Grand prix

Red Bull has “no reason” to protest ‘powerful’ Mercedes F1 suspension

The suspension on Mercedes’ 2021 cars has caused intrigue in the F1 paddock after footage showing the rear-end of the W12 dropping down at high speed on the straights emerged following the Turkish Grand Prix. 

Mercedes appears to have found a way of stalling its diffuser by lowering the back end of its car to boost top speed when needed, something Red Bull feels explained its performance advantage at Istanbul

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes the system is more effective at certain types of venues like Turkey.

“We don’t feel that it is illegal, no,” said Horner. “It’s something that has been used historically. We’ve seen it used by them in the past.

“But obviously, what we saw in Turkey was quite an extreme version of it, which that circuit seemed to allow.”

Asked about the possibility of a protest, Horner replied: “We’ve never said we don’t think it’s legal, so therefore there will be no reason to protest.”

The system seemed to have less of an impact at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix as Max Verstappen fended off title rival Lewis Hamilton to take victory. 

But Horner thinks Mercedes could enjoy a “quite powerful” benefit at upcoming races, particularly at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in December. 

“It will have a greater influence at some tracks than others,” he added. “It was a reduced effect here [in the United States] but somewhere like Jeddah for example, it could be quite powerful.”

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto also downplayed any concerns about the legality of Mercedes’ suspension. 

“Honestly, I’m not too interested in those discussions,” Binotto said. “We are not really following them.

“I heard about it, I do not see anything wrong or illegal in that and I think even not surprising the way it’s behaving.”

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