragequit or Real Revelation?

I don’t think anyone really needs reminding that the glittering world of F1 recently returned to the world stage. The Melbourne circuit set the scene for a whole new era of Formula One. A whole new look. A whole new order generic cialis sound. Avid readers of my blog will be very much aware that I have never always been the biggest fan of F1, but this year I hoped the radical changes might breath some life back into the sport. Having watched the first race, I was pretty shocked to see that Grosjean for example managed to get himself a drive through penalty before the season had officially begun. Of the entire weekend, I have been most fascinated by the outrage and debate following the disqualification of Ricciardo from his excellent 2nd place finish. Most specifically, the reaction of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has definitely been a baffling one. In the aftermath of the Australian GP, Mateschitz has warned that he pull Red Bull out of F1 altogether. Is red Bull just in a strop since losing their dominance, or are they onto something here?

Tis the dawning of a new era for F1, a whole new look to a legendary championship

Tis the dawning of a new era for F1, a whole new look to a legendary championship

For those of you who are not clear on the full situation, Ricciardo finished the Australian GP in 2nd place (his highest ever finish in the sport), only to be disqualified around six hours after the race. The reason for this exclusion was an irregularity in the fuel flow system of the car. Mateschitz believes that the fuel flow sensor that was provided by the FIA, was giving inaccurate readings. Over the course of the race weekend, Red Bull had been plagued by technical problems with their car, explaining the early demise of Vettel in the race. Red Bull have of course appealed against the decision made by the FIA, and seek to prove that the fault lay with the FIA-provided sensor and not the fuel levels in the car. What has hurt Red Bull more than any other are the whispers of the word ‘cheating’ that have been used in conjunction with the team. Red Bull has influence across the world, and any word of underhand play would significantly damage their image and credibility, especially when it is in one of the most televised sports series in the world.

Lets look into this a little deeper shall we… Let the evidence present itself

Have Red Bull turned into a stroppy child?

Think about it, for the last few years Red Bull have become accustomed to being the top dogs in Formula One. Not only have they had the best car, but their wonder child has completely and utterly destroyed the competition, race after race, championship after championship. Whenever I found myself watching coverage of each race, whatever the story or result, they would interview Christian Horner, as if he had some crippling addiction to having his smug face on our television screens.

If we now fast forward to the start of 2014 where we see Red Bull failing massively to perform, plagued by hampering technical issues. Not only that, but their wonder child has to retire his car in the early stages of the race. Speaking of which, take a listen to the radio messages exchanged between Vettel and Red Bull when it was decided he was to retire; it genuinely sounded like Vettel was on the verge of tears. I will admit it is never nice to have to retire from a race, but to sound that emotionally distressed, come on.

Finally and most importantly, we have the decision to exclude Ricciardo from the result due to a fuel technicality. I have read sources that Red Bull had been aware of the problem prior to the race, so their reaction does now seem slightly defensive. It is almost like Red Bull feel as if they must win every race or they will throw a tantrum. Reminds me a lot of Fernando Alonso when he realised Hamilton was a better driver than him at McLaren.

When I hear that Mateschitz threatened to leave F1, it did give me a flashback to days gone by where I would be playing a racing video game, and would get so angry that things were not going my way that I threw the controller at the wall, vowing it was the game that was the problem not me and refusing to continue playing.

Mateschitz has been quoted as saying that his decision regarding the future of F1 and Red Bull has nothing to do with the financial costs or rewards, but the issue of ‘sportsmanship and political influence’. Could this just be a very technical evolution of the ‘throwing the controller at the wall, claiming the game doesn’t work properly’ strategy?

Do Red Bull have a point after all?

Having watched the first race, it does seem apparent that it is a whole new era with very similar problems. It took only a matter of laps before there was talk of fuel and tyre conservation. The overtaking was very much improved but was still severely lacking in comparison to other motorsport series around the world.

I understand that it is thrilling to both watch and drive cars that are operating on the edge of what is possible, but to have cars that struggle to even make race distance, that seems a bit far to me. And if Red Bulls’ claims are true, to exclude a car because of faulty machinery supplied by the race organisers themselves, that does seem a little unfair. This whole issue of politics has been somewhat of a problem in Formula One in recent years; the racing has been overtaken by tyre management, brand image, pit strategy and global domination. This global domination has reached a level where it is location location (tedious track) location. Singapore may indeed be a glittering beacon of flamboyance, but the race track that was built there is nothing short of diabolical.

The Australian fans may have been outraged at the Ricciardo decision, but at least they got to watch what was an amazing V8 Supercar support race. Imagine paying an outrageous number of your hard earned dollars to see a headline band, only for the support band to completely out-perform them. As great as it would be to see the smaller band doing so well, you would feel somewhat ripped off that you spent all that money for the headliners to be a total let down.

The true stars of the weekend. V8 powered brutes destroying all that lay before them

The true stars of the weekend. V8 powered brutes destroying all that lay before them. This is a Red Bull sponsored race project to be proud of. Image Credit: F1 Fanatic

What really drove the point home for me, was the fact that Bernie Ecclestone did not even show up to the race, having also made several comments about the horrific lack of noise from the new engines. I mean come on, high performance hyper race cars should rattle your very core, not sound like a swarm of lethargic bees. F1 without that characteristic noise is just pointless.

In my estimations, the decline of F1 is crowned by its own ruling emperor not even showing up to the race. But then again, Bernie’s comments about the noise are so fiendishly clever that I may almost let him off; by making these comments, Bernie is getting the media coverage that the F1 juggernaut survives on. The more people you get talking about it, the more people will probably end up watching it to find out for themselves.

Formula One is meant to be the premier race series in the world, but it needed a complete overhaul to try and rectify the very basic problems that should not exist in motorsport. Overtaking should be an assumed variable, not something that needs to be forced by boost buttons and extra horsepower.

Red Bull has fingers in almost every sporting pie that there is, from football to extreme sports to air shows to rallying. They are in every right to leave the sport if they feel that it has deteriorated to the point of certain death. If the ultimate sporting sponsor withdraws from the ‘ultimate’ motorsport, then said sport is in serious trouble.

But of course, I am writing this with Vettel having taken a strong 2nd place on the grid at Malaysia, so Red Bull may suddenly change their mind and everything be bright and beautiful again. And of course, the first thing I saw when Red Bull got their wonder child back to the top, Christian Horner filling my screen with his…face and his…words. Red Bull often do throw their toys out the car when they do not get everything they want, it is just something that we must get used to. In fact it may work in their favour, toys thrown out the car will make it lighter and therefore faster. See, not all bad! Unless they fail the weight checks then…

If I am to be totally honest, I think that Red Bull are still in shock now they are not top dogs anymore, and have not yet adjusted to playing catch up, whereas before they would be leading the way. It is no secret that F1 is a sport that does have its problems; but it does have its perks. It is worth seeing this new era through. As I always say, people called Darwin and his theory of evolution stupid when he first published it.

Time is but a mysterious mistress with the power to mould the fabric of culture. Or something.

All I ask Red Bull: don’t throw the controller at the wall, just hit pause, take a deep breath, and press on. A little bit of determination never hurt anyone.

Keep Driving People!

Follow me on Twitter @lewisglynn69

Peace and Love!