Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Singapore, 2023

Too early to tell if technical directive has hurt Red Bull – Wolff

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In the round-up: Toto Wolff believes it’s too early to tell whether the FIA’s flexi-wing technical directive has affected Red Bull.

In brief

Too early to tell if TD hurt Red Bull – Wolff

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says there is not enough data to be able to tell if Red Bull’s performance has been impacted by the FIA’s flexi-wing clampdown.

The FIA has issued a technical directive beginning from this weekend that aims to target teams skirting the regulations restricting moveable aerodynamic bodywork. But after Red Bull had both cars eliminated from Q2 in yesterday’s qualifying, Wolff feels it is too early to tell if their rivals have been affected.

“It’s so difficult,” Wolff told media including RaceFans. “We have one set of data now – Friday and Saturday in Singapore, tomorrow is a race and then we’re going to move it a different track where that plays a role. So let’s wait.

“We’ve seen those one-offs with Mercedes in the past and that’s why I’d rather now concentrate on what we can deliver tomorrow than think too much about whether that could have had an effect yet.”

Lawson praised by rivals after first Q3

AlphaTauri rookie Liam Lawson has been praised for his performances over his first three grand prix weekends by some of his rivals at the front of the field.

The 21-year-old reached Q3 for the first time since standing in for Daniel Ricciardo at the Dutch Grand Prix before qualifying tenth on the grid for today’s race in Singapore.

“I think he’s been doing a really great job to be honest,” said Mercedes’ George Russell. “I followed him a little bit through his F3, F2 career. I saw he was doing a great job in Super Formula and it’s never easy to be thrown into Formula 1 as a rookie mid-season, no experience. So he’s doing a good job.”

Pole winner Carlos Sainz Jnr congratulated Lawson on his Q3 appearance as “to be Q3 in Singapore is not easy, especially jumping in the car halfway through a season”, while Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc said Lawson was doing an “impressive job.”

“Already after Zandvoort we spoke a little bit and I was telling him how impressed I was because to do your first race in those conditions is probably a nightmare for anybody,” said Leclerc. “So yeah, he’s doing a great job and again, confirming it weekend after weekend, so congratulations to him.”

‘Active F1 driver’ to race in Daytona 24 Hours

Wayne Taylor, the owner of IMSA team Wayne Taylor Racing, says that a currently active F1 driver will compete in next year’s Daytona 24 Hours with his team.

Fernando Alonso has previously competed in the event with the team in 2019 with the team, but Taylor says that the active driver will not be the Aston Martin racer.

“We’ve announced the four [full season drivers],” Taylor told Sportscar365. “We’ll announce another two, then we’ll announce the final driver after the last Grand Prix.”

In a post on social media, driver Filipe Albuquerque said that the current F1 driver “is doing really well this year.”

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Comment of the day

Ferrari’s pole and Red Bull’s struggles took the headlines, but Le Jimster was focused on a different standout performance in qualifying…

Honestly, cracking job from Lawson to make it into Q3 with how little experience he has in that car. We see it each race weekend he’s getting more and more out of the car as he learns. I was already convinced he deserved to be in F1 before he got his chance, hopefully he can have a clean race and bag a point or two.
Le Jimster

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Al and Valentina!

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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36 comments on “Too early to tell if technical directive has hurt Red Bull – Wolff”

  1. Sadly, it looks like it’s at least partly hurt Aston Martin. Typically, Alonso would have really been able to attack this type of track and qualify much better and Stroll would, at very least, face little struggle in reaching the top 10 or just outside. It’s a shame cause Alonso showed the best long run pace on the mediums.

    1. I’m not fully sure aston was hurt by this directive, because based on monaco, one would’ve thought they’d have been strong in hungary, but they weren’t, and then they were strong again in a few of the following races.

  2. Indeed & Suzuka will show more clearly whether that’s truly the case.

    1. Interestingly, Verstappen qualified closer to pole position this year than last. In 2022 he was 1s behind (Q3) and only 0.7s this year.
      Perez performance is more difficult to assess as he spun in his final attempt.

      Thus either the technical directive helped RBR versus Ferrari, or you can interpret the data in a way that it supports an alternative preferred narrative ;)

      Let’s re-assess after Suzuka.

      1. onboards from the ferrari always showed flexi winglets up until now. i wonder if that part is now connected to the centerpiece, made more rigid or still bending like a twig in a heave storm on the straights. I think it’s these parts that are also present on other teams cars (just not shown onboard that much as ferrari’s) that triggered the directive

        1. onboards from the ferrari always showed flexi winglets up until now.

          Previous photos have shown what appears to be a wing element mounting through a rubber looking grommet. This weekend’s photo’s show a fairly solid weld style mount/fixing. Ferrari aren’t alone in those alterations, yet they seem to be the only ones declaring a wing change, so I wonder whether the FIA have pretended that all the non-compliant items didn’t really exist to avoid a rash of who was cheating the biggest accusations.

          I think it’s these parts that are also present on other teams cars

          It would be interesting to see a list of who had what that didn’t comply, but I’m pretty sure we never will.

  3. Lawson has been immensely impressive. I’m not convinced Ricciardo would be doing any better. What will Red Bull do now? I can only see this ending Ricciardo’s career or forcing Tsunoda to look elsewhere. It would be an incredible shame not to have Lawson on the grid next year.

    1. Tsunoda could possibly end up as a reserve driver from what I’ve seen mentioned.

    2. I can see Liam Lawson in RBR (hoping it does not get ugly with Max), and I reckon experienced pilots such as Checo and Dan do not belong in AT so they should look for a F1 seat elsewhere. Or maybe beyond F1. And some new talent could get Liam’s seat in AT.

  4. Of course it is the technical directives!
    C’mon, is everybody stupid? Or is it just the Helmut Marko racism toward Perez…?
    What else F1 & the other teams will allow Red Bull to do to steal another championship…?
    First one was stolen from Hamilton by the race director… Second they blown up the Cost Cap to built a better car…
    Now flexible floors… What else…?! What else…?!
    They are killing F1…

    1. hi lewis fan

  5. Interesting note about an F1 driver at Daytona. And they mention its someone doing very well (whatever that measure actually means!), but I think the most likely candidates are probably Max or Lando. Max has always seemed interested in endurance racing, although I’m not sure how keen RB would be letting him race in the off season. Similarly, Lando has always seemed quite keen on endurance racing, and I seem to remember he competed in Daytona a few years ago as well. Could also be someone like Albon though, just some thoughts!

  6. Well, the FIA issue a technical directive clamping down on some bodywork aspect, and in the subsequent race the all-conquering Red Bull car is suddenly rubbish.
    I mean, that correlation is so clear that I’d need to see lots of evidence in the opposite direction to accept that the TD is NOT the cause of the loss of pace!
    Max sounded super-angry on the radio – who’s betting he’ll cause a safety car when, realising his car has lost its shinkansen pace, he defaults to kamikaze mode and t-bones into the unforgiving walls?

    1. Someone needs to explain to you the difference between correlation and causation.

      Wait and see what Japan brings.

    2. Max sounded super-angry on the radio – who’s betting he’ll cause a safety car when, realising his car has lost its shinkansen pace, he defaults to kamikaze mode and t-bones into the unforgiving walls?

      Honestly, if he gets far enough up to come close to a Mercedes I’m keeping my eyes closed.

    3. Before this weekend, the worst weekend by far for RBR and Max in particular was… Singapore 2022

      And from the top of my head (I may be wrong but cannot bother to check) Max has never won, got pole or flap at Singapore, and has led only a very few laps.

      Maybe the tech directive has contributed somewhat, we will see in the next and “normal” races (Singapore is as much an outlier as Monaco). And btw maybe RBR does better in the race today than in quali yesterday (although a win seems remote, this is not Spa. A bit of rain and changing track conditions might do the miracle, though).

      Anyway, I think you are jumping to conclusions, mate.

  7. Apologies to the people celebrating the TD, but the actual reason is much more likely to be the bumpy track causing Red Bull to have to run the car too high to remain legal on plank wear and making them lose their floor advantage, much like how they had to lift through Eau Rouge in Spa for that same reason, except here it’s around the whole track.

    Expect business as usual in Japan.

    1. Someone has been reading Mark Hughes :-)

      1. No idea who’s that guy, but I agree with SjaakFoo. Max has achieved a level of consistence I have not seen since Jackie Stewart or Alain Prost (yes, I watched both, sorry I missed Jim Clark who was even better) but nobody is perfect, and as I commented above, Singapore is an outlier, and Max’s worst circuit by far.

        1. Well, maybe Nikita was even more consistent (Consistence goes both ways XD)

    2. @sjaakfoo
      RBR didn’t have issues running their cars in both Monaco and Baku. Besides, according to AMuS the FIA TD018 specifies in four points what it considers to be illegal in the future: gaps, cuts or butt joints in the relevant part of the reference plane, systematic damage, cracks or breaks on the surface of the reference plane near the holes intended for the skids, highly flexible materials on the plank or folded surfaces and connections.

      The RB19 main strength is high speed aerodynamics, what baffled the opposition this year is their ability to produce tons of downforce and still the most efficient car especially with the DRS opened. For example the F1-75 (before TD039) was the best car in high speed and low speed corners but it was draggy. The AM this year has been a match for Red Bull on slow speed corners but it is draggy as well.

      Expect business as usual in Japan.

      The RB19 seemed like it has a passive active suspension that maintained the car leveled all the time. For a such refined car any sudden change to its dynamic behaviour will lead to balance issues and performance loss. I don’t underestimate Adrian Newey problem solving skills, but RBR certainly were hurt by the TD018 which somehow compromised their low speed performance. I expect them to be mighty in Japan too.

    3. Shitfoo might have a point! Allthough he’s problably saying to rain on the parade.

      Anyways there is a parade:) and it is suuuweeetaa! I can eat this pie, unpredicable, nailbiting, surprising! I was glued to the tube.

      So much better than having some corn hole telling me i should enjoy some petulant “dutch jesus” ordained by the FIA:s winningstreak!

      Fia/Fom F—-tards this is was what it can be sometimes without Divine Fom/Fia scripture.

      Also extremely sweet to see the Goat in third place disposing the snake Alonso.

      I’am a happy person who 99,9% of the prefers to read the comments for the past 12 years! 2021 changed that. Its to the point where i stopped buying Redbull. I even bought Monster when asked by mates/colegues. I never click on any Redbull content or engage in anything Redbull sponsored.

  8. What an uncharacteristic comment from Toto. It almost comes across as balanced.

    1. uncharacteristic

      To his detractors maybe. I honestly don’t get where people get this “Toto is a villain” thing from.

      1. I honestly don’t get where people get this “Toto is a villain” thing from.

        It’s the RB narrative. Toto has to be evil to make Horner the good guy.
        Sort of fails when you note that RB has always played the tradition-breaking, rule-breaking, this-must-be-fun-because-we-do-it side.

        Panto PR.

      2. Emma,
        To be completely honest, I don’t get where people get this “Toto is not a villain” thing from. BTW, I’m a long time RBR and Horner detractor too, ever since they started winning back in 2009.

      3. It’s understandable why some people aren’t great fans of his influence on F1 (which must be seen as separate from him as a person). Whether it’s his sly insinuations about competitors, complaining to the FIA, the complaints from customer teams that they were not allowed to use full engine modes when fighting with the Mercedes team, his involvement with various teams and resulting conflicts of interests, etc. Some of these are likely to displease certain viewers.

      4. 1+ and upside world status in effect!

    2. mabybe he learns from max, who always has a way of parrying toto’s brainfarts in a nice manner.

      1. lol. you know it must be wrong, when you read Max and nice manner in the same sentence

      2. Max comes off so petulant, angry, entitled foulmouthed. But also dum. Alot is down from his father who should’not been aĺlowed to procreate and take care of child.

        But this is the person the powers to be have chosen to be their jesus/007.

  9. Let me count the ways… (EBB should have written a sonnet about that)

    1. Sorry, misplaced comment, it was a reply to Emma about the “Toto is a villain” comment

      1. And also did not include the link

  10. Toxic Toto speaks.
    He really is just a bitter twisted sulky sore loser.

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