Red Bull has apparently filed a complaint against Mercedes again.
Mercedes’ engine seems to have attracted the attention of the Milton-Keynes outfit, and they didn’t like what they saw. Accordingly, they reported the matter to the FIA.
Michael Schmidt made a video for Auto, Motor und Sport, where he talked about this issue. Schmidt also said Ferrari is backing Red Bull on this matter, but is more of a side party.
In the video, Schmidt says, “They somehow manage to cool down the air in the plenum in the acceleration phase. This produces significantly more horsepower in that phase, but not as much by the end. This could be true when you see how Mercedes come out of the corners.”
Schmidt argues that the trick seems legal at first, but the problem with it is that the sensors are rigged. According to him there is only a certain temperature or higher allowed. However, Mercedes maintains a lower one, but the sensors are cleverly placed in a place where it registers a warmer temperature.
The location in question is the plenum, which is a part of the airflow structure of an F1 car. When the sensors measure the temperature in the plenum, it records a higher value than the actual one.
“I don’t think you’re allowed to be below ten degrees (in terms of temperature outside the car), and Red Bull claims the sensors are in a place where it’s always made sure it’s warm enough,” Schmidt claimed.
This trick is alleged to make the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas accelerate in and out of corners faster. This allows them to carry a shade more speed into and out of the high-speed corners, while other cars have to brake and lose speed in this zones.
The next two or three races will see this matter investigated. If the FIA deems it fit, it is a legal trick, and Red Bull will have failed to stifle their title rivals again.