Red Bull Racing already has spoken out against various aerodynamic elements that are unforeseen byproducts of the 2017 Formula One technical regulations. Now, though, team principal Christian Horner is reemphasizing his frustrations, calling on FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting to take action.
Horner told reporters Friday in Bahrain he hopes Whiting will consider banning T-wings on safety grounds, according to Autosport. His comments came after Max Verstappen was limited to 18 laps in FP2 because his car was heavily damaged after he collided with a stray wing that had fallen off Valtteri Bottas’ car.
Red Bull doesn’t run a T-wing on its RB13, something Horner suspects other teams will use to discredit his argument.
“I am probably the wrong person to be asking because we don’t have one,” Horner told Autosport, “so everybody is going to say we want to get rid of it because we don’t have one.
“But I think Charlie, if he so wished, has the perfect opportunity under the grounds of safety to get rid of them.”
The Red Bull team boss’s comments, despite how they appear, aren’t meant to attack the new regulations introduced ahead of 2017. In fact, T-wings only appeared on cars this year because a loophole in the rules allows teams the freedom to use a small area on top of their engine covers to generate downforce.
Such aero components are very thin, appearing almost flimsy, though they can be extremely dangerous if they come loose from a car, as they’re made of carbon fiber.
“I didn’t expect it would cause that much damage,” Verstappen said. “It smashed basically the floor.”
This isn’t the first time T-wings have caused issues this year. Bottas also had one fall off his car in China, and Haas F1 Team was forced to add rigidity to its shark fin, on which it mounts the wing, after the FIA said it was wiggling around too much while cornering.
All photos via Mercedes-AMG Petronas