Hamilton takes stunning win after crash with Max Verstappen
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Red Bull’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey believes he sees it as a “compliment” when teams such as Mercedes feel the need to question why it is they’re so fast this season, as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battle it out for the world title this season.
The two title protagonists have been quarreling all season surrounding various subjects, not forgetting the subject of ‘flexi-wings,’ a subject that plagued the first half of the season.
A handful of teams, including Red Bull, have come under fire surrounding their so-called ‘bendy wing’ after Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton claimed their opponents had used a “bendy” rear wing at the Spanish Grand Prix, giving them an advantage on the straights.
“The Red Bulls are really fast on the straights,” he said to Sky Sports F1. “They have this bendy wing on the back of their car which they put on today and they gained at least three tenths.”
Red Bull denied there is anything illegal on their car, with team principal Christian Horner insisting that their cars’ rear wings had passed stringent tests and was fully legal.
However, the FIA did step in, introducing new tests to clamp down on illegal wing movement.
“In many ways, it is a compliment to the team to find ourselves under such scrutiny from others,” Newey said in an interview published on the Red Bull website.
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“We have experienced this before, but I can’t remember a time when we have received the same level of behind-the-scenes politicking and lobbying against our car.
“Possibly if you look back to when we were exploring aeroelastics in 2010 / 2011 then we were under constant scrutiny and would adapt to each changing set of regulations.
“We’ve been here before in the last championship battles with Ferrari which involved some rows over bodywork flexibility as well.”
Newey added: “I never particularly like the war analogy – but it is a decent analogy, and you have to look at every aspect you can to improve your competitive position.
“That is the nature of Formula 1, and one of the things that makes it so stimulating, but it is the frequency and intensity of this year that is quite telling.”
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Ferrari, Alpine, and Alfa Romeo were other teams who admitted they had to make modifications to their cars to pass the new FIA rear wing tests.
But Newey added it was interesting Mercedes seemed less concerned by others on the grid, adding how pleased he was with the team’s handling of the situation.
“If you take the issue with the flexible rear wing, we certainly weren’t the only team to have that issue but of course, when Mercedes started making noise about it, they weren’t worried about what Alfa were doing,” said Newey.
“They were only worried about whether we were getting a benefit, which we really weren’t, but there was a cost implication to changing that part which obviously hurt.
“It is however a great testament to the depth of our team that we can respond to changes and is a great example of when our team is put in a corner we can come out fighting and continue to be just as competitive,” concluded the tech chief.
Racing continues at the end of August with the Belgian Grand Prix, as Red Bull looks to pull back a 12-point deficit in the championship to Mercedes.
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