Red Bull lodges protest against Mercedes


Two hours after the end of FP2 Mercedes representatives were summoned by the stewards at the Red Bull Ring, following the protest lodged in respect of an alleged breach of FIA Formula One Technical Regulations, Articles 3.8 and 10.2.3 during free practice session P2.

Article 3.8 refers to the aerodynamic influence on the car, stating that "any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must comply with the rules relating to bodywork" and "must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom)".

It adds that: "with the exception of the driver adjustable bodywork described in Article 3.6.8 (in addition to minimal parts solely associated with its actuation) and the parts described in Articles 11.4, 11.5 and 11.6, any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car."

Article 10.2.3 refers to the rule that "no adjustment may be made to any suspension system while the car is in motion".

When asked earlier today if a protest was likely, Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1: "We'll wait to see if it is fitted to their cars".

When both Mercedes cars subsequently ran the system, the die was cast.

"Obviously it's a complicated system, it's a clever system," said Horner, when asked if his team would run its own version.

"We're after some clarifications from the FIA, and start raising some questions about it. It depends what it actually does and achieves. Everything has to earn its place on the car, these rules are so complex, it's just understanding which parts of the regulations it fits."

Earlier today at the official press conference, Toto Wolff had called on Red Bull boss, Christian Horner not to consider protesting the system this weekend and possibly marring the much-anticipated season opener.

"All teams are pretty much aware that we are in a sensitive situation with going racing," said the Austrian. "It's the first race, and I think on one side, it's fair enough to seek clarification, but on the other side we are aware that we don't want to end up with a big debate on Sunday.

"I think Christian is going to take the right actions," he continued. "Controversy and different judgement on engineering innovation has always been a part of Formula 1, and this is what's to be be expected in a way and it's part of the risk.

"I respect Christian's position," he added. "Clarification is always good. We think we are on the right side. There was a lot of talking and exchange with the FIA. That is the reason why we have it on the car, so we will both bring our arguments forward and then let's see."

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Published: 03/07/2020
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