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F1: Christian Horner predicts high retirement rate during first 2014 races

Red Bull Racing team principal, Christian Horner, said he expects to see a high retirement rate at the opening round of the 2014 Formula 1 season in Melbourne, Australia.

During an interview on Bloomberg TV, Horner said the introduction of the new, 1.6L turbo hybrid engines in F1 this season really is major.

“It is a massive change. It’s also extremely expensive. It will definitely be a game changer,” said Horner.

“We’d love everything to be frozen as it was at the end of last year!” he added with a smile on his face.

“But this change in technical regulations was long overdue and it brings the F1 engine technology more in line with the automotive sector. However, timing isn’t great because it’s a huge investment for all the teams. But it’s part of the game. Regulations change every year and we have to adapt to them,” Horner declared.

Horner added that he thinks the smaller teams will have even more problems in 2014.

“For the back of the grid, it is a huge challenge. The differences between the teams will be bigger this year. Every time there’s a reset, teams that have the resources will always turn out with a better product. Yes, I think F1 could become a two-speed sport this year,” he explained.

The Brit added that he expects the first races of the season to be a major hurdle for some teams.

“I think you could see a very high retirement rate early in the season -- maybe even 50% in the first race. Petrol is a problem this season as we are limited to just 100kg of fuel for the race. Reliability will be a major concern,” Horner concluded.