Helmut Marko quizzed on Mercedes front wing with ‘doesn’t surprise me’ verdict

Michelle Foster
The Mercedes W15 front wing.

Mercedes brought an upgraded front wing to the W15 in Monaco

Helmut Marko has denied Red Bull approached the FIA about Mercedes’ new wing, but says teams do push “everything to the limit” to pass the FIA tests only for the wing to “lower” in the races.

He called it a “popular game” played by the teams.

Helmut Marko has denied Red Bull questioned Mercedes’ front wing

Bolting a new front wing onto the W15 at the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes made a notable step forward that yielded their first pole position and podium result of the season one race later in Canada.

Called a “eureka” moment by pundits, perhaps even the missing “silver bullet”, Auto Motor und Sport claimed that such were the gains with the front wing that Red Bull had questioned it.

According to the German publication, Red Bull officials doubted that the new front wings complied with the regulations down to the last detail and were flexing beyond the permitted limit.

They are said to have approached the FIA to have a closer look at the front wing.

Asked if that was ‘true’, Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko told OE24: “You can’t say that.

“They have a new front wing, and on the TV pictures from Montreal you can clearly see that Russell and Hamilton’s wings are bending noticeably.

“However, the wings had the necessary strength when they were approved. That doesn’t surprise me.

“I don’t know how often we had to check our wings. There is a precisely defined procedure with weights under which a wing must not bend.

“It is a popular game of pushing everything to the limit so that it passes the technical inspection. During the race, the wing then lowers, which ensures better aerodynamics.”

More on the Mercedes front wing that was introduced in Monaco

👉Mercedes W15 upgrades: The ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ updates explained

👉Have Mercedes found their ‘silver bullet’? Upgrade dubbed ‘eureka moment’ by F1 pundit

Helmut Marko confirmed ‘new inspection’ in Spain

Marko believes the front wing flexibility debate is one that has been raging for years.

“It has come up again and again when the deformation was clearly visible in the television images,” he said before confirming wings will be inspected at the next race in Spain and the other after in Austria.

“Everything was OK in Montreal,” he said. “There is a new inspection for Barcelona and Spielberg etc., and it has to be OK again. Of course, the competition is looking at that critically, not just us.

Told the working title could be ‘Red Bull wants to clip Mercedes’ wings’, Marko replied: “A funny play on words, something satirical. But if so, then only the FIA ​​can do that.”

Red Bull head to Barcelona with a 49-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship while Max Verstappen is 56 points ahead of Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ standings.

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