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Marko: Tougher rear wing checks won't change anything

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko doesn't believe that more stringent rules on rear wing flex will make any significant difference to the pecking order.

Helmut Marko has downplayed the significance of the upcoming changes on how flexible rear wings are permitted to be. The changes, made through the issuing of a Technical Directive to all teams, will see teams forced to bring their rear wing designs into line with far more stringent load tests. From June 15, these tests will come into force with a 20% tolerance granted on the limits, but this grace period will come to an end on July 15. If a team's rear wings flex beyond the limits, they will go before the stewards and likely disqualified from any Grand Prix they take part in with those wings. Red Bull used visibly flexing rear wings during the Spanish GP, with the rear facing TV cameras showing the wings bending backwards down the main straight. However, the wings still passed the FIA's checks, meaning that Red Bull, as well as other teams, have managed to find a way to bend the rules without breaking them. "The wing has passed the acceptance test. That is the decisive factor. Now there are new criteria that have different guidelines for strength.," Marko told Motorsport-Total after the Spanish weekend. "That is always the development when new regulations come and the teams discover gray areas. But it is not only Red Bull in the sights. It also affects other teams," Marko continued, explaining that the process is completely normal as teams find ways to be a step ahead of the governing body. "During our successful World Championships period, we had to readjust the front wings two or three times per season." Banned: When Red Bull got disqualified for flexing wings Marko went on to explain that the new FIA stress tests will likely hit Red Bull, Alpine and Alfa Romeo the hardest, although not to any decisive extent. Marko also said that AlphaTauri aren't affected by the changes, as they hadn't pushed the envelope on the regulations to the same extent as the senior team. With Mercedes spending their Spanish weekend painstakingly pointing out the rear wing to the media, Marko said that the political game playing from Mercedes is all just part of the battle. "At least from my side, this is not to be taken that seriously," Marko laughed. "Mr. Wolff is doing his job, and at the moment they are doing it very, very well. You have to acknowledge that without envy." Red Bull had tried out two different rear wings over the course of the Spanish weekend, with Marko explaining that the one they used on Friday simply was too slow down the straight, leading them to switch to the more flexibl0e, smaller, version for Saturday qualifying. "The smaller rear wing came up because we were too slow on the straights," the Austrian said. "When driving behind, Hamilton saw that we were relatively fast on the straights and attributed that to the wing. Two things came together.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying