Red Bull boss Christian Horner has provided a bit more information on their legal issues regarding the Mercedes rear wing.
Horner and Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff faced off in the latest FIA press conference during the break between FP1 and FP2 at the Losail International Circuit and, unsurprisingly, it was a tense session while the two were toasted about their ongoing rivalries, relationships and protests between title rivals.
Amidst all the drama unfolding on and off the track between Mercedes and Red Bull in this epic title fight, there is a lingering threat of protest from the latter against the legality of Mercedes’ rear wing.
Although no protests have yet been reported, Red Bull is keeping a close eye on this specific part of the W12 car – even world championship leader Max Verstappen has been fined 50,000 euros for touching the rear wing of Mercedes in Brazil.
After the race in Sao Paulo, Horner won’t go into details on exactly what Red Bull was about about the Mercedes rear wing. But, at Qatar’s press conference on Friday, Horner went straight into specifics with Wolff.
And as for the latest off-piste news if you’re not already watching on the channel, Toto Wolff and Christian Horner are side by side in the team managers press conference right now.# SkyF1 # F1 pic.twitter.com/NDmfCi3OMQ
– Sky Sports F1 (@ SkySportsF1) November 19, 2021
“How do you explain the markings on the rear wing end plate?” Horner asked Wolff, who initially offered to send a Mercedes rear wing to Red Bull for inspection and cut it into “a thousand pieces.”
Wolff replied, “I think that’s part of what’s allowed and so it’s ok.
This response prompted a slow nod from Horner, who earlier in the press conference repeated the threat of an official protest: “Don’t worry, if we see him on the car here he will be protested.”
“If we believe that [Mercedes] car is not compliant, we will protest, ”Horner told reporters.
“The straight-line speeds that we saw in Mexico and Brazil were not a normal situation. And yes, we know that a new engine with Mercedes comes with increased performance.
“But when you have a closing speed of 27 km / h and you see marks on the rear fender end plates that have been marked by the flexing of the fenders, what happened is very clear to us. . “
Horner added in a question from The Race about the proximity of a claim: “We will be monitoring the situation closely.
“It depends on what is going on this weekend and what we see through the analysis that we are doing.
“It’s not just applied here [in Qatar], in many ways it is even more relevant for the two upcoming circuits [Jeddah and Abu Dhabi].
“But as a competitor, and we know Mercedes has paid a lot of attention to our car this season, obviously we are doing the same. The stakes are high and there is a lot to play for.
“We just want to make sure it’s a level playing field.”
During the press conference, the FIA confirmed that Mercedes’ request to appeal the Turn 4 incident involving Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Brazil had been rejected.