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McLaren fear delay in flexible wing test will benefit rival teams

The FIA are introducing tougher rear wing stiffness tests after Red Bull experimented with a 'bendy' wing at the Spanish Grand Prix. However, McLaren's Andreas Seidl thinks this rule change is not happening quickly enough.

Andreas Seidl
To news overview © McLaren

McLaren are not happy with the FIA for their delay in introducing tougher tests for rear wing stiffness as they fear this could put certain teams at a disadvantage.

Red Bull were amongst those to be seen using a more flexible rear wing during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend. The FIA wrote to teams last week to say that they had noticed some cars using rear wings that were illegally flexing, though Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has insisted that their own rear wing is legal.

Following this, the rule change for tougher tests will come into effect on 15 June, yet teams will be allowed a 20 percent tolerance for a further one month after this. McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is concerned that this delay could allow certain teams to continue to benefit from a flexible rear wing for longer.

"When you see all the videos and pictures from Barcelona, it's pretty clear what is happening," Seidl told RacingNews365.com and other select media. "Therefore we welcome the reaction from the FIA with the technical directive, the basic content of which we are happy with.

"Where we strongly disagree is the timing of the implementation. There is no reason after not just one team had already the advantage of doing things which in our point of view are clearly against the regulations.

"They had that advantage for several races, which is something we are not happy with. But now allowing them to have further advantage for more races is something we strongly disagree with and where we are in conversations with the FIA."

Seidl also questions whether passing the tests will mean that the wings are necessarily legal.

"The tests mentioned in the regulations at the moment are in place to let's say additionally support FIA to check in a straightforward way if the cars are complying with the regulations. But it doesn't mean that only these tests are the criteria as to whether the car is legal or not.

"We hope the FIA shows a very strong hand and it is simply not acceptable because it puts the teams who comply with the regulations at a big disadvantage."

Despite this, Seidl has suggested that McLaren will not protest the issue.

"In principle I am not a big fan of protesting other teams and cars," the team boss explained.

"All I can say is at the moment we are in dialogue with the FIA to make sure teams that have designed devices or parts that we have seen in Barcelona simply can't use these devices or parts any more."

Seidl is not the only figure in F1 to raise concerns about the delay. Lewis Hamilton has also questioned whether the ruling could potentially allow Red Bull to have an advantage at tracks like Baku.


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