Marko Points Out a Key Issue With a Potential Mercedes Protest in Baku

Published 05/27/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen leads Mercedes’Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race REUTERS/Albert Gea


Formula One is no stranger to controversy. Last season, Mercedes introduced DAS (Dual-Axis Steering), which Red Bull protested against. However, the tables have turned this season, with Red Bull gaining an advantage with a new piece of technology.

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This season, Red Bull’s flexible rear wing has helped them gain a massive advantage by generating more downforce. Ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Mercedes threatened to protest against the “flexi wing.” However, Red Bull’s advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko, outlined the complication with a potential protest.

Marko believes Mercedes will have to protest against eight cars

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Red Bull are flying at the moment. With a superb weekend in Monaco, the Austrian outfit leapfrogged Mercedes in both championships, taking the lead for the first time since 2013.

Introducing the flexible wing this season, Red Bull have enjoyed superior performance as compared to previous seasons. And while rumors of a protest from Mercedes are rife, Dr. Helmut Marko highlighted Mercedes will have to protest against eight cars.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul talk on the grid before the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The Austrian said“Mercedes would have to protest against eight cars. Because in addition to us, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Alpine are also affected. Do you really want to do that and cause a major scandal? I do not think so.” (Translated via Google Translate)

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Marko confused with Mercedes’ outrage against their use of the flexible wing

Although Mercedes may have a reasonable front for a protest, Marko admitted Red Bull were in a similar position last season.

With the DAS, Mercedes had an immense advantage over their competitors. According to Marko, Red Bull accepted the use of DAS despite being deemed illegal by the FIA. Thus, Mercedes’ reaction to the flexible wing confuses him.

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during qualifying REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

“In Formula 1, it is part of the team that the teams look carefully when the competition has something special about the car,” said Marko. We did that when Mercedes came around the corner with the innovative DAS system last year. 

“The FIA ​​has declared the system illegal, but they were still allowed to use it until the last race. We accepted that. Why doesn’t Mercedes now accept that the same is done with our rear wing?”

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With the threat of a protest looming, all roads now lead to Baku. The next set of actions heavily rely on the race result in the “Land of Fire” on June 6. Could this be a major turning point in the championship battle?

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Sanket Nair

151 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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