Red Bull team principal Christian Horner launched an attack on the assembled F1 media in Hungary yesterday, accusing the journalists of being too negative and not promoting the positive side of the sport.
In a frosty FIA press conference on Friday, six of the team principals faced questions about the viability of the Russian Grand Prix and the decision to take the Grand Prix of Europe to Azerbaijan in light of its human rights record.
Horner snapped after being asked whether taking Formula 1 to these countries was doing harm to the sport.
“This is becoming a very depressing press conference as we’re only focusing on the negatives,” Horner said. “Look, there’s a calendar that comes out in October or November. We all have a choice whether we enter the world championship or not.
“All the people sitting here are racers and they’re here because they’re passionate about the sport and they want to compete. When we sign up for that championship, we put out faith and trust in the promoter and the FIA and we will attend those races unless they deem it unnecessary for us to be there.
“All of you will be at those races, or the vast majority of you will be at those races, and why? Because you’re either passionate about the sport or because you earn a living out of covering the sport.
“I think it’s wrong to make Formula 1 a political statement or subject when we are a sport.”
Horner urged the media to instead focus on the positives within Formula 1, such as the fantastic racing on display, and to put any questions about the political side of the sport to FIA president Jean Todt and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
“We should be talking about the drivers in these conferences,” he said. “We should be talking about the spectacular racing that happened between our drivers.
“We should be talking about what a great race it was for Lewis Hamilton to come through the grid, yet all we do is focus on the negatives and it has to be said, it gets pretty boring for us to sit up here and field these questions.
“So how about asking some questions about what’s going to happen in the race on Sunday? What’s going to happen in qualifying tomorrow? Because if you’re got these questions, please point them at Mr. Todt or Mr. Ecclestone rather than the teams.”
The Russian Grand Prix is set to take place in Sochi on October 12th.