Red Bull: FIA happy with 'bendy wing' after Hamilton comments

Red Bull insists that the FIA is completely happy with the design of its Formula 1 car, despite suggestions from Lewis Hamilton that it could be running a ‘bendy wing’ to help boost straightline speed.

Red Bull: FIA happy with 'bendy wing' after Hamilton comments

The Milton Keynes-based outfit is locked in a tight fight with Mercedes, and both teams are pushing to the limits in a bid to come out on top.

Hamilton dropped some intrigue into Red Bull’s performance, however, when he suggested over the Spanish Grand Prix that its rival could be gaining from its rear wing flexing on the straights.

In an interview with Sky on Saturday evening, he had said: “The Red Bulls are really fast on the straights. They have this bendy wing on the back of their car which they put on today and they gained at least three tenths from this wing.

“So they will be quicker down the straights than us, and it will be hard to keep them behind. But that doesn’t mean it will be impossible.”

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing comparison

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull had used a high downforce wing during Friday practice in Spain, potentially as a test item for the next race in Monaco.

However, from Saturday it switched to a lower drag configuration that it has used in the opening races of the season.

F1 teams have long tried to push the boundaries with aero elasticity, knowing that if they can get a rear wing to flex and rotate back slightly on the straights then it can boost top speed performance.

The FIA has been aware of the practice, and teams have to comply with strict pull back tests to ensure that their wings are strong enough and not flexing too much.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has revealed that Mercedes chief Toto Wolff has spoken to him in private about the rear wing design, but was clear that the FIA was satisfied with its design.

“I saw the comments,” said Horner when asked about Hamilton’s ‘bendy wing’ remarks.

“Of course the cars are scrutineered thoroughly and there's pull back tests, and there's all kinds of different tests it has to pass. The FIA are completely happy with the car, that it has passed all of those tests that are pretty stringent.

Read Also:

“So I was surprised to see his comments on that. But it's something that Toto has mentioned to me previously. I doubt it was Lewis' opinion, so probably came from elsewhere.”

Wolff was coy about the situation when asked about whether or not there were genuine concerns about Red Bull pushing the boundary of the regulations.

“Yeah it’s good fun,” he said. “Yeah, we discussed it. But… everybody’s… no, let me not comment. Sorry.”

shares
comments

Related video

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings
Previous article

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Next article

10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Spanish GP

10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Spanish GP
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023