Helmut Marko believes Mercedes won’t follow through on its threat to protest Red Bull’s flexible rear wing in Baku as the move would entail protesting three other teams as well.
Formula 1’s “bendy wing” saga came to the forefront in Barcelona where a comment by Lewis Hamilton supported by video evidence showed a significant amount of vertical flexing of the rear wing on Red Bull’s RB16B.
Team boss Christian Horner admitted to being surprised by the sudden scrutiny, insisting Red Bull’s 2021 car had passed “all kinds of the different tests it has to pass” with the FIA.
Nevertheless, F1’s governing body will step up its scrutiny and checks of all cars’ rear wings from the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard where more stringent pull-back and loads tests are scheduled to be introduced.
- Read also: Mercedes brandishes the spectre of a ‘bendy wing’ protest in Baku
However, the FIA’s decision to delay the checks means that those teams currently running flexible wings that may exceed the norms – allegedly Red Bull, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Alpine – will do so at the upcoming Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Both Mercedes and McLaren have criticized the FIA’s delay while Toto Wolff has threatened to protest Red Bull in Baku.
But Marko is calling the Austrian’s bluff while also threatening a protest from Red Bull.
“Mercedes would have to protest against eight cars,” Marko told F1-Insider.com.
“Because in addition to us, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Alpine are also impacted. Do you really want to do that and cause a major scandal? I do not think so.
“We expect that the tests for the front wing will now also be tightened, that’s just fair. Because especially the front wing of Mercedes is the most wobbly candidate in this area. In any case, there is also potential for protest.”
Marko ensured that Red Bull would introduced a revised rear wing in France, insisting the task of designing a new appendage can’t be done at short notice.
“We are changing our wing so it passes the new tests as required at the time required by the FIA,” said the 78-year-old Austrian.
“But that doesn’t work for Baku. We can’t do that in terms of time because we have to adjust the entire rear end. You can’t just build a new grand piano.”
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