Formula 1

Christian Horner won't silence his drivers (©GettyImages)
Christian Horner won't silence his drivers (©GettyImages).

Red Bull defends Sebastian Vettel over engine comments

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Red Bull insists it will never censor its drivers following Sebastian Vettel's criticism of Formula 1's new engines caused controversy in Malaysia. 

Vettel labelled the sound of the new 2014 turbos as 's**t' ahead of last weekend's Grand Prix amid the ongoing debate about the impact of this year's new regulations. 

It is believed that the German's remarks have not gone down well with FIA president Jean Todt, who wrote to all drivers in November 2012 warning them not to swear in media interviews, after both Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen did so live on television on the podium after that year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Despite Todt feelings towards Vettel's remarks about the sports new era, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has backed his number one driver and said he would never choose to silence his drivers. 

"All the drivers are allowed to express their own opinion," he is quoted as saying in Autosport.

"Sebastian has expressed his opinion and I don't think anybody would condemn a driver for making an opinion.

"It [his opinion] is not one that he is alone on. There are differences of opinion and everybody is entitled to one."

The F1 regulations contain a catch-all clause forbidding drivers from "bringing the sport into disrepute" which could be used by Todt if he wanted to punish Vettel for his comments. A tactic used regularly by his predecessor Max Mosley to prevent drivers being critical on issues in F1. 

Vettel's view on the sound of the new turbo hybrid engines, which is quieter than last year's naturally louder V8s, is one shared by Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, to whom the world champion is close with who was "horrified" when he heard the engines on television at the season-opener in Australia two weeks ago. 

Although, Ecclestone's opinion changed when he heard the new engines in person for the first time in Malaysia this weekend and did concede they were "better than I thought".


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