Red Bull casts flexi-wing suspicion on McLaren and Ferrari

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Red Bull has raised concerns about the front wings used by McLaren and Ferrari, as the specter of illegal flexi-wings appears to be haunting Formula 1 once again.

According to a report from German publication Auto Motor und Sport, Red Bull suspects that its rivals’ wings might be exceeding the permissible level of flexibility, potentially granting an aerodynamic advantage.

The report claims Red Bull even lobbied Aston Martin to protest the legality of these wings, which the Silverstone-based outfit declined to do.

Flexi-wings were in the line of sight of the FIA last season when rumors emerged that Aston Martin's early season success had been related to a clever way of working around the rules relating to flexible wings.

Such a ploy can help a car retain downforce without adding drag or compromising straight line speed.

In order to ensure that all competitors to the spirit of the current regulations, the FIA published a Technical Directive ahead of last year’s Singapore Grand Prix in which it reminded teams that: 'All aerodynamic components or bodywork influencing the car's aerodynamic performance must be rigidly secured and immobile.’

This governing body’s directive aimed to establish clear boundaries for bodywork flexibility and prevent teams from exploiting loopholes for aerodynamic gain.

The FIA enforces these regulations through static load tests, where front wings are subjected to a specific load (60 newtons) and their deformation is measured. Wings exceeding a 3-millimeter deflection are deemed illegal.

Earlier this season, Mercedes also caused a stir when it introduced on W15 car a controversial front wing design that passed FIA scrutiny. However, it was later abandoned at the Monaco Grand Prix.

While the exact nature of the "legality trick" employed by Mercedes remains unclear, it emphasizes the ongoing struggle between teams pushing boundaries and the FIA's efforts to maintain a level playing field.

Red Bull's suspicions, whether founded or not, underscore the high stakes in F1, where even minor aerodynamic advantages can translate into significant competitive gains.

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