Azerbaijan GP: FIA Comes Up With Unique Solution to Aid Heated Mercedes-Red Bull Flexi-Wing F1 Saga

Published 06/04/2021, 6:23 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


All roads lead to Baku for this weekend. With the championship battle between Mercedes and Red Bull finely poised, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix could be a major turning point on multiple fronts this season.

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While the battle on-track is heating up, the battle off-track is gaining heat as well. With Mercedes protesting the flexi wing on Red Bull’s car this season, the FIA introduced a measure for the weekend.

FIA mandates yellow dot stickers on all cars for the Baku race weekend

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The flexi wing has been a major subject of debate in recent times. It had helped teams like Red Bull gain a massive speed advantage, which improved their competitiveness compared to previous seasons.

However, everything apart from the normal draws complaints in F1, and this time, Mercedes are doing the complaining. Since Red Bull are their direct competitors, McLaren also spoke out against the flexi wing.

With the FIA yet to give a verdict, they have ordered all teams to place 12 yellow dot stickers on the rear wings of their cars this weekend.

These dots will help the FIA gather more data on the movement of the rear wing across the weekend. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix could be a major turning point in terms of the flexi wing.

Depending on how the FIA perceives it, there could be new test procedures and regulations put in place for future races.

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How did the flexi wing give Red Bull an advantage over Mercedes?

The flexi wing allowed Red Bull to gain more speed down the long straights. With Baku having a 2.2km straight at the end of the lap, the Austrian outfit could benefit the most this weekend.

Although Mercedes and McLaren are against the front wing, Red Bull won’t be the only team affected by the protest. Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Alpine will also be affected, which is why the debate is at a fever pitch heading to Baku.

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Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during the race REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

While the verdict is yet to be delivered, the FIA will consider taking action only after this weekend. With Baku promising major implications for the championship battle, Mercedes and Red Bull will turn their attention to their on-track battle.

However, this off-track battle is far from over with the FIA’s decision yet to be announced.

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Sanket Nair

134 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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