Alpine not expecting protest war in Baku

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Fernando Alonso Alpine

Fernando Alonso Alpine PA

Alpine’s Marcin Budkowski says that he would be “very, very surprised” if there were protests over rear wings in Baku.

There has been a huge amount of talk about rear wings in recent weeks, with Mercedes unhappy about the way in which Red Bull’s moves to give them more straight-line speed, and their’s isn’t the only one that is flexible.

In response, the FIA will be introducing new measures at the French Grand Prix to test whether parts are legal or not and have placed stickers on all rear wings in Baku to see how much they flex.

The German team though have expressed their displeasure over the fact that for the upcoming race, where straight-line speed is so important, their rivals will still be able to use the design that they feel gives them an illegal advantage.

However, while Budkowski does think because of such measures being introduced in France that teams will have to make changes ahead of the next race, he doesn’t expect anything to happen in terms of protests over the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.

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“First of all, we have designed our rear wings to the regulations,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“Our rear wing is completely legal. But the FIA has the right to introduce new tests on the wings or any other part of the car which is absolutely fine. That’s part of the process and we accept that.

“We’ve done some of our own tests and we will have to change some of our [rear] wings for the next race and believe this is the case for most of the other teams down the pit lane.

“Whether there is going to be a protest, I would be very, very surprised because the FIA have taken the problem, added new constraints from France [onwards] and gave teams reasonable enough time, the minimum amount of time really, to change the wings.

“It’s not about slapping things on and off the wings, they are structural items and are pretty critical, especially here in Baku on the straights with the walls close by.

“The last thing you want is people playing around with their wings last minute in the garage. But the process is right, the FIA has done the job, from the next round we will have new constraints and we will respect them.”

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