Formula 1: Mercedes rear wing under the microscope: Hamilton carefree

The World Championship battle is not only raging on the track at the Qatar Grand Prix: After Red Bull recently raised questions about the legality of the Mercedes rear wing, the FIA ​​responded with an extra stress test, which started on Saturday after qualifying for the first time the technical inspection of the cars has been included.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner celebrates this as a partial success for his team. “We are very pleased that the FIA ​​is taking this matter so seriously. It is great that they are finally becoming proactive and taking a look, ”says the Briton, praising the sports authorities on their“ mission to find facts ”.
Horner confirms that the threatened test has already “done its job and shown initial effects” from the fact that Mercedes’ top speed in the Qatar qualifier is no longer significantly faster than that of Red Bull.

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With the Black Arrows, however, you continue to be stressedly relaxed. World Champion Lewis Hamilton explains after his pole position in relation to the rear wing test: “I spoke to the team and I was given one hundred percent the feeling that we don’t have to worry about it. We did a great job this weekend and it’s great to be at the front right now. I hope that tomorrow I can start from there and not from behind, like last time. But I don’t really have any concerns. “

Team boss Toto Wolff has to smile at Red Bull’s many allegations. “To be honest, I can no longer follow all the debates that are driving them forward. That’s why we as a team and I made the decision not to keep up with all the comments from her side, ”explains the Mercedes boss.

The FIA ​​takes a close look at the Mercedes in Qatar

The most recent wing test leaves Wolff cold: “I think the new stress test is aimed primarily at next year in order to then have broader knowledge and to check everything for it. It will be interesting to see the results, but I think we are on the good side. “

The FIA ​​indirectly confirms the intention behind the expansion of the tests. A spokesman said in Qatar: “The tests we are talking about are meant to gather information and are not part of the regulatory requirements. Rather, they can serve to include new criteria in the future. We will go through the test results with the technology group. “

Translated means: The Mercedes wing should be legal for 2021, but such a solution could be banned in the future.

Wolff is also not impressed by pictures of the Mercedes rear wing, which Red Bull is said to have presented to the FIA ​​as evidence and on which scratch marks from a possible movement of the lower spoiler element can be seen. “I can’t see anything in the photos and I don’t know where they got it from or what it should show. It’s a ghost, “says the Austrian and scoffs at qualifying:” Have you already shown data or photos of our speed on the straights? “

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Wolff did not miss the fact that Mercedes’ speed advantage from Brazil has disappeared in Qatar. “This route is not so power-sensitive,” says the Mercedes team boss and explains with a view to the Red Bulls, which have regained their top speed in terms of top speed: “They are as fast as us this weekend, despite a large rear wing. So they must have done a good job. I am happy when you are happy. Let’s see what kind of comments we will hear from you in Saudi Arabia. “

On the upcoming course in Jeddah, Mercedes is the favorite because of the high proportion of full throttle. Wolff admits: “It should be to our advantage there, but I hope I don’t regret these words yet.”

Curious: Wolff describes the course in Qatar as Mercedes’ “Achilles heel” of the last three tracks in the calendar – although Hamilton conjures up the largest lead in a dry qualifying of the 2021 season on the asphalt in qualifying with 0.455 seconds behind Verstappen.

Wolff, however, is not impressed by the fact that the tone is getting rougher in the World Cup fight with Red Bull: “I don’t know what else you are planning and I don’t understand the way you think about it. In the end it seems pretty unpredictable, but it’s okay. I don’t even want to pour oil on the fire anymore. We have to look after ourselves and do the best possible job. We’re still 14 points behind, so we need a good race tomorrow. Only that counts. It’s very important that we get out of here to keep the World Cup open. “

Max Verstappen leads the World Cup by 14 points

But one thing is certain: the wires between the top teams and the FIA ​​are glowing in the final sprint of the World Cup duel. Another issue for the stewards is duel behavior. Mercedes’ rejected revision of the Verstappen maneuver in Brazil rated Wolff as “very dangerous”. The Viennese explains: “You kicked the ball into the tall grass and now you hope that it will disappear into it. But if we have a comparably controversial situation in one of the three upcoming races, you can imagine the outcry because that was not clearly formulated. “

Wolff sauer: “We would have liked, even if the result had been negative for us, that there was a clear line. Now very few are satisfied with the result. Can you force someone out or do you have to leave a car width of space? The latter is by no means after the action in Brazil. “

For Wolff, the precedent opens the door to “dirty driving”, as the Mercedes boss had already explained in the run-up to the Qatar Grand Prix. “But I didn’t mean to imply that Max is up to anything in that direction. I think we are all sports people: everyone wants to have a clean race and nobody wants to decide a World Cup that way. “

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