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Seidl "not happy" with FIA's 'bendy wing' delay

NEWS STORY
20/05/2021

McLaren team boss, Andreas Seidl is "not happy" with the delay in introducing new tests to monitor so-called "bendy" wings.

Earlier this month, the FIA's single seater technical head, Nikolas Tombazis wrote to all the teams advising that new load deflection tests will be introduced from 15 June. The move follows claims that the rear wing on the Red Bull was seen to bend at high speed in Portugal and Spain.

"We have become aware of some cases whereby rear designs which comply with the requirements of articles 3.9.3 and 3.9.4 nonetheless exhibit excessive deflections while the cars are in motion," wrote Tombazis. "We believe that such deformations can have a significant influence on a car's aerodynamic performance and hence could be deemed to contravene the provisions of article 3.8.

"We will be looking out for any anomalous behaviour of the deformation of the rear wing," he added. "In particular we will not tolerate any persistent out of plane deformation that may be contrived to circumvent the symmetrical loading applied in the load deflection tests. Should we observe any characteristics that indicate exploitation of this area, we will introduce further load deflection tests as necessary."

He gave a June 15 deadline by which time the teams must make the necessary changes, however at McLaren, Andreas Seidl questions the FIA's delay in acting.

"When you see all the videos and pictures from Barcelona, it's pretty clear what is happening," said the German. "Therefore we welcome the reaction from the FIA with the technical directive, the basic content of which we are happy with.

"Where we strongly disagree is the timing of the implementation," he added. "There is no reason after not just one team had already the advantage of doing things which in our point of view are clearly against the regulations.

"They had that advantage for several races, which is something we are not happy with. But now allowing them to have further advantage for more races is something we strongly disagree with and where we are in conversations with the FIA.

"The tests mentioned in the regulations at the moment are in place to, let's say, additionally support the FIA to check in a straightforward way if the cars are complying with the regulations. But it doesn't mean that only these tests are the criteria as to whether the car is legal or not.

"We hope the FIA shows a very strong hand and it is simply not acceptable because it puts the teams who comply with the regulations at a big disadvantage."

Asked whether his strong tone suggests that McLaren might formerly protest any of the teams suspected of running such wings, Seidl said: "In principle I am not a big fan of protesting other teams and cars.

"All I can say is at the moment we are in dialogue with the FIA to make sure teams that have designed devices or parts that we have seen in Barcelona simply can't use these devices or parts anymore."

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