FIA deny favouring Red Bull over Mercedes in wing war

Date published: November 16 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Michael Masi and Toto Wolff. Bahrain March 2021

Michael Masi has strongly denied claims from many, including Toto Wolff, that the FIA are favouring Red Bull over Mercedes. 

Lewis Hamilton and co had to overcome a number of hurdles to claim victory last time out at Interlagos.

The seven-time World Champion had to start the sprint from the back of the field after being disqualified from qualifying – in which he was fastest – as his rear wing failed to satisfy the FIA’s regulations with the DRS flap gap being too wide.

That left Wolff frustrated, and that frustration became anger shortly before the race when Red Bull were allowed to make changes to Max Verstappen’s rear wing without incurring a penalty.

The Austrian suggested after the weekend that there’s a bias towards Red Bull from the FIA, but race director Masi says that’s not at all the case and that the decisions are consistent.

“All the reports that Jo [Bauer] sends out as our technical delegate, prior to the race, clearly explain either repairs or replacements that can happen under parc ferme conditions,” he said as per Motorsport.com.

“And that’s clearly listed for everyone to read. So, from that perspective, yes, we have regular requests, at a sprint qualifying weekend it’s obviously even more because of when parc ferme starts.

“So from our perspective, we treat every single request equally, consistently, look at every single one.

“The thing is, if we see that something is let’s call it systematic with the team over a number of events, then we ask them to make permanent modifications to that part.

“So there’s a whole lot of things that go into it. So no, I don’t think there’s any inconsistency at all.”

Instead, he thinks that Wolff and Mercedes feel that way because they were the ones on the receiving ends of penalties in Brazil.

“Every competitor, every driver, is treated equally and fairly at all times,” he added.

“Obviously, if you’re on the receiving end of a penalty, I think everyone feels unfairly treated. So that’s part of being in the role that we are.”

 

There have been a huge number of matters between Red Bull and Mercedes, both on and off track, that the FIA have had to rule on this year as the two teams battle it out for both championships.

He says both are willing to do anything to gain an advantage and doesn’t blame them for doing so.

“It’s battle for the lead of the race, a very tight and intense battle for the world championship, and I think everything that we’ve seen over this weekend between the two teams just adds into that mix,” he said.

“Once you have an intense championship battle you’ve got both drivers and teams, they will absolutely try and do anything and everything possible from their perspective to win, and understandably so.”

 

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