Toto Wolff joked that Red Bull are seeing "ghosts" following their latest comments about Mercedes' rear wing design.
Red Bull have alleged that Mercedes' rear wing is showing signs of "scoring" on the inside of the vertical wing endplate, which could be an indicator of flex of the lower rear wing element. RacingNews365.com has obtained an image of the contentious area.
It came before news that the FIA will be introducing further tests to look at rear wings more stringently moving forward.
"It's a ghost!"
However, Wolff brushed off the latest developments after qualifying in Qatar, where Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole position ahead of championship rival Max Verstappen.
Regarding the aforementioned photo, Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com: "Who distributed that to the media? That's a shocker!
"Can you show me what you see on these photos? I can't see anything on these photos apart from stuff being scratched."
After a pause, he added: "A ghost! I don't know where they got this photo from and what it actually shows… It's a ghost!"
Mercedes to ignore Red Bull comments
After qualifying, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner suggested that Mercedes' straight-line speed is now back "under control", given the data the team had seen.
Again replying sarcastically, Wolff said: "Have they shown some data or photographs about the straight-line performance?
"It's a track here that is less power-sensitive. I think they've just done a good job. Their straight-line speed with a big wing is identical to ours. I'm happy that they are happy.
"Let's go to Saudi Arabia and maybe we'll hear some comments again."
Wolff added that he and Mercedes are struggling to keep up with what is coming out of the Red Bull camp.
"The debates that are being kicked off or launched, I cannot follow anymore," he said.
"I've taken the decision for myself and the team, that we won't be, we can't simply… We are struggling to keep up with commenting on the rumours that are being made from that side."
No concerns over new tests
Wolff also insisted that Mercedes are not worried about the outcome of the new tests.
"I think they're [the FIA] trying a new load test, also for next year, to have these things [be] more robust, and checking how much a wing deflects," he commented.
"I think it's not in the regulations, or there's no TD (Technical Directive), but it's more of an experiment.
"It will be interesting to see the results, because I believe we're on the good side. But I'm pre-empting, I don't know what the results are. I don't even know when they want to do it."
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