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Is the Mercedes W15 updated front wing legal? Red Bull think not

george russell winner Is the Mercedes W15 updated front wing legal? Red Bull think not

Red Bull are reportedly taking a good look at the Mercedes W15 front wing that served them so well in Canada, questioning its legality as things heat up at the sharp end of the Formula 1 grid.

While Sergio Perez is unable to get a handle on the car, the Red Bull RB20 with Max Verstappen in the cockpit remains the benchmark. But unlike last year, this season Ferrari and McLaren have all but caught up.

Meanwhile, after a poor start to their 2024 F1 campaign, Mercedes appeared to leap forward in performance in Canada where George Russell might’ve won, after claiming pole position (pictured above) in Qualifying on Saturday, had he made fewer mistakes fate had other plans. Nevertheless, P3 was their first podium of the year.

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Will the form carry over to Barcelona is anyone’s guess, but signs are good for the first time in two years. Mercedes seem to have a handle on their car finally. At least the upgraded front wing worked. Perhaps too well as their rivals are piqued and asking questions.

An unofficial request has been submitted to the FIA ​​technical office…

Mercedes W15 declared 'driver's friend' as full impact of upgrades revealed

Auto Motor und Sport report: “Aware that the difference between winning and losing is in the fine details, Red Bull are looking very closely at their rivals [Mercedes]. According to several sources, the reigning F1 World Champions under the supervision of Paul Monaghan, are looking closely at the new Mercedes front wing.”

The report adds: “An unofficial request has been submitted to the FIA ​​technical office to monitor the flexing at the W15’s front wing and nose.”

The suspicion is that, while the updated Mercedes front wing is within legal limits in the FIA’s static checks. However, the flexing occurs at speed more so than the previous wing, as apparent in video footage doing the rounds on social media.

Flexing wings is an old debate in F1, and FIA single-seater director Nikolas Tombazis is very aware of the potential for exploitation: “Observing the teams, we saw how they manage to create relative movements in the area of ​​the nose attachment and in the external part near the lateral fins.

“The teams invest a lot of resources to create surfaces that resist our load tests, but that appear to be made of elastic material on the track,” added Tombazis.

Horner: Even with our downgrade, we managed to beat their upgrade

Christian Horner and Toto Wolff set differences aside as duo unite over F1 issue | F1 | Sport | Express.co.uk

Furthermore, teams questioning the creations and upgrades their rivals unroll is not uncommon during the course of the year. But it is clear that now, with the stakes as high as always for the F1 world title but more contenders for it, teams are leaving no stone unturned not only to make their own packages faster but also to handbrake their rivals. It’s part of the game.

It is hard to remember an upgrade in the current F1 aero-era that worked for Mercedes. Barcelona this weekend will reveal if Mercedes have indeed made a step forward or if Montreal was merely an anomaly. If they are fast, expect the wing to be in the spotlight. If they return to their midfield ways, don’t expect a fuss.

Adding fuel to the fire, Mercedes tech boss James Allison recently observed that the Red Bull the latest (Imola) “upgrade was a downgrade” to the RB20. And added: “I really hope it f@cks them up.”

To which RBR team principal Christian Horner retorted: “Even with our downgrade, we managed to beat their upgrade.”

And of course, Horner must’ve promptly set his clever guys at Red Bull to dig into what could be making the Mercedes so much more effective (at least in Canada) and if it’s the front wing, protest it if it even blinks at speed. Watch this space!

Big Question: Is the Mercedes W15 updated front wing legal?