A rumour in the Interlagos paddock could spell bad news for Red Bull and Ferrari, as the FIA looks to clamp down on flexible front wings. The issue has returned to the fore at recent races, with Ferrari testing a Red Bull-style wing that is so flexible at speed that it often “flutters” and sends sparks flying from the bottoming endplates.
Spanish sports newspaper Marca said the governing body has been looking at how to further improve its scrutineering load tests so that teams cannot pass them with clearly flexible wings.
“Marca has learned that the FIA intends to put the issue on the table next week”, the report said, with the issue needing to be resolved quickly ahead of the 2012 season.
The report said McLaren would be the biggest beneficiary, with its 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton quoted as admitting Red Bull has been “light years ahead” for some time.
“They’ve had basically the same car for three years,” said the Briton, “and it’s been light years ahead, especially at the beginning and in the middle of a season.
“I don’t think they’ve broken down even once. It’s a serious machine,” added Hamilton.
But with the flexible wing advantage now in doubt, Red Bull’s advantage may also be further reduced due to the prohibition of blown exhausts next year.
“When you stop a team from utilising what has been the most important factor in their performance, the tendency is that they do lose some strength,” Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn confirmed to O Estado de S.Paulo.