Red Bull confident F1's 'bendy' wing clampdown won't hurt form

Red Bull is confident that the FIA clampdown on 'bendy' wings in Formula 1 will not deliver a knock-out blow to its title ambitions in the 2021 season.

Red Bull confident F1's 'bendy' wing clampdown won't hurt form

As revealed by Autosport earlier this week, the FIA is to introduce new load tests on F1 rear wings from the French Grand Prix in a bid to stop teams playing around with aero elasticity.

The FIA believes that a number of outfits have come up with clever designs that are able to pass the current pull back tests while stationary in the pits, but flex down for an aero advantage when out on the track.

While the focus of the new pull back tests has been on Red Bull, after Spanish Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton suggested that its RB16B was running a 'bendy' wing, the team does not believe it will be alone in having to make changes.

Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is clear that it has not done anything outside the regulations up until now.

"The wing has passed the load test," he told Autosport's German sister publication Motorsport-Total.com in an exclusive interview.

"That is crucial. Now, there are new criteria that have different guidelines with regards to load.

"It's often the case when new regulations come and teams discover grey areas. But it's not just Red Bull being targeted, it affects other teams as well."

Marko suggests that both Alpine and Alfa Romeo have been spotted running rear wings that flex at high speed, so they too could be required to strengthen their wings when the new tests come in to force.

Helmut Marko, 2021 Spanish GP

Helmut Marko, 2021 Spanish GP

Photo by: Lars Baron/Getty Images

He has also played down Hamilton's suggestion that the wing gave Red Bull a 0.3 seconds per lap advantage around the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona.

Instead, Marko believes that Hamilton made a wrong calculation when comparing lap times to a high-downforce wing configuration that Red Bull tested on Friday in Spain.

"The reason for the smaller rear wing was that we were too slow on the straights," Marko explained when discussing the high downforce spec that Red Bull elected not to use for the remainder of the weekend.

"Hamilton then saw, when he was driving behind us, that we were relatively fast on the straights and put it down to the wing. That's where two things came together."

But although Red Bull not being able to have the wing flexing so much may cost some lap time, thanks to an increase in drag, Marko does not believe it will be a major problem in its fight with Mercedes.

"It is certainly not a disadvantage that is decisive for the world championship," he said.

He added that the change in tests that are coming was a repeat of similar tougher inspections that Red Bull has faced before in F1 during its period of dominance between 2010 and 2013.

"It is quite normal," he said. "We had to readjust the front wings two, three times a season during our successful world championship period."

shares
comments

Related video

Grosjean's Mercedes F1 test to proceed despite French GP date change

Previous article

Grosjean's Mercedes F1 test to proceed despite French GP date change

Next article

Mercedes boss Wolff: 2021 F1 title battle a “fight of the giants”

Mercedes boss Wolff: 2021 F1 title battle a “fight of the giants”
Load comments
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021