Mercedes may protest Red Bull over F1’s flexi-wing saga at Baku
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After footage from the Spanish Grand Prix emerged showing Red Bull’s rear wing flexing at high speed, the FIA issued a technical directive that would see a new test be implemented from the French Grand Prix in June.Mercedes and McLaren are unhappy at the timing of the tougher stance, arguing that rival teams will be able to continue using the so-called “bendy” wings at the next race in Baku, where a significant straightline speed advantage could be gained.Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff refused to rule out the possibility of a protest and warned such a move could result in a “messy” legal fight.“I think if the limbo wings are on in Baku, with the advantage that we see, it’s going to go to the stewards,” Wolff said.“And if the stewards are not enough, then it’s going to go to the ICA [International Court of Appeal].“So, I guess the FIA is going to clarify things before Baku, because if not it could be very messy.”Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); 10 things we learned from the Monaco GP as Verstappen lands F1 title blowaccImages.createImage(); 10 things we learned from the Monaco GP as Verstappen lands F1 title blowAsked if Mercedes would protest a rival team that ran a flexible wing at Baku, Mercedes technical director James Allison replied: “I’m not saying anything.”We’ll see what we see, and figure out what to do when we see it.”SI202105220175_hires_jpeg_24bit_rgb.jpg accImages.createImage();McLaren has also been left frustrated by the flexi-wing saga, with team principal Andreas Seidl saying the Woking outfit “strongly disagrees” with the timing of the FIA’s new test.“Obviously we are independent of what Mercedes is doing,” Seidl explained. “We have a dialogue on this matter with the FIA as well at the moment.“We are absolutely not happy that cars that from our point of view are clearly not within the regulations, and after it got detected that they’re not within the regulations, that our competitors can keep running these cars.Related ArticlesaccImages.createImage(); Ferrari impressed by Leclerc’s ‘great gesture’ at Monaco F1 podiumaccImages.createImage(); Crucial for Red Bull to capitalise on Mercedes’ “rare off-day” – Horner“That’s why we have this dialogue with the FIA and then we have to take it from there.”Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur blasted the FIA’s flexi-wing clampdown as a “joke”, claiming it will cost his team “a fortune” to make any component changes.Meanwhile, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has attempted to turn the situation around by taking aim at Mercedes’ front-wing, which he believes is “clearly” using flexible aerodynamics.”4Wolff acknowledged that Mercedes and Red Bull could end up protesting each other in Baku, but insisted he has no concerns from his team’s point of view.“We’ve analysed the front wings, and they are bending exactly the same way as the Red Bull,” he said.“So we could be protesting each other on the front wing also. But it’s clear that the rear wing bends more than it should. Under the rules, it has been classified as non-conformant.”5“But we are left in a vacuum where it’s a new test that will be introduced after Baku. So it is what it is. But we are pretty robust in our legal position and it’s just an advantage.”
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