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Wolff issues "very messy" legal threat to Red Bull

Wolff issues "very messy" legal threat to Red Bull

F1 News

10 comments

Wolff issues "very messy" legal threat to Red Bull

Wolff issues "very messy" legal threat to Red Bull

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has warned Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner to expect a "very messy" Azerbaijan Grand Prix as a potential legal threat looms.

The row over the flexi or limbo rear wings is set to boil over in Baku where the device on Red Bull's cars has already been estimated to provide them with around six-tenths of a second advantage.

The movement of the rear wing goes against article 3.8b of the technical regulations that state 'any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car [rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom]'.

While Red Bull's wing has passed all FIA tests, motorsport's governing body has since moved to make those tests more stringent, although they do not come into force until the French GP.

That has annoyed Wolff who believes all teams currently running 'limbo' wings - Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Alpine, as well as Red Bull - have ample time to stiffen up the component before the next race in Baku.

Asked whether a protest was likely at the next race, speaking to Sky Sports F1, Wolff said: “Yeah. I think if the limbo-wings will be on in Baku, with the advantage we see, it’s going to go to the stewards.

"If the stewards are not enough, 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.”

Red Bull gives you 'wings'

Horner has suggested Mercedes' front wing on the W12 is just as culpable as the rear wing on its own RB16B.

Wolff, however, countered, adding: “We’ve analysed the front wings and they are bending exactly the same way as the Red Bull so we could be protesting each other on the front wing also.

“But it is clear the rear wing bends more than it should under the rules. It has been classified as non-conformant but we are left in a vacuum where new tests will be introduced after Baku.

“So it is what it is but we are pretty robust in our legal position and it is just an advantage."

Wolff, though, was at least courteous in defeat following a Monaco GP in which Red Bull took over the lead of both the constructors' and drivers' championships in the wake of Max Verstappen's victory.

"They won fair and square," assessed Wolff. "The wing had nothing to do with Red Bull’s performance.

“They were just better. That is what you need to take on the chin and congratulate them.”

What do you think?
Horison

Agree, legal threats really bad taste... Toto is happy as long as his team wins easily; if not he becomes a very unpleasant person.

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Amateur
HIPPOsurf91
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May 2021
First Poster
HIPPOsurf91

Sometimes F1 is the most petty brand of racing. Teams never "lose" it's always someone else's fault or the rules or unfair treatment or something else. It's annoying for what many consider to be the pinnacle of auto racing to be so complete adverse to any onus being on the actual drivers to win or lose. Legal threats over not being in first place are pathetic

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Amateur
Horison
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May 2021
Horison

Agree, legal threats really bad taste... Toto is happy as long as his team wins easily; if not he becomes a very unpleasant person.

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Amateur
Steven
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May 2021
Steven

I don't think that is the case. Toto wants to win sure but the petty squabbling happens when a team feels the other is breaking the rules. If Mercedes had also developed a bendy rear wing you can be sure they would have been again untouchable. The reason they don't have a bendy rear wing is because they saw it as being outside the rules. If you were in a race and came second and you found out the winner used a tactic that wasn't in the wording of the rules legal you'd be pretty angry. If they won because they were just better then you'd accept that and try harder next time.

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Amateur
Bernie13
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May 2021
Bernie13

Politics have always been part of F1 from the 50's onwards.

If people try to bend the rules there will always need to be clarifications.

It's just disappointing when things are found to be illegal and allowed to race.

In previous years we have seen cars that failed regulations have previous results struck using the same spec parts.

There needs to be some consistency.

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Amateur
Joes
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May 2021
Joes

But when Dual Axis steering was questioned he went all out to defend but when someone else tries something different it is all wrong,

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Amateur
Bernie13
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May 2021
Bernie13

Joes, dual axis steering was not expressly forbidden in the rules. Flexible wings are.

Hence the other teams position.

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Amateur
Wobnob
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May 2021
Wobnob

The domination is over, lovely, back to losing gracefully for the boys at mercedes , here hoping for some good racing where all the teams are competitive next season, COME ON Max show them how it's done, won't belong till Lewis starts is whining get a 30+ point lead and sit back, relax and enjoy

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Amateur
Peter88
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May 2021
Peter88

Same goes for Mercedess bending wheels that change aero flow and influence rear aero flow and tyre degradation. Thats just a whine because RB has developed a better car. What a sore looser!

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Amateur
Steven
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May 2021
Steven

Not exactly sure what you are referring to. If it's DAS then that has nothing to do with what you mentioned. Not even suspension geometry. It was a loophole about the axis of the steering wheel operation that they exploited. No rule existed until this year so it was perfectly legal and ingenious to a point but they already knew that loophole would be closed so it was only available last year. Did it earn them a championship and was it worth the development? No idea they may have been ahead without it.

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