Fernandes' plea followed a heated exchange between Whitmarsh and Horner over the relative merits of the concessions allowed to their respective engine suppliers, the full content of which can be found in the press conference transcript here
, but which ended with both team principals suggesting the Team Lotus' boss had the right idea.
"I don't know whether they've got a technical advantage or not," Whitmarsh said of Red Bull, "All I'm saying is that we've evolved into quite a complex set of guidelines as to what's permissible. We've done everything against what Tony's suggested - ie what was not exactly black and white, but what was reasonably clear and what was being exploited has become a whole heck of a lot greyer and subject to negotiation, which probably wasn't appropriate. I think that everyone here agrees, having clear rules that aren't unambiguous and are changed after good consent and between seasons is the right thing to do."
"I agree with Martin," Horner finally agreed, "I think that, at the end of the day, we don't want to be disadvantaged. We think it's unfair to have been excessively penalised through a technical directive that was released just after Valencia. That has been addressed in an equitable manner and I think that, inevitably, McLaren
or Mercedes will think that they're losing out to Renault
and Red Bull.
"Red Bull feels exactly the same, that the way that [McLaren and Mercedes] operate their engine offers an advantage. It's something that we're just not going to agree on, but I think that that's where the role of the regulator is, to balance this and, on what is a very complex subject, they've done their best to do it. I think that as [FIA race director] Charlie [Whiting] will probably admit, it would have been best to deal with this at the end of the year. It is tantamount to a rule change and, when you enter the championship at the beginning of the year and design your car around it – and let's not forget that there's other teams that have significantly designed their cars around this set of regulations – for them to suddenly change halfway through the year is cost, it's time, it's effort, it's money and it's confusing.
"It's confusing to you, it's confusing to the fans and it's confusing to F1, [but] that's where we are. Hopefully, we can now draw a line under it and move on. It's probably not the last you're going to hear about blown exhausts or whatever else is blown these days, but hopefully we can now move on."