The Mercedes cars' rear wings have been the centre of attention since the Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton blitzed the rest of the field to take a dominant win after starting 10th on the grid. Red Bull Racing were certain that there was something illegal going on in the rear wing assembly that was giving the Silver Arrow a massive straight line speed advantage.
Christian Horner, the team principal of the Red Bull team, called on the FIA to monitor Mercedes' rear wing and ensure they were not getting an illegal advantage going into the final races of the season. Both the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships are finely poised and Mercedes' recent gain has made them the clear favourites to claim their eighth straight double win.
Mercedes area confident that there is nothing illegal in their rear wing assembly after passing the new tests introduced by the FIA at the recently concluded Qatar Grand Prix, which was also won in dominant fashion by Hamilton. Red Bull, however, are still not convinced and it is expected to rear its head again when the F1 juggernaut arrives in Saudi Arabia for the penultimate race of the season.
The FIA reportedly hung two 35 kilogram weights at different points of the Mercedes rear wing to test the flex, which supposedly reduces drag and offers higher straight line speed. But the Brackley-based team said that it came through the test without any issues, while taking a jibe at Red Bull in the process.
"The wing was rock solid. You could have hung 100 kilos on it," a source from the German team told Auto Motor Sport, as quoted on Planet F1. "Maybe Red Bull will ask for 105 kilograms next time."
Red Bull have alleged that Mercedes changed the rear wing prior to the test on Saturday in Qatar, and replaced it with one that does not flex. The reigning champions have strongly denied that claim and made it clear that it was the same rear wing used on Friday.
The controversy is likely to come up again in Saudi Arabia with Mercedes again expected to be the quickest car around the street circuit in Jeddah. The tests are expected to be now carried out at both the remaining races to ensure Mercedes are not gaining an illegal advantage on the straights.