"If I was Toto, I'd keep my mouth shut," says Horner


As F1 waits to see if Mercedes will carry out its threat of protesting the rear wing on the Red Bull, Christian Horner warns that in doing so the German team could come to regret opening that particular can of (bendy) worms.

With the W12's single lap pace leaving both Mercedes drivers well down on their title rivals, protesting the legality of the Red Bull RBR16B might be the German team's only option in terms of easing its pain this weekend.

Ahead of the revised deflection test that will be used from the forthcoming French Grand Prix, this weekend the FIA is placing markers on the rear wings of all the cars in order that the rear facing cameras can be calibrated to reveal how much they bend when in use.

Initial images suggest that almost all the teams rear wings are bending to some extent, and while that on the Mercedes doesn't flex as much as that on the Red Bull, Christian Horner insists that in terms of the W12 it is the front wing that the FIA should be watching.

"If anything, around here, looks at bit worse than ours," the Briton told Sky Sports, when shown side-by-side footage of the rear wings on the Mercedes and Red Bull.

"But I'd be more interested to see the front of the cars than the rear of the cars," he added.

"You're opening a complete can of worms, and that is why there are tests," he continued, "there are stringent tests in place, that the cars are designed to comply with.

"A lot of noise has been made about the rear wing, and a lot of revisions have had to be made. So if you're picking on one end of the car, you have to look at the other. You can't look at one part in isolation and say that set of rules only applies to that element on that car. You have to look at all areas... and sometimes, you have to be a little bit careful what you wish for."

Shown footage of the front wing on the W12 at speed, he said: "You can see the sponsorship on the front wing, and then it disappears as he comes into a braking area.

"Maybe that's what it's for, it's to expose the new sponsor on the front wing," he laughed.

Asked what he would do were he in Tot Wolff's place - the Austrian having previously admitted - but then laughed off - the suggestion that Red Bull could launch its own counter-protest, Horner replied: "I think if I was Toto with the front wing he's got on his car, I'd keep my mouth shut.

"You've got some very bright technicians designing components to comply with the rules," the Briton explained of the whole situation. "That's their job, that's what we pay them for, that's what Formula 1 is all about, that engineering ingenuity. If we want standard cars, then we'd be Formula 2.

"I think that's part of what the competition in this sport is, pushing the boundaries. That's what Formula 1 is all about. But you've got to be legal, you've got to be within the rules, but you've got to push those boundaries. That's what we, like every other team in the pitlane, does."

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Published: 05/06/2021
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