On Sunday evening Mercedes F1 bosses Niki Lauda and Paddy Lowe were both delighted that the exciting Bahrain GP had gone some way to silence critics of the 2014 rules.
Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari chief Luca Di Montezemolo had been vocal about the new power units in the hours before the race.
“It was very good, a perfect race, and it couldn’t have been better,” Lauda told this writer. “It was the best race that has happened this year, so whoever complains about it, I’ll just tell them to get lost, very simple.
“We gave them the result. So all the talk is not interesting, because we showed them how good motor racing can be. Bernie flew home during the race, and I hope that he’s going to look at it, and he’ll know what it’s all about.”
Meanwhile Lowe confirmed that he too was happy to that an entertaining race silenced the critics.
“That made me happier than anything, really,” said Lowe. “It’s a great result for Mercedes, and for the team, but more than that it’s a great result for F1, because there have been so much negative stuff going on around. I have to say not generated by us, but generated perhaps by some of our competitors, putting in doubt the nature of this new formula. Not only have we brought some fantastic new technology to this sport, power units that are 35% more efficient – that’s a huge number, if you think about it, 50 kilos less out of 150 kilos of fuel – and yet performance is very, very similar.
“People are talking about, ‘Well these cars are slower,’ We should remember that every time we make a rule change in F1 it is supposed to re-set performance, because the whole point of the regulations is to maintain performance within a band, for safety. So any rule change should set performance back by two or three seconds, to allow opportunity to grow performance back again, which will happen. Within this year we’ll be finding another second or second and a half, or more.
“So you need that head room. I think that’s a perfect outcome, We’ve shown that we can bring all this technology, and at the same time the spirit of racing is still there. A more exciting race I can’t remember in the last decade, in terms of wheel to wheel racing for the lead.”
Lowe said it was inevitable that some races would be more exciting than others.
“That is the nature of F1. If you watch many races over the years, you remember the great ones, you don’t remember the bad ones. It’s like any sport, you can watch soccer matches and there will be no goals for a lot of matches. You don’t say it’s rubbish we should change the rules and make the goals wider. Then you get other great games. It’s the same in F1. You have great races that are memorable and ones that aren’t and you enjoy the great races all the more because it’s just special. when it happens.”