Christian Horner provides quote of the season over FIA regulation change

Jamie Woodhouse
Christian Horner smiles in the paddock. Hungary July 2022.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner quipped “size doesn’t matter” in a hilarious response to the 2023 regulation changes.

Horner has been a vocal critic regarding the FIA’s alterations to the rules in a bid to address the bouncing of the 2022 challengers, Horner feeling they were in response to Mercedes’ troubles with ‘porpoising’ in particular.

The first major stage is the introduction of a Technical Directive for the Belgian Grand Prix, which targets the floor and skid blocks.

And from next season further changes will be introduced, those finally announced after Horner had said back in Hungary that it’s “10 past midnight now for next year and Cinderella’s already left”.

 

 

From 2023 teams must raise the floor edges of their challengers by 15mm, compared to 25 as was originally proposed, which cleared the way for Horner to drop the best quote heard this season.

Regarding the regulation changes, Horner told reporters at Spa-Francorchamps: “My wife often tells me that size doesn’t matter so I’m not going to get too fussed about 10mm.

“25 versus 15 is – we’ve got to live with it and it is what it is.

“It’s inconvenient to be announcing it at this time of year, it’s incredibly late but it’s the same for everybody.

“We ended up negotiating on a number and we ended up at a number that…it’s the same for everybody.”

This was not the only piece of regulations-related news to break on the approach to the Belgian Grand Prix, as details on the new generation of power units coming in 2026 were also confirmed.

The Volkswagen Group had long been linked with an entry into Formula 1 from that year, with much of the talk relating to Porsche’s anticipated link-up with Red Bull.

It was the other VW brand in the equation though, Audi, who have already made their entry from 2026 as a power unit manufacturer official, with a Sauber partnership potentially on the horizon.

2026 will mark the start of Red Bull’s journey as an independent power unit manufacturer, so Horner is relieved that clarity has finally arrived there too so that Red Bull can be “cracking on”.

“It was extremely important to get clarification of exactly what those rules are going to be for 2026,” Horner affirmed.

“Whilst it seems a long way away, it is effectively tomorrow in engine terms so there has been a lot of toing and froing over these regulations, because it is not just the technical specification, it is the sporting regulations and the introduction of the financial regs.

“I guess, with all these things, compromises need to be found and we’re pleased that the regulations are now released, that we now know what we’re designing an engine to exactly, with the compression ratios fixed and other architecture fixed which has moved slightly from where discussions started.

“But it’s good to have that clarity now to be cracking on for 2026.”