Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner believes the FIA’s decision to ban qualifying engine modes will be a good thing for the sport, not only because it will save costs, but because it should make qualifying more competitive.
The ban will apply from the next round in Belgium with the FIA claiming it is because it makes it difficult for them to “monitor compliance with all the Power Unit-related regulations and provisions in selected critical moments of the event”.
However many have speculated it is a way of reducing Mercedes’ dominance, which is particularly obvious in qualifying where the team have claimed the front-row at every race this season so far, and more often than not by a considerable margin.
Horner, whose team is Mercedes’ closest rival and won last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, unsurprisingly backs the move, describing it as “healthy” for the sport.
“It will affect all teams, the question is how much,” said the Briton.
“I think that these qualifying modes have been pushed and developed over the years. There’s inevitably enormous cost that’s associated with developing these different modes.
“With exhaust blowing for example, we had to run a standard map throughout weekend. And I think this is just adopting a similar methodology to that, which I think is sensible for Formula 1.
“I think it’s a healthy thing for the manufacturers and if anything, if it creates better and closer racing it’s a positive for Formula 1.”
The full details of the ban are not yet known, with the FIA yet to release an official technical directive covering the matter.