FIA hands Christian Horner and Red Bull early blow after approving innovative Mercedes car design

Mercedes has been rather innovative in the way it has gone about implementing its new side pods.

It has undoubtedly caught the attention of the entire F1 community, with many rivals sceptical about the legality of the design that the Silver Arrows have used.

The fact that the new Mercedes challenger has a distinct difference in its barely visible side-pods was thought to be illegal by Red Bull, with team boss Christian Horner already complaining to FIA about how Mercedes had manipulated the rules.

However, recent reports claim that Mercedes has got the thumbs up from FIA, who have ruled that they have not broken any rules in their design.

It had been argued that the new side pods would have a big impact on the wake from the car. FIA, though, believes that this is not the case.

FIA caught off guard

Christian Horner. Credit:

Even the FIA was surprised when it first saw Mercedes’ design, but after extensive checks, the car has been passed fit to feature in the season-opener later this month.

Managing director Ross Brawn, who played a leading role behind implementing the new regulations, spoke about the Mercedes W13.

“There are some very extreme interpretations of the regulations which could lead to a lot of debate. We did not anticipate the Mercedes concept,” said Brawn.

While Red Bull had reportedly been the first team to report the car to the FIA, Horner has swiftly dismissed this. He claimed that his team had not even got time to analyse the Mercedes car.

“I was slightly surprised to be reading comments I’m supposed to have been making, but there we go. I haven’t paid a great deal of attention to [the Mercedes],” Horner told Sky Sports.  

“It’s obviously a fairly different concept, but that’s for the designer guys and aerodynamicists to get into. Let the guys digest it and understand it.”

While the German team has once again proved its ability to innovate and think outside the box, it is still unknown whether the difference will actually improve the performance of the W13.

Any question marks, though, will soon be answered on the track when the teams line up for the season-opener in Bahrain on March 20.

Read more: Horner tells Hamilton to “just shut the f— up”; ridicules ‘financially-driven’ Wolff’s achievements as F1 boss

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