FIA checks Red Bull for overheating and bending floor

The Red Bull RB9 of Sebastian Vettel  is taken into scrutineering during the Canadian GP weekend

The Red Bull RB9 of Sebastian Vettel in scrutineering during the Canadian GP weekend

Another possible secret of Red Bull’s dominance in the second half of this season is emerging.

Auto Motor und Sport said that former Stewart and Jaguar designer Gary Anderson, now a technical pundit for the BBC, floated the theory about the RB9.

The car, which in Sebastian Vettel’s hands has won the last six grands prix on the trot, caught Anderson’s attention recently when images of a rear-facing thermal camera were broadcast.

The images show that the floor just underneath the drivers’ feet, the so-called ‘tea-tray’, was running extremely hot at slow speeds.

Anderson believes Adrian Newey may have found a way to “lift the ‘tea tray’ away from the track as it gets hot”, allowing a lower front ride height.

AM&S reported on Tuesday that Force India also believes the Anderson theory, and that such a solution would be illegal.

So, in India, the FIA’s technical delegate Jo Bauer reportedly put Anderson’s theory to the test, heating the ‘tea tray’ to a temperature of 300 degrees C.

“The result? It did not move,” said correspondent Michael Schmidt. “Consequently, the Red Bull RB9 is legal, at least in this area.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • creepy Neighbour

    People Vettel and Newey are beating us fair and square. Instead of searching for what is supposedly illegal on the RB9,why dont the ferraris & co think of a way of making their machines stronger. Am a ferrari fan myself (and yes almost growing grey hair with waiting for a trophy) but you gat to give it to the Bulls, they are in a league of their own!!!

  • bobw

    Shouldn’t the title of this piece be, No Conspiracy at Red Bull?

  • rckr

    So, red bull want to over heat their engine? This is the stupidest theory yet. No team, in any form of motor sport, want to over heat their engine.

    Get off it already. Red Bull is beating everyone because they are better.

  • knowledge

    rckr thanks for showing you have the intelligence of a fish.
    Did you even read the article?

  • Snowman

    To be fair to Gary Anderson, as a technical expert he just saw something unusual and that planted the seed of thought in his head. It is force india that bought into it and protested it, from what I gather. Let’s not hate on a clever man for no reason here.

    Also, if it were true, it would be genius.

  • James

    I believe the traffic to this site drops as Vettel has grabbed his fourth title already; therefore the author created misleading title

  • Taskmaster

    Force India did not protest. Bauer heard the theory and tested it, as he is charged to do. The headline is hater bate and nothing more. It gets readers here, pumps readership stats, which sells ad space on these outlets.

    The line between believing in actual cheating, and being punked by marketers who use the visceral knee jerk reactions of emotionally challenged individuals to increase the value of ad insert space.

  • FIA is clueless

    The FIA is clueless, merely heating the area more than likely is not going to do anything but put the aerodynamic loads on the car and the heat and you have the ability to skirt the rules.

    The reality is the FIA could not find cheating if it was pointed out to them by the team doing the cheating.

    Look at the times Redbull has been told to stop doing something only to have nothing happen to them. If what they were doing was not allowed and they were told to stop then any race results should be wiped away as well.

    Look at the cutting out of cylinders, there is only one reason to cut out cylinders and that is to reduce power to keep the tires from spinning so yes cutting out cylinders is another forum of traction control and therefore illegal.

    It is time to move away from the FIA, they are nothing but a joke.

  • Xman

    I wonder if there was any different effect by heating up the whole tray compared to just the 2 specific areas shown heating up on the track.

  • Red horizon

    That the technical solutions adopted by Adrian Newey are legal or not, is the FIA who ??should decide it, hoping that FIA itself ??understand something of this…However overheating is linked to the aerodynamic efficiency of the car and it seems to be a characteristic of Adrian Newey cars. The problems with the alternator that occurred often in the past year on the Red Bull, for example, was a consequence of this situation. But the problem was not Magneti Marelli alternators in itself, but the way in which they were used, which wasn’t correct and didn’t follow the instructions of the supplier. This is a common thing in F1, because everything is pushed to the limit. Consider, for example, at least in part, the problems with the tires this year, with the teams that did not follow the instructions of Pirelli.

  • Max

    +1 @FIA is clueless

  • McLarenfan

    Jo Bauer + oxygen-acetylene + FIA back hander = very hot RB9 were is that fire extinguisher button Mark? Mark were are you! Oops !!!!

  • Boycotthehaters

    “If what they were doing was not allowed and they were told to stop then any race results should be wiped away as well.”

    You are the clueless one. They have never done anything which was not allowed.

    The Renault mass damper was deemed illegal. I guess you think Alonso’s two WDC’s should be wiped from the books? No, you hypocrite, you don’t think that.

  • fools

    well putting the car up on a stable area and turning it on wont show flex or anything rather. Stick a Go Pro camera in areas where they think it is illegal and focus there observations and theory’s there. Not base it on a stable car on stands. Show the car running to prove its flexing or deemed illegal. This does nothing! It only gives RB more to laugh about and the rest of the grid scratching there ass. Useless.

  • fools

    The Renault mass damper was deemed illegal. I guess you think Alonso’s two WDC’s should be wiped from the books?
    Nothing was illegal on Alonso car. Don’t mention Alonso if your going to hate. Alonso beat Schumi fair and square to the end and Schumi congratulated him on being beat and admires Alonso’s driving talent. Thats what you need to say. The rest you said is garbage.

  • Gentleman George

    It’s not the heating that bends the composites, it’s bending the composites that produces the heat. What do you need to morph the composites? Electricity! Hence the overworked altenator.
    Have you noticed, the front wing hasn’t been bending since the wires were found hanging from Webbers front wing? Don’t forget, Adrian Newey spent a lot of time at Warton Aerodrome using BEASystems wind tunnel when he was with Mclaren. The proof is out there. Look for Morphing composite materials in Aerospace.
    If this is the case, then Red Bull do deserve to have all the points earned since the bendy wing first appeared (2010?) deducted.
    This is only my opinion – nothing more.

  • farizY

    I see a pattern here, whenever a team is dominating, they must be cheating. LOL. What a joke.

  • Nowhereman

    Neither, Newey is using a well known technology of using a specific type of metal that when applied to with a specific voltage, the metal will bend in a specific way again and again.
    Go look it up girls.
    The RBs have electrical problems due to the exotic usage of their electrical system for this type of technology.
    Turn the voltage off and the metal resumes it’s normal position / condition.
    RB thinks out of the box, everyone else is trying to climb out of the box.

  • Max

    The indian government summed it up before the race it’s a show not a sport end of.
    F1 has become a farce there is no proper racing with it enymore tyres more like jelly only good for one car redbull said it them self’s the tyre change was key to vettle’s pace I shout fix AGAIN.

  • Boycotthehaters

    “Nothing was illegal on Alonso car.”

    The mass damper was illegal, fool.

  • Boycotthehaters

    “Alonso beat Schumi fair and square”

    He beat him with the aid of the illegal mass damper.

  • Max

    The mass damper you are talking about was made illegal after Ferrari could not get it to work if memory serves me rite.

  • Taskmaster

    Nowhereman: I have direct experience with the metal you are referring to, and your concept of its use is simply… well, wrong. The metal was once called bio-metal, or nitinol, or shapemetal – essentially an alloy or nickle and titanium, that reacts to heat and/or electrical charge. In one state it will take a relaxed form, in the other, it will either bend, straighten, or shorten depending on how its formed and made. It’s been around since 1959. The real issue here is whether it can produce enough force within a structure to bend a floor or the T-tray. It cannot, not by a long shot. It is used in very low load applications, like toothbrushes and watches. To use it in the application you describe would require a lump of the stuff costing millions, if it were even possible, and then it would fail qickly in use from the inherent inclusions of such a large (heavy) part. Nice guess, but not reality as we know it on the planet earth.

  • Taskmaster

    Morphing composites is an interesting guess, but not likely either. The weight of the conduction layers, high voltage transformation, and requisite controls system are just a few of the liabilities of this approach unlikely to be practical in a car already weight challenged. Add to this the requirement for the controlled surfaces to be of low stiffness in the axis being controlled that would never pass flex tests (especially since the wings are tested with the power off). Still not sure why the insistence that the only way they win is by cheating. They are not THAT dominant. Their win margins suggest a much more subtle difference in cars, indicating incremental advantages gained from integration of whole car design, Newey’s greatest skill, over some secreted super cheat complex hyper-tech detail.