Horner vows to launch protest against ‘illegal’ Mercedes design

Christian Horner has vowed to protest the Mercedes rear wing, saying that it feels illegal to him.

Red Bull have been striving to challenge the legality of Mercedes’ rear wing. They argued that it was too quick to be complying with the rules, and have been scouting it for any possible evidence since Brazil.

The FIA recently rejected Mercedes’ appeal to hand a penalty to Red Bull, so now the Milton-Keynes outfit wants to be the aggressor. They trail their rivals by 11 points in the Constructors’ Championship, and will look for any way to eat at that lead.

Horner vowed to protest the Mercedes rear wing in that vein, and insisted that the team will stop at nothing to get it checked.

Speaking to Sky Sports as quoted by grandprix247.com, Horner said, “There’s very specific regulations about this. And obviously, the directives that came out prior to Azerbaijan (in June) had a material effect.

“I think this is something even more advanced… it’s hidden in the way that it operates so that it’s harder to spot from a camera.

horner mercedes verstappen hamilton red bull protest illegal wing
Horner and Red Bull are not fans of Mercedes’ rear wing. Source: Mercedes

“But you can see the straight-line performance since Hungary (August), and particularly in the last two grands prix, has gone exponential. And I think that obviously concerns us.”


Horner is not alone in leading the protest, with Red Bull technical head Adrian Newey and chief engineer Paul Monaghan also with him in the team’s mission to alert the FIA.

There were concerns back in June that teams were taking advantage of loopholes in the rules regarding rear wings. The concerns were that they were using wings that were legal when static, but granted more speed when in motion.

When asked if Red Bull would protest in Qatar itself, Horner affirmed and said, “Make no bones about it, if we see it on the car here it will be protested.

“You could have a situation like Brazil where the (Mercedes) is quite simply unraceable.”

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