'Half the grid could retire in Australia' - Horner

Pirelli Media

15 January 2014 by Ryan Wood

The opening race of the 2014 season could see over half the grid retire, according to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

With the teams facing a massive regulation change in the way of new power units, two energy recovery systems and a 100kg fuel limit, Horner reckons retirement will play a major role in the opening races of the season.

"I think you could see a very high retirement rate, maybe even 50 per cent in the first race," he told Bloomberg on Wednesday.

"Petrol is a challenge this year because we are limited to 100kg of fuel to start the grand prix with (50kg less than 2013), but more reliability issues in the early races will be a key factor.

"And of course we only have five engines for the whole year."

He also believes the gap between the front-runners and midfield will increase, simply because they don't have the budget and resources to develop as quickly when facing big changes.

"For the back of the grid it is a huge challenge with the costs that are going be incurred with this power supply unit," he added.

"The differences between the teams will be bigger," he believes, adding that it could lead to a two-tier series for 2014 at least.

"Whenever there is a reset, the teams that have the investment, that have the resources and the facilities will always turn up with a more advanced product."