Christian Horner has refuted suggestions that Sebastian Vettel’s performance in Singapore was aided by a form of traction control.
Inevitably since the German’s dominant win paddock gossip has suggested that Red Bull has found an advantage, with former team boss Giancarlo Minardi recently adding to the debate after observing the cars on the Asian street track. In Korea today Lewis Hamilton dropped a less than subtle hint about his thoughts on the subject, while a clearly frustrated Vettel opted to joke about it being a feature on his car.
“The electronic controls on the car are so tightly governed,” said Horner. “It’s an controlled box that we have, the settings in both of the cars were absolutely identical, they fully comply with the FIA rules. The FIA should be able to verify that. It’s a standard unit which all of the teams are using. Any suggestion of traction control is either purely mischievous on behalf of the others, or wishful thinking.
“I think the problem is Sebastian’s performance was so dominant in Singapore it inevitably raised questions of how is that possible? Other teams will be looking inwardly, and the easiest conclusion to come too is they must be cheating. As I say these things are so tightly controlled that it’s impossible. The facts are he drove an incredible race in Singapore, he had incredible pace, he maximised the most out of the car, and was a driver on absolute peak form. Is it a distraction? No. Will we lose any sleep over it? Absolutely not.”
Horner denied that Renault has made a breakthrough with engine mapping that has aided RBR.
“Again that’s very restricted on what you can do with torque maps and torque curves. It’s something that all of the engine manufacturers are doing within the parameters allowed. I think that this engines are so optimised, they are so far into their life cycle, that all the engine manufacturers are pretty close. I don’t think one particularly has an advantage over the other.
“You can argue the same about a Ferrari start. Bottom line is that they get it all together and get everything right at that point, and you don’t hear any accusations of traction control. And I don’t believe it is.”
He added: “You’d be fairly stupid to introduce traction control onto a car that was governed by a single ECU that is through a tender of the FIA that is scrupulously checked by the FIA. I can’t imagine any team in the pitlane would entertain it.”