2 September 2010
Horner: Others should be more worried than RBR about Monza tests
Adamant that no changes had to be made to the front wing of the RB6 between Hungary and Belgium, Christian Horner suggests other teams have more to fear from the new FIA floor tests to be introduced at Monza than Red Bull Racing...
Christian Horner has rebuffed suggestions that Red Bull Racing's comparative underperformance in last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps was the product of sterner FIA aerodynamic tests – arguing that the front wing on the RB6 was identical to that which had been used in the preceding Hungarian Grand Prix, and that the revised floor compliance tests for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix at Monza will hurt other teams more.
There has been considerable speculation regarding the legality – or otherwise – of the Red Bull RB6's flexible front wing, as well as that of Ferrari's F10, but both successfully passed the deflection tests they were put through following Friday practice at Spa without, Horner insists, any changes needing to be made from the wing that the energy drinks-backed outfit had run in Budapest prior to the mid-season F1 2010 break.
Rather, the Englishman contends, the additional front floor tests that will be rolled out by the sport's governing body at Monza in a week's time – following fears that front wings are being indirectly lowered by dint of the chassis floor flexing at high-speed – will pose 'no problem' for his team, but may do for some of its rivals...
“I can categorically tell you that they are the same wings that ran in Hungary a month ago,” he told The Daily Telegraph, in response to accusations from McLaren-Mercedes star Jenson Button that enforced aerodynamic modifications had restricted Red Bull's pace in the Ardennes. “Whether that is the same for our competitors, I can't say.
“I would be very interested to know who had the most flexible front wing [at Spa], because I can guarantee that it wasn't Red Bull. You might find it was a silver one... At the end of the day our car complies with the regulations, and the easiest thing in the world if you don't understand it is to try to get something banned. On the basis that nothing has changed on our car, I cannot see why they should not be happy.”
There has been an interesting theory put forward by our friends over at Pitpass that the degree to which the RB6's front wing twists and flexes renders the balance of the car unstable when pulling out from behind another to try to overtake – potentially making it a contributory factor in Sebastian Vettel's accidents at Spa and in Istanbul, and team-mate Mark Webber's not dissimilar crashes on home turf Down Under in Melbourne and in Valencia.
Horner, however, went on to add that he hopes a line can now finally be drawn beneath the whole contentious matter, despite continuing qualms from McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh and Mercedes Grand Prix counterpart Ross Brawn, whose claims that changes were made to the RB6's wing between Hungary and Belgium he dismisses as 'complete propaganda'.
The latter – no stranger to controversy himself in the wake of the double-diffuser issue last year – agrees that the FIA needed to make a clampdown of some sorts to put the matter to bed once-and-for-all.
“It's been a bit of a distraction and probably in some ways a bit unfair on some of the teams that have been doing very well this year, because it reflects on them a little bit,” Brawn is quoted as having said by ITV-F1. “I hope we don't talk about it anymore.
Red Bull Racing
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