Red Bull Concerned About F1 Rivals’ Front Wings

Lando Norris, Mclaren Mcl38
Lando Norris, Mclaren Mcl38

“Heated discussions” have been playing out behind the scenes in Formula 1 as concerns emerge about the legality of certain front wing designs.

In the most recent grands prix, it has become clear that the formerly-dominant Red Bull team’s major rivals – Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes – have dramatically closed the gap.

“Max (Verstappen) is lucky that he built up such a buffer at the start of the season,” Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers told NOS. “At the moment, McLaren seems to be the most consistent.

“When we look back from Barcelona after next weekend, I will be very curious to see who we think will win this championship. It’s not so obvious anymore that it will be Max.

“It could well be McLaren.”

According to Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt, the turning point could have been the latest front wing innovations.

“The front wing plays a really big role now, you have to say,” Schmidt said.

“Since Imola, there have been quite heated discussions in the paddock about the front wings.

“Red Bull claim that the McLaren wing in particular bends significantly too much. Also Ferrari. And now Mercedes have followed suit with the bending.”

Indeed, Mercedes’ new wing debuted on George Russell’s car in Monaco, before Lewis Hamilton also got the updated package in Montreal – where the silver cars impressed.

“It gave more performance, made it easier to drive, gave good balance and made the car a friend to the driver rather than them having to battle with it,” admitted Mercedes’ technical boss James Allison.

“That was a problem for us at the start of the season.”

According to Red Bull’s F1 consultant Dr Helmut Marko, however, the team’s focus is not on the front wing, but with how the ultra-stiff car struggles to ride the bumps and kerbs.

“We reacted to Monaco by going to Canada with a softer basic setup,” he told Speed Week. “But that was not enough.

“After the Racing Bulls car was very strong in this regard in Montreal, we are currently taking a closer look at where Red Bull Racing might have made a mistake,” Marko added.

“I believe we are on the right track to make progress soon in terms of the front suspension.”

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