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Wolff warns of possible protests over "bendy" wings

NEWS STORY
20/05/2021

Describing the FIA's approach to the "bendy" wings issue as "half-baked", Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff warns of potential protests.

While Andreas Seidl has described the decision by the FIA not to act over the so-called "bendy" wing issue until the French Grand Prix as "not acceptable", Toto Wolff has come down on the sport's governing body even harder.

"My view is very similar to Andreas," the Austrian told reporters in Monaco today. "It is clear that if you have a back-to-back race or maybe even two weeks, it's too short for everyone to adjust. But we have four weeks until Baku and it is incomprehensible that within four weeks you can't stiffen up a rear wing for the track that is probably the most affected by flexible rear wings.

"That leaves us in no man's land," he insisted, "because the technical directive says that the movement of the rear wings has been judged as excessive, so teams who would run this kind of thing are prone to be protested and probably this is going to go to the ICA (International Court of Appeals). Nobody needs this situation.

"It leaves the door open for protests," he warned, "it's not only us but it's probably two other teams that are most affected, maybe more.

"Obviously a protest could end up in the ICA, so that's a messy situation, it can take weeks before we have a result. We should not have this situation if we are having four weeks until the race that is most relevant in the calendar."

It is believed that other than Red Bull, Ferrari, Alpine and Alfa Romeo are under suspicion.

"Yes, we are exploiting," admitted Ferrari's Mattia Binotto. "I think all the teams are exploiting somehow what's possible, and what we believe is right.

"The technical directive is clarifying furthermore, and we will need to slightly adapt," he added. "I think it's impacting Ferrari, certainly on the lap time from what it seems very, very little. But there are some redesigns which need to be prepared to comply fully to the technical directive."

Asked if the rear wing on the W12 might need stiffening, Wolff replied: "Yes we will need to modify our wing...

"… we need to soften it," he laughed. "Our wing is extremely rigid, complying to the famous Article 3.8 that it must remain immobile.

"The new test that has been introduced is a half-baked solution which is giving us opportunity, the whole thing can soften and bend more in the future."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Monaco, here.

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1. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 21/05/2021 4:05

"It's just as well I am not writing the rule book as there would be a lot of aerodynamicists out of work."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by kenji, 21/05/2021 1:15

"Until last night I was of the impression that Red Bull were the main offender regards 'bendy wings' but in footage shown from the front/nose camera images were shown whereby the Mercedes front wing was bending an incredible amount!! In fact in the images shown the left front outboard section appeared then disappeared from the frame entirely before reappearing again under corner entry braking. Surely this must be viewed through the same prism?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by stackvideo, 21/05/2021 1:02

"Seems like there's a rule for Mercedes powered cars and another rule for the rest.

10/10/2020 "World Motor Sport Council approves ban on reverse engineering"

Controversially, the FIA's investigation centred on the RP20's rear brake ducts which were deemed to have broken the sporting regulations as the design was based on CAD drawings supplied by Mercedes.

While the team was fined 400,000 euros and deducted 15 championship points it was controversially allowed to continue using the brake ducts.

How much influence does Toto Wolff have over the FIA?

"

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