This technical directive can be comfortably satisfied by the teams, but with a rather expensive restructuring in some cases. Which could be particularly inconvenient for any team, like Red Bull, already operating at the cost cap limit. But where it gets really controversial is that there are two races before the new technical guidelines are implemented – and one of them is around the Baku street circuit where the flex wing advantage is at its absolute maximum. This track combines an intermediate sector à la Monaco where maximum downforce is required with the longest stretch of flat racing seen all year round, on the last “straight line” which runs along the Caspian coast. It is a mixture of Monaco and Monza, the two extremes of the request for support.
If the Red Bull’s rear wing is able to flex more efficiently than the Mercedes’, it will be worth much more in Baku than elsewhere. This will allow Red Bull to endure a lot of downforce for the street section without necessarily being crippled in this last stretch.
So in the multidimensional game of fighting for a championship, Merc’s Toto Wolff introduced some danger in choosing Red Bull’s wing there. Delaying the implementation of the new interpretation, he said, “leaves us in no man’s land as the technical directive says that the movement of some rear fenders was deemed excessive. Delaying the introduction for any reason leaves us in a legal vacuum and leaves the door open to protests. It’s not just us, but probably two other teams that are affected the most, maybe more.