What is going on with Red Bull’s flappy F1 rear wing

While Red Bull Racing has voiced its concerns over Mercedes’ rear wing, it is encountering issues of its own that has drawn criticisms from its bitter Formula 1 title rivals.

What is going on with Red Bull’s flappy F1 rear wing

Not for the first time this season, Red Bull’s mechanics could once again be seen fixing a problem with the DRS actuator and mechanism during Free Practice 2 in Qatar on Friday evening.

The failure is easily identifiable when the car is out on track, as the rear wing’s top flap begins oscillating at high speed when the DRS is active. In Qatar FP2 it was Sergio Perez's car that was affected and he lost track time in the pits while repairs were made.

Not only has this led to damage to the actuator and mechanism but over the course of the last few races it has required the team to fix and patch up the rear wing on several occasions, as cracks have appeared in various locations on the wing due to the stress induced.

This may just be down to the parts coming towards the end of their lifecycle, something that’s become more of an issue for the teams this year due to the expanded calendar and working against the backdrop of a cost cap. However, it may also be down to the team pushing the envelope with its wing setup to find extra performance from the DRS, all while having to work within the bounds of this year's homologation system.

The DRS – or rear wing adjuster as it’s referred to in the technical regulations – was one of the parts frozen going into 2021, with only two options allowed to be homologated to account for different downforce levels. 

Red Bull Racing RB16B DRS comparison

Red Bull Racing RB16B DRS comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In order to redesign these for 2021, a team would be required to spend a development token, which Red Bull didn’t do, as we know it spent the two at its disposal on a new gearbox carrier.

In this case it’s entirely likely that we will continue to see this problem persist for the remainder of the season, as the team essentially has to work with what it has, while looking for those small nuggets of performance.

But speaking to Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle ahead of the race at Interlagos last weekend, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff called out Red Bull for making these repeated wing fixes under parc ferme conditions in America, Mexico and Brazil.

But the FIA’s Michael Masi has since denied there was any favouritism or preferential treatment afforded to Red Bull on the matter.

“From our perspective, we treat every single request equally, consistently, look at every single one,” said Masi. “The thing is, if we see that something is let's call it systematic with the team over a number of events, then we ask them to make permanent modifications to that part.

“There's a whole lot of things that go into it. So no, I don't think there's any inconsistency at all.”

 
Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

F1 Qatar Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel
Previous article

F1 Qatar Grand Prix qualifying – Start time, how to watch, channel

Next article

F1 teams battling kerb strike fears at Qatar GP

F1 teams battling kerb strike fears at Qatar GP
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
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.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
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