Mercedes warns F1 flexi-wing saga could lead to Baku protest

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has indicated that Formula 1’s bendy wing saga will head to a protest in Baku if teams are allowed to continue running them.

Amid concern from the FIA that a number of teams were exploiting flexible rear wings to get a straightline speed boost, new rigidity tests are being introduced from the French Grand Prix.

The timing means that those outfits which have been running the trick wings – which include Red Bull, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo – remain free to gain from them at the next race in Baku.

It is a situation that has upset both Mercedes and McLaren, especially as the Baku track layout is one of the best for running flexible wings.

Both teams are in discussion with the FIA regarding the timing of the new tests, but it is now looking increasingly likely that the matter will be heading for a protest.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the Monaco Grand Prix, Wolff was clear that if rival outfits are allowed to continue running the flexible wings in Baku, then action would be taken in lodging a complaint with the stewards.

“Yeah, I think if the limbo wings are on in Baku, with the advantage that we see, it's going to go to the stewards,” said Wolff.

“And if the stewards are not enough, then it's going to go to the ICA [International Court of Appeal].

“So I guess the FIA is going to clarify things before Baku, because if not, it could be very messy.”

Read Also:

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said that how the FIA responds in the next week to the situation for Baku will be key for deciding what course of action his own outfit takes.

“Obviously we are independent of what Mercedes is doing,” he said. “We have a dialogue on this matter with the FIA as well at the moment.

“And as we said, we are absolutely not happy that cars that from our point of view are clearly not within the regulations, and after it got detected that they're not within the regulations, that our competitors can keep running these cars.

“That's why we have this dialogue with the FIA and then we have to take it from there in the next week.”

Wolff has dismissed worries that rival Red Bull could protest Mercedes’ flexible front wing in a counter attack, as he suggests that there is a strong legal case behind any action his outfit takes to sort the matter in Baku.

“We've analysed the front wings, and they are bending exactly the same way as the Red Bull - so we could be protesting each other on the front wing also,” he said.

“But it's clear that the rear wing bends more than it should. Under the rules, it has been classified as non-conformant. But we are left in a vacuum where it's a new test that will be introduced after Baku. So it is what it is. But we are pretty robust in our legal position.”

shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes mistakes show Red Bull it needs to keep up pressure
Previous article

Mercedes mistakes show Red Bull it needs to keep up pressure

Next article

Mercedes thought Hamilton's strategy had "bigger potential"

Mercedes thought Hamilton's strategy had "bigger potential"
Load comments
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021