REVEALED: How the FIA Is Keeping a Leash on Red Bull’s Rear Wing After Mercedes’ F1 Protests

Published 07/10/2021, 7:00 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 20, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


Any team gaining a speed advantage in F1 draws attention from other teams. This season, Red Bull have drawn the attention of Mercedes, with the flexi-wing debate proof of the same. With their rear wing helping them in straight line speed, the Austrian outfit are dominating the season so far.

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While the FIA admitted they will carry tests on the rear wing from the French Grand Prix, here’s how they are keeping Red Bull in check.

Photographer clicks the FIA testing Red Bull’s flexi-wing at the French Grand Prix

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Red Bull’s flexible rear wing helps them generate much more downforce because of its movement. Hence, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have more straight-line speed than Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

After Verstappen won the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes raised questions about their flexi wing. Hence, after sustained pressure from the Silver Arrows, the FIA decided to bring tests and regulations in place at the French Grand Prix.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 19, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Recently, Formule 1 photographer Peter van Egmond released a picture detailing the FIA’s test on Verstappen’s Red Bull at Le Castellet. He said, “In France they had to comply with the new rules for the first time. When I went for a walk after qualifying on Saturday, I saw the cars of the ten fastest driver being scrutinized for the new tests.”

Later on, he clarified the procedure that the FIA followed in their test. “The wheels are off and the car is resting on the weighbridge with a test installation built over it that pneumatically exerts a certain force on the rear wing,” said van Egmond.

“I was curious if the Red Bull would pass the new flex test and how it would do against the Mercedes afterwards.”

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Despite the debate, van Egmond believes the Austrian outfit are passing all tests. In addition, he believes Mercedes’ complaints are actually aiding Red Bull as a team. He said, “For the time being, however, it seems that Mercedes’ complaining has actually made Red Bull faster.”

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While this debate continues off track until the FIA’s verdict, their focus shifts to the British Grand Prix. Although Hamilton trails Verstappen by 32 points, Silverstone gives him an excellent opportunity to bounce back. In addition, the Silver Arrows look to bring upgrades next weekend, which could help them bounce back in this intense season.

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Sanket Nair

336 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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