FIA’s Technical Working Group to discuss RBR controversy on Monday

Protests against the controversial hole in the Red Bull floor failed to materialise after the Monaco GP, despite rival teams indicating that they are not happy with it.

However sources have told this writer that the matter will be discussed at a meeting of the FIA Technical Working Group in Monaco tomorrow morning.

That will give the FIA and the teams an opportunity to discuss new evidence – in other words the alternative interpretations presented by RBR’s rivals  – and there is a possibility that the conclusion could be that Red Bull’s interpretation is wrong after all, and the floor will have to be changed in time for the next race in Canada.

The FIA approved the item when it first appeared on the car at the Bahrain GP, and it was not questioned in post-race scrutineering in Monaco.

However it’s not unusual for the FIA to adjust its opinions and declare a car part no longer legal without affecting past results.

The hole caught the attention of rival teams during the Monaco weekend, and McLaren wrote to Red Bull at 1.32pm on Saturday, just prior to qualifying, expressing its opinion and giving the team a chance to change the car – something that clearly was not going to happen at such a late stage.

Red Bull could not then adjust the cars between qualifying and the race due to parc ferme conditions.

Although McLaren and Ferrari clearly considered a protest – technical directors Paddy Lowe and Pat Fry met in the Ferrari truck after the race – the teams appear to have decided that it was in the best interests of the sport to not question the Webber win in the most prestigious race of the year, and in effect risk being seen as bad losers.

Ross Brawn agreed that a post race protest was bad form. He told this writer: “We made our statements after people were querying our interpretations of the regulations, and I think there’s a time and place for it. But I can understand why people are agitated by it.

“I understand now that Red Bull were made aware of people’s concerns some time ago. As it’s explained to me it doesn’t sound correct, but I haven’t heard Red Bull’s explanation.”

Meanwhile McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh said: “I think it will be sorted out shortly.”

10 Comments

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10 responses to “FIA’s Technical Working Group to discuss RBR controversy on Monday

  1. I’m glad it’s finally going to be sorted out and that it won’t affect the race results, it’d be awful for points to be taken off a team despite being declared legal to race.
    Any idea why it’s taken so long for them to get to this point?

  2. David

    I agree don’t spoil the result for Mark,but the rules are the rules.Lets sort it out.

    • jo6pac

      I agree the car has passed inspection in races before, FIA TWG needs to get it on with before the next race so RBR has time to make the change if it needs to be made.

      • CTP

        some duct tape would fix it! it’s a 8 square-inch hole. could have had it fixed by 1:33pm on saturday…

      • Changing it would have upset the set-up of the car and ultimately slowed it down so obviously they did not want to do it just because another team was upset…

      • SteveH

        The teams cannot alter the car during parc ferme conditions, so, no, they could not ‘just’ duct tape the hole.

  3. Hi Adam, can we get a technical explanation on why the teams feel it’s illegal? There is a diagram posted on the official f1.com website showing the slot in question and compares it to one Sauber has. I feel they look similar in concept so is the Sauber also under scrutiny or am I not seeing this right?

    Thanks.

    • RBR has an enclosed hole, Sauber has a an open ‘slot’ that connects to the edge of the floor. Presumably the first is more effective which is why they do it. Anyway I think we can expect the RBR idea to become illegal as of this week…

      • Thanks for the response Adam. I can see it as an aid to feed the diffuser using the exhaust gases, with the hole it may feed to diffuser better than just the slot. If that is the case there could be a descent enough benefit. So it sounds like the protest has gone through…

  4. Stone the Crows

    It was good to see this handled in a more gracious way that usual. I agree Adam, the hole will quite likely be declared illegal in the near future.

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