McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl has urged the FIA to take action against any team running a flexible wing in Baku that exceeds the norms.
F1’s governing body will introduce more stringent load tests at the French Grand Prix, but ahead of this weekend’s event in Azerbaijan, it indicated that it would monitor excessive wing deflection in Baku by using video footage.
Special green stickers destined to help map flexing amplitude were added to the rear appendages of all cars.
And Seidl says that any deflection as severe as that recorded on video in Barcelona should warrant immediate action from the Baku stewards.
“From our point of view, if we see deflections again like we have seen in Barcelona, there needs to be action here this weekend,” Seidl said. “How this action will look like in the paddock, I don’t know yet.”
But Seidl believes the FIA should not only assess a wing’s degree of flexing but also its inherent design and whether the latter was purposefully conceived to transgress the rules.
“It is not just the deflection that you see,” explained Seidl. “But in the end what is important is for the FIA to look into how does this deflection get created.
“If this deflection gets created by a design that is clearly done for passing the test which is in the regulations, then is creating excessive deflection, on purpose, that’s obviously not within 3.8 [the article in the rules that bans moveable aerodynamic devices].”
Should the FIA not take action against a team suspected of running a flexible wing that contravenes the norm, a rival team could lodge a formal protest.
“I don’t want to go into discussion of a protest at the moment,” commented Seidl, alluding to McLaren’s stance on filing a protest.
“In general, it doesn’t make sense to do anything before the event, because you can change a rear wing on Saturday morning. There’s no point to do anything on a Friday night.”
In the Mercedes camp, team boss toto Wolff brandished more clearly the spectre of a protest, with Red Bull Racing especially in its line of sight.
“We are now looking at the data from the wings, to see if everything matches up with the rear wing,” Wolff told Sky Sports Italia.
“We will now look at the stickers to see how much the wings move. If we see that there are wings that are too flexible we will definitely take action, but it is still too early for that.
“We will see what happens, it could indeed be that Red Bull will also make a protest against us, then we will all make a protest and we will see what will be decided, but again, let’s see what the data and images say first.
“It is too early to say, but there will be more clarity in these days. It makes sense for both us and Red Bull to look at each other, to see how the other will slow down.”
Race results on Sunday may well be provisional…
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