Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2014

Red Bull claim they have been “singled out” after both drivers are excluded from qualifying

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2014Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel have been excluded from the results of qualifying after the stewards ruled their cars do not comply with the technical regulations.

In response the team claimed their rivals have interpreted the rules in the same way and they have been “singled out” by the stewards.

The front wings on both RB10s were found to flex beyond the degree permitted by article 3.15 of the technical regulations by the FIA’s. The article states bodywork which influences the car’s aerodynamics “must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car”.

Bodywork is tested for compliance by means of a 1,000 Newton load which when applied to the surface must not cause a deflection of more than 10mm.

However Red Bull said they are “disappointed that we have been singled out for a front wing deflection test when it is clear that other teams are interpreting the rules in a similar fashion”.

“The team accepts the decision of the Stewards and will start the race from the back of the grid,” Red Bull added in a statement.

Both drivers will be allowed to start from the back of the grid.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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119 comments on “Red Bull claim they have been “singled out” after both drivers are excluded from qualifying”

  1. The difference surely is that Red Bull’s fails the test, whilst others don’t. So I don’t understand how they can feel singled out.
    Also, would it be better for them to trim off some rear wing and start from the pit-lane?

    1. According to Adam Cooper four teams were given deflection tests yesterday and passed.

    2. Don’t they need to start from the pits anyway after a change to the front wing? Otherwise they would have the same illegal front wing and would just be disqualified after the race?

      1. AFAIK the front wing is one of the few components allowed to be changed under parc ferme conditions without penalty. Although I am not positive if this covers changing to a different spec front wing, so you may be right. If anyone knows, I would be interested to know myself

      2. @mike-dee @torretto1
        Disqualified from qualifying, means they will have to start from pits. And they can’t use same front wings, as they are illegal. They will have to use different once.
        On good note, they can change to race setup as parc ferme rules are not applicable. On bad notes, it’s double points and all behind Vetted are promoted 2 places.

        Last time similar thing happened with Toyota at 2009 Australian GP. Similar thing with front wings. Trulli and Glock started from pits.

        1. @nin13

          Well, the article states that “Both drivers will be allowed to start from the back of the grid.”

          1. Yes that is what i was confused about. Maybe there has been rule change .

          2. Yeah a rules change doesn’t seem an unlikely answer to the confusion these days…

        2. They’re allowed to start from the back of grid, because they used the same rule Merc used to change Lewis’s brakes at Germany.

          1. But they have illegal car. Hamilton had failed brake. Totally different

        3. Not front wings, it was their rear wings which were illegal.

          1. That was unclear, I was talking about Glock and Trulli.

    3. I haven’t seen the official report, but Sky’s quote from the FIA is: “when checking the front wing of car numbers 01 and 03 it was found that the front wing flaps were designed to flex under aerodynamic load”.

      That sounds to me like they passed the deflection test but are being excluded (as the rules allow for them to be) due to the design obviously intending to cause them to flex under other conditions.

      Whether or not it’s “singling out” comes down to how that design compares to the others, really.

      1. “designed to flex under aerodynamic load” means a deflection of more than 10mm, so they failed the test.

        1. Why do you think it means that? The regulation they were failed on applies to any deliberate deflection under aerodynamic load. The tests only apply forces at three specific locations on the front wing and the forces are smaller than those reached on track.

        2. @pastaman @w-h

          It is different. They say the flaps are designed to flex. The deflection test does not check for this, it checks whether the whole wing flexes. So unlike previous flexing, which meant that the wing worked more efficiently closer to the ground, this time the flaps move, probably reducing drag at high speed.

      2. by now I have seen several sources (Adam Cooper and German AMuS first) mention that RBR had a spring covered in rubber but made to look like the surrounding material @w-h. Not just failing the test, but proof of obviously trying to hide what they were doing. I.e. being cought with their hands in the cookie pot.

        1. @bascb A SPRING??

          The famous air restrictor that the Toyota rally cars were caught with used a spring. And they were banned for a year, because it was a deliberate, calculated cheat.

        2. @bascb @lockup If that is the case then they need to be banned for the race if not have a fair amount of results stripped from them!

          1. I agree, IF this is really the case the FIA should have a look at it and hand out something closer to what McLaren got for willingly cheating in 2007 @strontium, @keithR – see what Adam Cooper tweeted https://twitter.com/adamcooperF1/status/536226035218407424

          2. @bascb Yep. The other issue is, regardless of whether or not there was a spring there, how long have they been running this wing for? If it has been several races then that is several races of technical infringement, also, do they have other, legal wings, to replace these ones?

            This is not very simple and could do with being clarified before the race really.

        3. Actually it’s not so much a spring, but they designed the wing so it is under tension. The downforce then tips the balance at speed and the wing ‘bends’, however it’s been specifically designed so that it would pass the weight test as the pressure would come from a different area then where the weights are applied.

        4. It is not illegal to have a spring inside the wing. If you want you can make the whole wing like a big spring (theoretically it is a spring as all objects in this universe are flexible). To say rbr were cheating by doing that simply tells me your technical knowledge is pretty poor.

          1. Sorry @socksolid, but I very seriously doubt that that is true. Because by defenition a spring does bend, therefore being in conflict with not flexing.

            If the part that attaches the wing to the nose is not rigid but hinged (like McLaren had a year or 2 back until the FIA stepped in) or with a spring, that is clealry not “rigidly attached to the unsprung part of the car”.

            As for the whole wing being “like a spring” – yeah, well, but the issue here is not about the wing bending downward to give more ground effect, like we saw in the past and which was countered by a more stringent test on bending. Its about the whole wing, or part of it, moving to give less drag by using a leaf spring to do so above a certain load. And then masking the spring to look like the surrounding rubber.

          2. that last line should be … to look like the surrounding metal

          3. @BasCB
            By definition EVERYTHING bends. Springs bend in controllable manner, front wings bend in controllable manner, driveshafts bend in controllable manner (and are designed to do so!). Everything is a spring. Even the chassis of the car is designed so that it has at minimum certain springyness (spring rate) and dampening. In everyday language a spring is usually a coil spring, leaf spring or some kind of other piece of metal, plastic or something else that is supposed to bend and then snap back. Even the cover of your phone is held by springs. The cover of the batterybox of tv remote controls are spring.

            To have a spring inside turbocharger is completely different than having “a spring” inside a wing. Simply by changing the contruction, materials and bindings of the carbon fibres you can already control how the wing flexes. How much, to what direction, when.

            Let’s look at that 3.15:
            – Must comply with the rules relating to bodywork.
            – Must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).
            – Must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.

            1. Rules for the wings now includes deflection tests. If your wing deflects but stays below the limits that deflection is fine. Everything deflects. Even concrete, rock, trees. Deflection always means there is spring rate and dampening. Everything is a spring.
            2. This simply means you can not have mechanisms where the wing is held by a contraption like suspension arms for example. But again. Nothing is fully rigid. Everything flexes. The main thing here is flexing is allowed. But having joints and mechanism and linkages is not. In some cases that difference can be difficult to point out. Arbs for example are both. They flex but are also a mechanism.
            3. Basically the same thing as the last two.

          4. They are not talking about it being a coiled spring (which is what most people associate with what a spring is), but a leaf spring (i.e. like more traditional suspension).

          5. All nice and well @socksolid, @ady, by the way I am an engineer too, I know what springs are and that all materials bend and have to etc.

            But when the part is obviously made to move vs. the rest of the wing / car that is something quite differently than just flexing. Flexing is not allowed, its tolerated (because its not possible not to have it), but putting in a section that enables movement of the part is clearly something different (because it is then not rigidly fixed – do you want me to look up the dictonary for defenition of rigid?).

          6. @BasCB
            Only way the spring inside the front wing is a mechanism or linkage (not rigid) is if the spring is not rigidly connected or mounted in some way. I don’t want to go too ocd about this because I don’t think anyone here knows what rbr has done exactly but the way I see it front wings are made and designed so that they bend. They are designed to bend on controllable fashion so that they pass the fia tests. But at the same time they are also designed so that they bend in controlled manner based on aerodynamic requirements. This approach already makes the wings act as springs and if you mess it up you end up with undamped spring like the ferrari or rbr front while from some time ago that visibly vibrated and shaked a lot at times.

            When I read that rbr has a spring inside their front wing my first thought was that doesn’t everybody? Wings are designed to bend and flex.They are aerodynamic devices that follow the airflow like the springs of the suspension follow the road.

            There are many many ways to have a “spring inside front wing”. Simply having a spring inside the front wing in some way does not necessarily make the front wing illegal just like baking a file inside a cake does not make it illegal to have a file inside a cake. But if you try to smuggle that cake into a prison then it becomes illegal just like having a spring inside the front wing is illegal if it used to create a mechanism instead of just being a controllable part of the rigid material section that bends with downforce or drag.

          7. Ok, great @socksolid. You schooled me on what you think should be a spring and the whole wing being a spring, and RBR not really doing anything special. And now it shows you did so without even bothering to have a look at what they actually did.
            I think that should end this discussion, until you do.

            FYI, Scarbs had an article on Autosport, I think I saw some details in German media and some pictures showing where that leaf spring was integrated in the FW – to be more specific, in the support that should hold the upper flaps rigidly in place. I am sure that in the next couple of days more of this will emerge in various sources.

          8. @BasCB
            I’m sorry if my post was condescending. I only saw the scarbs video after writing those posts. As for the autosport article. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/116907. It says the same thing I said?

          9. yes the video has Scarbs explaining nicely what part we should be looking at and what it was achieving (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XOkdtRaZ_g ) @socksolid.

            I saw Scarbs drawing on it as well, and several pictures pointing to the bits before we had that video too.

          10. I just had a look at the comprehensive and thorough blog post from @somersf1http://somersf1.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/bite-size-tech-red-bull-rb10-flexing.html where he describes this case in detail from information available

      3. REd Bull were noted a few seasons back running a car with a nose that dropped down as speed increased..giving more ground effect…..sounds like they are trying this one again…

    4. Jo Baur did NOT say that the RB wings failed the deflection tests. He stated that “the front wing flaps were designed to flex under aerodynamic load” and that “in my opinion this is not in compliance with Article 3.15”.

      Based on his remarks it sounds like the RB wing passed the deflection test. They just decided that passing the deflection tests is not good enough any more.

      1. Completely agree, and this is what should have been done over the last two years as RB has obviously been doing this all along. There has been many, many superslow motion views showing the RB wings flexing yet the stewards and FIA have never done anything about it till now.
        Why did it take years for a reaction???

        1. Seriously? There is a test to see if a front wing flexes, they pass the test* and are excluded … I don’t consider that fair.

          *The statement on FIA’s website: “The FIA’s technical delegate Jo Bauer referred Red Bull to the stewards after deciding that the front wings of both RB10s had been designed to flex under aerodynamic load – a contravention of Article 3.15 of the Formula One technical regulations which limits moveable aerodynamics.”
          At no point it says that the front wings were found to flex beyond the degree permitted by article 3.15, only they were ‘designed’ to flex.

          1. Yes, seriously. The test was insufficient to catch Red Bull but it was obvious they have had flexing wings for years. The fact that they’re better at cheating than the FIA is at catching them doesn’t mean it’s OK to cheat.

    5. Jo Bauer did NOT say that the RB wings failed the deflection tests. He stated that “the front wing flaps were designed to flex under aerodynamic load” and that “in my opinion this is not in compliance with Article 3.15”.

      Based on his remarks it sounds like the RB wing passed the deflection test. They just decided that passing the deflection tests is not good enough any more.

  2. Got to wonder about that new McLaren front wing…

    But their whiny response is a bit pathetic. If they don’t like it, they should go and start their own series (with twin turbo V6s and whatever else that renowned engineer Horner wanted). There’s enough Red Bull drivers to put on a decent race…

    1. McLaren didn’t run the front wing in qualifying though…

      Which makes this all a little bit suspicious. Coincidence that the very same moment McLaren decide they don’t like the wing as much as perhaps they thought they would, the FIA suddenly think to scrutinise a very specific aspect of the wing that it was copying..?

      1. McLaren would certainly find it easier to overhaul Ferrari in the WCC if Red Bull were behind them.

        When you discover a competitor cheating you have to decide whether to copy or protest. You can improve your chances by going to Charlie Whiting and presenting it in a way that he will accept (e.g. double diffuser, blown diffuser). It depends how many other teams have discovered it. If there’s just the two of you (e.g. McLaren and Red Bull) it might be worth trying to copy, but if most of the rest of the field already have it your best option is to protest it (perhaps first asking Charlie to accept it but phrasing your application in a way that gets it turned down.)

      2. There is certainly a precedent, and it also involved Mclaren.

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/57650

      3. McLaren never intended to race that FW, they wanted to test it @w-h, they even said that they saw it perform exactly as expected and were satisfied.

        And I wouldn’t at all be surprised if in actual fact McLaren did bring this wing and ask the FIA about their opinion whether a leaf spring fitted in there somewhere to make it “lay back” would be deemed legal, as a way to tip off the FIA (from knowledge their new head of aero gained??) and get RBR cought.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      23rd November 2014, 6:45

      @bullfrog, and in the new RBSeries cars will have entertainment systems which only play Spice Girl songs!

    3. It’s a shame McLaren has to use such tactics to win some points. They waited Abu Double of course before tipping the FIA, quite pathetic …

  3. Red Bull said they are “disappointed that we have been singled out for a front wing deflection test when it is clear that other teams are interpreting the rules in a similar fashion”.

    Yes, you were singled out. Three other teams were also singled out. The difference is, the other three teams passed the deflection tests.

    What happened to Red Bull? They used to be the cool kids, and now they moan more than Ferrari.

    1. Most likely a result of Horner trying to cozy up to Ecclestone, since Bernie said Horner is the man he would want to replace him or something to that effect. At least, that’s the imoression I’m getting.

      1. +1. Horner has been in lock-step with Bernie lately, and he’s too clever for it to be a coincidence…

    2. Full list of cars checked for front wing flexing (among other things):
      01, 03, 44, 06, 14, 07, 22, 26, 19 and 77

      That’s Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams i.e. the top 5 teams.

      From http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/championship/documents/20141122/Formula%20One%20Abu%20Dhabi%202014%20Document%20-%2033.pdf

      1. Meh … what about the former races? Red Bull isn’t using a new front wing I think, why only take action here at Abu Double?

  4. Williams and Force India had their front wings checked on Friday. As usual, Red Bull are acting like sore losers and petulant kids.

  5. This is quite a coincidence as when I was watching FP3 I noticed on the Williams on-board shot the upper elements of the front wing were flexing downwards quite a lot. Certainly more than I’ve noticed before. Clearly the main plane can’t move but I’m not sure about the test for the other elements.

  6. Congratulations to the champ, Lewis Hamilton.

    1. Only 6 years late.

      1. Better late than never, or wait…..

    2. How amazing would it be if it was Massa who scores 2nd place behind Rosberg while Hamilton comes 3rd.

      1. Go! Go! Bottas!!!

      2. Given that Rosberg has been weaker on race pace than Lewis for the majority of the year, I don’t understand why people are assuming that Lewis will be the one who falls into the clutches of Williams. If either does, I would expect it to be Nico, really. He’s usually weaker on the starts and has a tendency to be on the losing end when going wheel-to-wheel with Lewis.

        I suspect that Rosberg has been setting his car up to optimise qualifying speed in the hopes of taking wins through defending the lead. He’s shown time and again that he certainly can’t fight for it. Not without making convenient mistakes at least. He hasn’t been “on” Lewis’ pace since Spain by my memory.

        Either way, I don’t expect Williams to be a threat to either. They couldn’t hold off the Mercs at Austria, and they had the edge in qualifying there. They have been close at other tracks too but never made anything of it.

        1. Agreed. Lewis has been better on the prime tire all weekend so he just has to bide his time until the first pit stops. Once the primes are on, he’s off to pass Nico and will likely get him on pit stops anyway. Would have had him in Brazil if they hadn’t told hi to stay out another lap.

      3. Nah. Massa will crash into Lewis. Bottas finished 2nd.

  7. RBR must be disappointed they failed the test this time, as their wing has always flexed beyond limits but passed the test.

    1. +1 And I’m still trying to figure out why this is just being called out by the stewards after all these years.

  8. Trenthamfolk (@)
    22nd November 2014, 20:11

    My heart bleeds…

  9. You need to update your story

    Adam Cooper ‏@adamcooperF1 5m5 minutes ago
    Re the RBR wing flaps, I’m told the FIA discovered a leaf spring arrangement encased in a rubber shroud

    Really they should be disqualified full stop

    This is very appropriate
    @TheVijayMallya: A big F1 team that says we small outfits should not come with bananas to a gun fight, grabs maximum money and cheats on the regulations

    1. Now we know why Adrian is there this weekend!!!

    2. Re: Vijay Mallya tweet – Does he imply that it wasn’t Mclaren or Ferrari who tipped FIA? Is this the real gun from a smaller team? Note that FIA only checked the top five teams, i.e. the cartel.

  10. It’s amazing how quickly red bull have passed from being a team nobody cares much about to being a team lots of people hate. They haven’t benefited from the sort of bandwagon jumping that sporting success usually brings, and they haven’t been able to use their marketing muscle to make the f1 team seem cool.

    Is it all down to Christian Horner and his occasional petulance and dissembling? Off track actions which damage the sport in the eyes of the fans, such as torpedoing FOTA or the concorde agreement? 4 years of basically unassailable dominance? Horner is the main key to their success, and I’m sure he couldn’t care less as long as he’s winning.

    Whatever it is, this press release sums it up. They cheated with illegal components which they’d been warned about before, they got caught, and they’re having a petulant fit about it, casting aspersions everywhere as though it was someone else’s idea to put that part on the car. Sad. Not surprising though.

    1. In my observation, Red Bull has divided opinions since day one. When they entered the sport, they did try pretty hard to be a cool, hip team, but frankly, a lot of people seemed to dislike them for it. Ever since they’ve been successful, a lot of people have been less than impressed with their politics, mainly because of press releases like this.

      Red Bull are in the game of winning, but every team is. However, McLaren (despite Ron Dennis) still has plenty of fans, Ferrari (despite years of poor PR) have tons of fans, it’s just that Red Bull has never really appealed to a lot of people, I guess.

      Apart from Horner, I think it might also be Adrian Newey, Dietrich Mateschitz and Helmur Marko. They’ve made a lot of unpopular statements and decisions. On top of that, Vettel hasn’t been the most popular champion and they’ve gotten a lot of flak for their treatment of Webber.

      Red Bull might not be popular, but I’m sure when they get to the factory and look at their trophy cabinet, they don’t really care…

      1. The problem with that is, Red Bull are firstly and most importantly there for the business exposure, If the team loses even more of it’s fans and if splashed across the media as “Red Bull Cheating” the owner of Red Bull, who has already had to talked into staying in the new Formula 1 wont stick around for long.

        They will stay for as long as it makes financial and promotional sense, nothing more. They are after all, as it was once put “just a drinks company” trying to sell their product. And while I completely agree that the guys an girls at the factory probably do look at that cabinet and think we have won alot, I wonder what they will think when the team is sold or closed down completely after Red Bull pull the plug on the funding. Just a thought.

        1. Nobody really had to “talk Mateschitz into staying in the new formula 1” @woodyd91.

          The only reason we ever heard the likes of Horner or Marko say so, was to drive their point home about something (ditching changes to aero, getting something with the engine, etc.). Its exactly that why you never hear Mateschitz say something like this, because he still gets a lot from F1.

          Now if the FIA were to strip them of their points for this year for this infringement, I can see how it would mean a rethink for RB (although he did personally sign an agreement with Bernie to stay in until 2020, so its not easy/cheap to just walk away) and for F1 in its current state that would pose a big problem, more or less exactly what the smaller teams and all calling for a cost cap have called for actually: that if a big team walks, it will hurt.

          Altogether its another good reason to ignore the ideas proposed about raising the cost of the engines once more (by having more developmen than previously agreed, or even completely changing the engine etc.).

          1. @BasCB it was widely reported he was not happy with new Formula 1 and then he made the comments himself. Citing financial, economical, noise levels, fuel, speed/overall performance, sportsmanship & political reasons as to why Red Bull might leave F1.

            I think I’m also right in saying that it was reported on here, along with his quotes. During the same time that the guys from Red Bull & Renault were giving reassurances of increased performance to ease the friction.

            Other than that I completely agree with everything else that you say.

      2. “they’ve gotten a lot of flak for their treatment of Webber.”

        Eh, most F1 fans really don’t have a clue about the sport they follow. There was nothing about RB’s “treatment of Webber” which ever merited any “flak”.

    2. I think that Red Bull’s ability to use their superior marketing skills is inhibited by the way that F1 is currently operated. Considering the environment of F1, I have always found it odd that Red Bull would pursue having a team to begin with.

      1. Considering that young people are the target audience for Red Bull world wide and in everything they do, I can’t believe that Horner sucks up to Bernie who derides young fans and women.
        I can’t decide who is more disgusting, Bernie (who can at least claim to be senile) or Horner for being his boi-toy.

  11. Is that behind or in front of the man with the 20-place grid penalty?

    1. Behind him, he got his penalty first.

      1. Also, I think… RG got a grid penalty but RB were excluded from qualifying.

  12. Funny how they moan yet three other teams took the test and passed

  13. but how can they start at the back of the grid without changing their front wings? are they allowed to race on the ones that were deemed illegal? seems a bit odd.

    changing the front wings would be a parc fermé infringement, right? that means pit lane start for both of them.

    1. Apparently they have cited the situation where Hamilton was allowed to change his break disc without being put in the pit lane, Although that was done on safety grounds, I’m not sure how Red Bull could claim that having to remove an illegal wing they designed could be on the grounds of safety.

      Maybe Bernie had a word…

      1. Smart money says this whole thing was Bernie having a word. Moving the one team that had any chance of causing Hamilton a problem to the back of the grid has just neatly ensured that the double-points debacle doesn’t come into play, and so Bernie can keep double points (and the money it puts in his pocket) next year, too.

        1. What? Have you been watching F1 this year? When has Red Bull even been on the same part of the track as Hamilton?

          Red Bull haven’t been even remotely competitive with Mercedes or Hamilton. It’s been Williams that have been closest, still even they haven’t been close enough though.

          Red Bull have only been there to pick up the scraps after Mercedes had mechanical problems, and this only came about through good strategy calls by Red Bull on the back of poor strategy calls by Williams.

          The most likely contender to cause Hamilton any trouble, by getting between him and Rosberg, would be a Williams. But really, none of these will be possible without mechanical problems for Hamilton, in which case it really doesn’t matter who it is that’s behind him to pick up the scraps.

          Bottom line is that none of these, not a Red Bull or Williams, are going to be racing Lewis.

          1. If they managed to get red bull excluded from all results in the season I think that would put Rosberg only a couple of points behind Hamilton and this would annul any effect double points would have on the championship and would require Lewis to take victory in the race to win the drivers championship

  14. I can’t remember a team been caught cheating twice in the same season like Red Bull this year.

    1. Not sure what other scenario you’re referring to, unless you mean Ricciardo’s exclusion from the Australian GP. That wasn’t cheating, more the team distrusting the flow meter which had up to that point proven to be hopelessly unreliable and instead using figures from a far more trustworthy source and not listening to the FIA. The FIA never proved RBR was outside the rules in terms of fuel flow, only that they did not listen to the direction of the FIA on winding back the fuel use. So that’s a bit rich.

      However if they have been caught as the Cooper notes suggest that’s a different situation entirely. Its one thing to have built your wing to droop under load on track but pass the deflection tests (fair play imho) but entirely another to do what’s been suggested and deliberately have a ‘sprung’ section of the wing.

      I also disagree about RBR being popular or more to the point unpopular. I was (and still am) a massive Jaguar fan and was utterly disappointed with their failure in F1. To rise from the shambles of that team to 4 championships in less that 10 years was a pretty huge deal (although I often wonder what could have been had Newey stuck to his deal with Bobby Rahal to work for Jaguar in 2001… imagine a green MP4-20 with a reliable and powerful Cosworth V10?). Their treatment or perceived treatment of Webber was a sore point with us Aussies and a lot of other F1 fans, and this latest drama along with an unfortunate amount of moaning over the current rule set are distancing them from being liked by a large proportion of F1 fans.

      However – would a team like Ferrari or Mercedes have promoted a 2 season junior driver to a WDC and WCC winning team? RBR have established (with the help of STR) a well established driver development program, far better than that of any other team, which has put a large number of drivers into F1 over the last 10 years (i.e. investing back into the future of the sport) as well as supporting a huge number of junior category drivers. Most if not all of the very clever ideas (the core of F1 engineering) which have been banned in the last 5 years have been from RBR and within the rules as they were written at the time. This latest drama does not fit this description but the rest have just been clever engineering.

      So all in all I’m willing to overlook their bad points to still have a soft spot for RBR. Many F1 fans are quick to sink the boot in but also have short memories. Think Ferrari whinging to have the rules changed on tyre width measurement in 2003, Mercedes getting away with an in-season test last year scot-free (now imagine if that had been RBR!!!), let alone what happened to McLaren in 2007 and what Renault got away with in that same year with having another team’s data on their computers, and what they orchestrated in Singapore a year later. Trying to circumvent the rules is not restricted to one team…

      1. let’s see how the star of their driver programme goes with another team. How many of them had a good career in F1 after Toro Rosso? or in motorsports for that matter? let’s check some names: Speed, Buemi, Alguersuari, Liuzzi, Bourdais… Vettel -until now- still is under their wings, as Ricciardo and Kyvat. I’m not so sure if their driver programme is that succesful. What happened in Australia with Ricciardo could or couldn’t be cheat, we don’t know, but wat it surely was, is a breach on the regulations. I’m not so fond of Red Bull or Toro Rosso, because they’re only a big expensive billboard to the brand, and they’ll stick in F1 as long as it’s good advertising, but if for some reason they decide that F1 isn’t a good place to be, then they’ll pack their things and go. That’s why i rather have more Force India, Ferrari, Sauber or Mclaren that were born to race on F1 than big companys like this, or big car makers like Mercedes.

        1. Didn’t Buemi just win the WEC title, along with Anthony Davidson? Also he did do good enough in the last Formula E race.

      2. Actually, even Red Bull’s own data (which came from the fuel injection system) showed that Ricciardo was exceeding the fuel flow limit.

        If you read through the FIA’s judgement, it clearly states the following point:
        35. The FIA then adds that the Appellant’s own estimation of its car No. 3’s FFR in Melbourne also showed that that car exceeded the FFL during the Australian Grand Prix.
        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/04/18/fias-verdict-rejecting-red-bulls-appeal-full/

      3. Sorry, but as several pointed out here, it WAS cheating @clay

  15. Crap, so i’m definitely not getting 50 points in the predictions championship now

  16. Red Bull have a reputation of trying to push the boundaries of engineering and the legal requirements. For them they may have got it but they probably crossed the line. They could have had more called against them in the 4 years they won all of their titles with Vettel. They should have let them go, make the race interesting to see if a non Mercedes car actually wins.

  17. It always amuses me at the timing of these things. Red Bull have had a flexing wing for several years and now as they’re the ones making most noise about engine regs, this gets called on as a little reminder of who’s in charge.

  18. “The front wings on both RB10s were found to flex beyond the degree permitted by article 3.15 of the technical regulations by the FIA’s. ”

    Were they? If so can you link to the stewards report in question where that was found? Because based on what I’ve read so far it sounds like they did NOT flex beyond the degree permitted in the regs, but were flunked regardless.

    Reports I’m seeing are the the wings are “designed to flex under aerodynamic load”, which they may well do, but which is not actually a rule violation as long as the parts pass the load deflection tests.

    1. Correct – the stewards reported that the wing was “designed to flex under aerodynamic load”, but I think you’re wrong in stating that it’s not a rule violation ” as long as the parts pass the load deflection tests.” The penalty is under rule 3.15 that is clear concerning any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance — “b: Must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).” (Rule 3.17 defines how to test flexing.) If RBR (and Newey is a genius) have put a spring in there somewhere, then it is not “rigidly secured” even if it passes the load test It’s perhaps linguistic nit-picking, but RBR appear to have accepted the ruling very quickly…

      1. You’re throwing in an “if”, namely “If RBR (and Newey is a genius) have put a spring in there somewhere”. Obviously that “if” could change things.

        But going on what we know I’m just pointing out that in spite of what 3.15 says about how parts MUST be rigidly secured and MUST NOT have any degree of freedom, 3.17 carries on to document in some detail how much flexibility is allowed.

        On the subject of springs, the 2007 Ferrari had the entire floor of the car mounted on springs and set to deflect under load to boost performance. You’ll recall that when they were caught they were stripped of their prior results and banned for two races …. just kidding, they received no punishment at all, though the FIA told them to stop doing that going forwards.

    2. Wings flex under load, but redbull’s wing/flap adjusters were faulty/failed this time :)

    3. From what I read, it was not flexing as much as giving way above a certain lvl @rm @mysticus, and that by way of a leaf spring fitted and cased in rubber so as to make it look almost exactly like the surrounding material. A wing that looked exactly like the one presented during scrutineering, but with this critical difference.

      I have no doubt that there can be little discussion about a deflection test being applicable here.

  19. Meanwhile here at conspiracy central we’re asking;
    Were Seb or Ferari (having gained the knowledge from Seb) sufficiently p’d off at RBRs refusal to allow Seb to drive in the after-race test session that they had a little whisper in Charlies ear ?

    1. I’d guess it has more to do with McLaren and Prodromou and the experimental wing they brought to this race. Just a guess, but it makes more sense than the Ferrari one.

  20. The thing to remember is Red Bull isn’t in F1 for F1 fans, they’re there for the brand perception of people who only hear the news headlines that they’ve won again and delve no further, and for the hospitality service to corporate partners.

    Those people don’t know or care about the politics or rule ‘flexing’ it’s just important for Red Bull that they’re associated with winning.

    If they aren’t winning then it’s all for nothing.

    How they win doesn’t matter, road relevancy means nothing and the opinion of intelligent F1 fans who wouldn’t put that toxic garbage in their body in the first place means nothing.

    I don’t resent them winning or even their rule interpretation. If you aren’t getting scrutineered and caught you’re being too cautious. But when the day comes that they pull out and take 4 cars with them because they aren’t winning everything it will seriously hurt the sport.

    1. If Red Bull are indeed using a spring to feather the flaps then it’s time to hit them with full sanctions including disqualification from all races where that front wing and/or technology was used. If these events are unknown by the FIA and Red Bull refuse to provide a list of these events then disqualify them from the entire season.

      It would be bad if they decided to leave F1 as a result but that would be of their own doing and Red Bull would be forever seen as fair-weather competitors whose titles were tainted by suspicion of cheating.

      I say this as a Ricciardo fan.

      1. You are venturing into dangerous territory. The events you refer to could go back four years. Alonso could gain a few WDC’s if the rules insist Vettel has a car like the others…
        I say this as a Hamilton fan. Interesting times.

        “If Red Bull are indeed using a spring to feather the flaps then it’s time to hit them with full sanctions including disqualification from all races where that front wing and/or technology was used. If these events are unknown by the FIA and Red Bull refuse to provide a list of these events then disqualify them from the entire season.”

        1. As others have said, interpreting the rules differently is part of Formula 1, but if Red Bull have included a concealed spring in their aero parts then they are cheats. Hidden fuel tank type cheats.

      2. This isn’t about the front wing flexing downwards, it is about the flaps on the top of the wing flattening to reduce drag and improve straight line speed. Red Bull have only chased straight line speed since the middle of this season, when they changed the philosophy of the set up of their car to trade off downforce and improve straight line speed.

        Regarding previous results, you can’t disqualify teams without proper evidence and it is impossible to go back to races earlier this year and examine the front wing whilst it is still in parc ferme conditions at the relevant event. This leaves the qualifying session for this race as the only occasion that the cars failed to comply with the regulations, at all the other rounds the cars have passed scrutineering at all stages of the weekend.

        The Fia could however exclude a team from the current year’s championship or give them a penalty for next season on the basis of breaching the rules of this year’s championship, even if on just one occasion if they were to consider the matter to be serious enough.

        AMUS say that the FIA started checking front wings at this race because of footage from the cars that showed almost all cars wings were flattening on the long straights far more than the FIA were happy with (although the Red Bull was the most extreme), so they would potentially be opening up a can of worms if they were to take harsh action against Red Bull, as questions may well arise concerning the legality of other teams front wings, not all of which have been examined.

  21. Also this:
    @TheVijayMallya: A big F1 team that says we small outfits should not come with bananas to a gun fight, grabs maximum money and cheats on the regulations

    Guns drown! Ready? Fight!!!

  22. That is why Red Bull have to live up to their slogan ‘We Got Wings’, they are supposed to flap, right?

    1. “Give You Wings” that’s the right one, lol.

  23. would have been great if they singled out Mercedes, gave them a random test and found the same thing…. now that would be uber… Mercedes starting at the back of the grid for the final race. redbull should demand all teams tested today before the race

  24. People can hate on RBR and Horner all they want, but at the end of the day, Red Bull has done far more good for the sport than anyone else over the past several years.

    1. That is true, agreed. Newey is an aero man. If RBR uses Merc PU, wow that’ll make a lot of difference.

    2. @irejag Have Red Bull been good for the sport? How? They helped raise the bar for spending, helped Bernie break up FOTA, criticise their engine supplier all the time, constant politicking…

      I’d say they’re widely seen as the most narrowly, relentlessly selfish and least sporting team on the grid.

  25. I wonder if this is something that’s happened because Newey’s handed over the reins? Someone not as clever, trying to fill those shoes?

    Cos Newey always had an excuse, and this one looks too bare-faced for him.

  26. Don’t know why they agreed to start from the back. They should have changed the setup and started from the pits. Unless they were already running very low downforce in quali.

  27. For heaven’s sake Horner: stop protesting, accept the punishment and move on. Whether deliberate or not, you broke the rules = punishment follows. Fact of life!

  28. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    23rd November 2014, 9:31

    They failed the test, the others didn’t. They didn’t do as good a job as the others in producing a wing that passes the test but still flexes enough to give an advantage on the track.

  29. Yeah, it’s tough when you are caught cheating. A fitting finale for a season full of whinging.

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