RBR says Vettel and Ricciardo will start from back of grid

Red Bull says that its drivers will start the Abu Dhabi GP from the back of the grid after the FIA deemed that its front wing flaps were flexing illegally.

The team has to change the wings to make them legal, and normally that would be a change of spec, and a pitlane start. However, after the precedent of the Hamilton brake disc manufacturer change in Hockenheim if the FIA deems that the revised wing is of similar mass, inertia and function, the cars will be allowed to start from the grid.

Some rival teams told this writer that they were surprised that a change from an illegal to legal spec could be regarded as ‘similar.’

However, the team could yet start from the pitlane for strategic reasons – for example taking off wing to maximise straightline speed for overtaking.

RBR also said that it had been singled out by the FIA for a deflection test when in fact four teams were tested yesterday.

An RBR statement said: “Following the decision of the Stewards regarding the front wings on both our cars (Car 1 and Car 3), we 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.” 


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8 responses to “RBR says Vettel and Ricciardo will start from back of grid

  1. ken.w

    Feel bad for Ricciardo.  as far as Vettel goes… awwww too bad. 

    Watch Vettel finish on the podium anyhow.

    Sent from my U.S. Cellular® Smartphone

  2. Mick

    Name & protest the other teams or accept the penalty without the ‘we are disappointed that we have been singled out’ whinge.

  3. So my man Horna speaks out against these powerless units & RBR cars R found illegal, yo! (ma)FIA @ its best.

    U got my vote, CH. U’re da man.

    • anon

      I would wager that you would be saying very different things if it was a different team that was being penalised, because Horner’s comments are self serving comments solely designed to distract and obfuscate.

      The details that Adam Cooper has now revealed, which is that the winglets were mounted on leaf springs, indicates that Red Bull’s exclusion is indeed entirely valid under that article (which specifies that aerodynamic components must be rigidly connected). That is not an accidental oversight by the designers, but a conscious action of the part of the team to cheat the regulations.

      Furthermore, the fact that Red Bull was one of four teams who were tested for the compliance of their front wings – not to mention that all those who qualified in the top 10 have their cars subjected to additional scruitineering checks – shows that, rather than being ‘targeted’, Red Bull were facing normal scruitineering checks and are simply trying to spin their way out of being caught abusing the rules.

      It’s like their defence against Ricciardo’s exclusion in Australia, where the detailed transcript of the investigation showed that Red Bull’s claimed method for proving Ricciardo was under the fuel flow limit wasn’t even consistent from lap to lap, let alone across the course of a race – utterly full of holes.

  4. Cabby

    Maybe he means that other teams use the same concept, but of these only Red Bull was tested for compliance, along with 3 other teams that did not use it. That could be seen as been singled out by someone with a disposition to being slightly weasily 😉 .

    Would be interesting to know how the teams are selected for “special” scrutineering,or was this not special at all?

    No front wing is completely rigid, they all flex to some degree, the limit of what is accepted is determined by the tests.
    I guess there is a difference between “designing” carbon fiber structure that have certain properties under load and acutally mounting them on leaf springs, if this is true, even if they were rigid enough to pass test.

    Apart from that, F1 has always been about pushing rules to the limit, so there is really nothing new here.

    • anon

      It was not special at all – the checks which were made of Red Bull’s car are part of the standard scruitineering checks that all of the drivers who have qualified within the top 10 are subjected to.
      Anybody remember how, for example, Toyota were once excluded in the 2009 Australian GP for failing their rear wing deflection test? Or how Kimi was excluded from qualifying in the 2013 Abu Dhabi GP when his floor failed a deflection test? Its part of the standard operating procedures of the FIA – the only thing that was special is that Red Bull were caught.

      The FIA is aware that the wings cannot be completely rigid – that is the reason why the tests are in terms of allowable deflection when a static load is applied. However, it is not the wing itself that has to be rigid – it is the connection between the wing and the body of the car itself that has to be rigid.

      When they refer to a rigid connection, I would imagine that is in terms of the way an engineer would define a rigid connection, which is a connection which is designed to withstand torsion.

      The description of the connection structure that Red Bull have been employing fails that definition, which is why they deserve to be penalised for their infringement.

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