Red Bull forced to remove floor holes for Canada

This document will be the source of much frustration at RBR

As expected the FIA has clamped down on the controversial Red Bull floor by clarifying its position and stating that the holes in front of the RB8’s rear wheels are not permitted.

The ruling, given via the traditional route of a Technical Directive sent to all the teams, applies from Canada onwards. It does not affect past results, which is normal when such clarifications occur.

Other teams had expressed their opposition to RBR’s interpretation of the rules applying to ‘surfaces lying on the step plane’, and the FIA came to its conclusion after reviewing that input – along with Red Bull’s opinion.

Ferrari and McLaren had considered a protest in Monaco but chose not to make one after the race, on the basis that they assumed that the FIA would come to such a conclusion.

Red Bull’s view was that in effect there was a grey area in the rules which did not specify that holes were banned in that particular place. However, the FIA now says “we disagree with this view and consider it implicit that fully enclosed holes may not be located there.”

Although the consensus was that the RBR holes did not necessarily provide a significant performance advantage the concern was that it could have led to developments that had a greater impact.

This writer has seen a copy of TD/013-12, the text of which reads as follows: “Following on from a number of discussions in Monaco, during which it became clear that certain misunderstandings existed, we feel it would be helpful to make our position clear with respect to the presence of a fully enclosed hole in any surface lying on the step plane.

“It has been argued that, as it is not explicitly stated that fully enclosed holes cannot be located in a surface lying on the step plane rearward of a line 450mm forward of the rear face of the cockpit template, then they may be located in such areas. We disagree with this view and consider it implicit that fully enclosed holes may not be located there.

“If they were permitted the opening part of the second paragraph of Article 3.12.5 (which was added to the regulations at the same time as Articles 3.12.9 and 3.12.10 for 2011) would be superfluous.

“Furthermore, locating a fully enclosed hole partly or wholly within the 50mm band which is exempt from the requirements of Article 3.12.10 along the outer edges of the surfaces lying on the step plane does not exempt it from the requirements of Article 3.12.5, those parts lying outboard of Y650 are still parts of the surfaces lying on the step plane.”

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Red Bull forced to remove floor holes for Canada

  1. So they deem Hamilton’s car illegal in qualy and send him to the back of the grid, yet let rb race with an illegal floor? awesome…

  2. Tony Dowe

    Why could Charlie not come to this conclusion back when he was discussing this “hole” with RBR?
    I guess if you only ever discuss these things by phone from Monaco you will get these problems.

  3. So essentially they were using an illegal car at Monaco… yet their results are allowed to stand? How does that even make sense?

    • ronmon

      Actually the holes appeared in Spain and teams complained about them at that race. FIA allowed them to continue to cheat for two races before putting a stop to it with no repercussions to Red Bull for flaunting the rules.

      • ronmon

        Oops, I did some more reading and found that they showed up first in Bahrain. Red Bull has won two out of the three races since.

      • bem

        Careful what you wish for, you might get it… A lot of fans and people in the paddock prefer that race results don’t change after the fact (give or take a few hours for post-race scrutineering). Furthermore, if they penalized RBR retroactively, you can be sure that RBR would’ve appealed, starting off a very long legal battle that could potentially stop us from knowing who the real champions are long after the season is finished (see Tour de France 2011).

        Yes ideally RBR should’ve never been allowed to use those holes, but there was no way The FIA was going to change previous race results weeks later. Their choices were to either get stubborn and say “it’s legal for this year,” or risk the wrath of a few fans and do what they did. I think they did the right thing overall.

  4. Now they know how many Red Bull holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall. It turns me on!

  5. russ

    I wouldnt let the fia wash my car.The race was won by an obviously illegal racecar.Now what ?Wishy washy unprofessionals.

  6. The FIA, and Bernie, seem to have a bit of a soft spot (or should I say blind spot) when it comes to RB. I’m getting tired of their uneven treatment of the other teams compared to Red Bull.

  7. reminds me of the mass damper systems ban way back in 2006 or the flexi wing controversy. ahh, F1 is F1 again… LOL

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