Red Bull team chief Christian Horner has told Formula One’s cash-strapped struggling teams to solve their problems “behind closed doors” and stop damaging the reputation of their sport.
Horner on Thursday led calls for the recent public threats of boycotts and strikes to end with a swift resolution to concentrate on delivering a great show and close racing at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
He said any kind of protest by the three teams in trouble – Force India, Lotus and Sauber — would achieve nothing and suggested that even talking about the idea was hurting F1’s reputation.
“They are here to compete,” he said. “Force India is trying to beat McLaren. If they are sitting in the garage, they are not going to be going anywhere.
“That doesn’t work and doing it publicly is the wrong way to do it. What F1 has done during the last couple of weeks with the public slanging matches that have gone on is not good for the sport, because the sport should be focusing on what we have seen in America — good racing, wheel to wheel racing.
“The politics and the fiscal issues should be dealt with behind closed doors, with the commercial rights holder, and get sorted.”
Talks between the three disgruntled strugglers and Formula One’s commercial ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone are expected to resume ahead of Sunday’s race.
Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff backed Horner’s view.
“I’m not into strikes – they’ve kept me stranded with Air France and Lufthansa before,” he said. “So I don’t think a strike is what you do these days, and threatening to strike even less.
“I don’t think it would be good for Formula One. That wouldn’t help the smaller teams either. It’s about sitting around the table, clearing the air, saying this is what we think should happen and then discussing it with the commercial rights holder.”