“It could be up to half a second”– Red Bull could lose significant speed against Mercedes if the bendy wing used by them is removed.
Mercedes and its allies have confronted FIA over alleged violation by Red Bull of rear wings by enforcing excessive flexibility, giving them a significant advantage.
Red Bull is not alone, as Alfa Romeo, Alpine and Ferrari have also used the bendy wings in this year’s design. Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnaeur has revealed that outlawing bendy wings with the new test will take away a maximum of 0.5 seconds.
“It’s very track-specific,” said Szafnauer, quoted by Motorsport.com. “At some tracks, it doesn’t help much at all and others, to have a flexible rear wing does help.
“I think a little bit it will come our way [lower-rake car], maybe by on average a couple of tenths of a second per lap or something. But there are some tracks where you get zero benefit and others where it could be up to half a second.”
Why after Baku?
Like Andreas Seidl and Toto Wolff, Szafnauer is also unhappy with FIA placing the test after Azerbaijan Grand Prix, as in that race, bendy wings give sufficient advantage.
“To design something that flexes just the right amount and passes the test but still flexes takes a big effort,” he said. “But to design something that’s stiff doesn’t take effort at all. And it can be done very, very quickly.”
For Red Bull, it might not be a problem, as they intend to develop the car even more and might clear that deficit and handle the cost, but it surely comes as a major shock to Alfa Romeo.
For them, it will add an extra burden to their meagre budget, and Frederic Vasseur is not happy about it.