Christian Horner says the advantage that Mercedes’ rear wing gives them is hidden in the way that it operates.
Mercedes’ sudden gain in pace has led Red Bull to threaten Mercedes with protest if their suspicion about W12 proves to be true. Red Bull has been keeping a close eye on their rival’s rear wing. Max Verstappen got 50,000 Euros for touching it after qualifying in Brazil.
Horner did not particularly specify about the part that his team were suspicious about. However, he provided more details in discussion with Toto Wolff at a press conference in Qatar.
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He said, “obviously, the directives that came out prior to Azerbaijan had a material effect, and I think that this is something even more advanced.”
“It’s hidden in the way that it operates, so it’s harder to spot from a camera. But you can see the straight-line performance since Hungary, and particularly in the last two Grand Prix, has gone exponential.”
“I think that obviously concerns us, and that’s why Adrian [Newey, chief technical officer] and Paul [Monaghan, chief engineer} have been discussing it with the FIA.”
Christian Horner threatens Mercedes
Horner also said that Red Bull would protest if they found out that the component of the car was not in compliance with the rule in Qatar.
He put more emphasis on the threat while speaking to Sky sports too. Red Bull’s suspicions only seem to have grown in the first day of running in Qatar due to the straight-line speeds recorded at the track.
“If we see it on the car here, it will be protested. I think that [it’s] probably less of a factor here [in Qatar]. Although we obviously saw significant straight-line speed in the FP1 session again, another probably seven kilometres an hour difference between our cars,” he added.
Red Bull had mixed results on the first day of the Qatar Grand Prix. Max Verstappen topped FP1, although he was some way behind Valtteri Bottas in FP2. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez encountered serious oscillation issues on his rear wing.