Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes that motorsport's governing body needs to step and do something to prevent the rest of the 2015 F1 season becoming a repeat of the Australian Grand Prix.
Not only did Mercedes dominate in the same it did in 2014, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg claiming a 1-2 finish, but only 15 cars started and Renault-powered teams lost an entry apiece to technical troubles.
Horner's own team saw Daniil Kvyat's RBR debut fail to even make it to the grid, while sister team Toro Rosso lost a certain points finish when rookie Max Verstappen was forced into retirement in the second half of the race. In both instances, Horner believes that the Renault engine, or problems stemming from it, may have been to blame, while both Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz struggled to match the Mercedes- and Ferrari-powered runners.
“On Daniil's car, it looks like a gearbox issue - we broke a fifth gear,” Horner revealed, “Why? We don't know, but it may have something to do with the oscillations we're seeing from the engine. [STR] are struggling the same amount, it's just having a more dramatic effect on our car at the end of the day, [but] it's been a tough weekend, a very tough weekend, for Renault as the engine is quite undriveable.”
Citing the 'spiralling effect' of trying to compensate for the engine's deficiencies, Horner admitted that Renault – and its two teams – had a lot of work to do, but believed that the FIA had it within its power to try and peg back the better power units to make the sport more of a competitive spectacle.
“As with any problem, you need to know what the problem is in order to address it and, until they get to the bottom of what the issues are, it is going to be very difficult to address that,” he continued, “It's frustrating that we appear to be further back than we were in Abu Dhabi in both power and driveability, [while] Mercedes have done a good job over the winter and Ferrari have made probably the biggest step, predominantly from their power unit.
“I don't think we've seen the potential or our car yet, as its been masked by the engine issues that we have, but I think that, on today's evidence, we're set for a two-horse race at every grand prix this year.”
Without claiming that Mercedes was operating outside of the rules, Horner insisted that seeing Hamilton and Rosberg winning every race would not be good for the sport.
“Mercedes, take nothing away from them, have done a super job,” he conceded, “They've got a good car, a fantastic engine and they've got two very good drivers, but the problem is that the gap is so big that you end up with three-tier racing and that's not healthy for F1.
“When we were winning - and we were never winning to the advantage that they have - you have to remember that double diffusers were banned, exhausts were moved, flexible bodywork was prohibited, engine mapping mid-season was changed - everything was done, and that wasn't unique to Red Bull; that was Williams in previous years, McLaren, etc etc. The FIA, in their rules, have an equalisation mechanism and I think perhaps it's something that they need to look at.
“The FIA have a torque centre on every engine, a power output that they can see, that every engine is producing. They have the facts and they could quite easily come up with a way of finding some form of equalisation. I think you'd need to look in the rules [to discover the exact formula], but it certainly exists of one manufacture is out of kilter...”