Red Bull applied pressure to get party mode banned

Date published: September 3 2020

Helmut Marko camera

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko, has said the team did apply “pressure” to get the ‘party mode’ engine setting banned by the FIA.

The qualifying session at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix will be an intriguing one as we await to see whether a ban on qualy mode engine settings will have an impact on the starting grid pecking order.

Mercedes, via the aid of their ‘party mode’ option, has absolutely trounced the opposition on Saturday afternoons with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in their own exclusive battles for pole position.

But Red Bull, whose last pole position came at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, were one of the teams to put pressure on the FIA to get the qualifying engine modes outlawed.

“It was very important to us that it was abolished. We put the necessary pressure behind that,” he explained to Auto Motor und Sport.

“The quali mode at Mercedes is so extreme that it is already distorting the competition.

“It’s the kind of intervention that we’ve experienced many times as we dominated. The wing flexibility has been changed from one race to another and again for the next race.

“I don’t need to talk about the blown diffuser. It is also the job of Formula 1 to ensure balanced, exciting races.”

Official F1 Shop: Black and white face coverings

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff certainly felt that pressure from others, saying that it felt like the Silver Arrows were “ganged up on” because they are so far ahead of their rivals.

“I think first of all the FIA has really struggled to look at all the data channels. These power units have become tremendously complicated,” Wolff told Sky Sports F1.

“We wanted to be policeable for them and so coming from that side, it was probably a good call for them [to ban qualy mode].

“But then on the other side, when you are running away with the World Championship and you are winning every pole position, everybody is going to gang up on you.

“All the other teams, all the other stakeholders. I think that is normal.”

He continued: “I think it will hurt us in a certain respect because we have developed the engine to be really good in qualifying.

“It comes really close to its limit. I really need to take my hat off to everybody at Brixworth who made that engine.

“I think slowing us down is a little bit annoying because it somehow doesn’t give enough credit to the unbelievable job everybody has done at HPP (High Performance Powertrains), especially in respect of last year when we were pushed to the end of our power.

“But it is what it is. It [banned elements] has existed in Formula 1 for a quite a while. I remember Red Bull got the blown diffuser take off them. But we’ll take it as good sportsmen and still try to do a good job.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1, like our Facebook page and join us on Instagram!