Fresh F1 flexi-wing saga? Red Bull grow suspicious of McLaren and Ferrari

Could a fresh flexi-wing saga be brewing in the F1 paddock?

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9, Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal, Canada, Race Day.-
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 9,…

Red Bull are reportedly growing suspicious of the front wings used by F1 rivals McLaren and Ferrari.

Flexi-front wings are once again in the "spotlight", according to German publication Auto Motor und Sport, who report that Red Bull are pointing “more openly with the finger” at the front wings of McLaren and Ferrari.

McLaren and Ferrari have been putting Red Bull under increasing pressure in recent events and the reigning world champions are now scrutinising their front wings and how much they are bending.

AMuS reports Red Bull wanted to make Aston Martin protest the front wings of McLaren and Ferrari, but the Silverstone-based squad did not and are now thought to be working on their own solution.

Red Bull have been quoted as saying: “if this is further tolerated, we have to go the same way,” by AMuS.

At last year’s Singapore Grand Prix, F1’s governing body the FIA moved to clampdown on flexi-wings after concerns teams were using “localised compliance and/or relative motion between adjacent components” for aerodynamic advantage.

TD018 was introduced to ensure teams know where the limits are in terms of the extent of the flexibility of bodywork and are not pushing the boundaries of what is allowed.

Teams are subjected to stringent static load tests which are carried out by the FIA. Front wings are loaded with 60 newtons and must not deform more than three millimetres.

Aston Martin are believed to have been advised to make changes to their front wing design early in the 2023 season to safeguard against potential rule breaches.

Mercedes raised eyebrows at the start of the season when the front wing of their W15 featured a legality trick, which was given the green light by the FIA, before being abandoned at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The updated Mercedes front wing has given the car better balance and made Lewis Hamilton and George Russell more confident behind the wheel. 

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