Mercedes has been forced into some last-minute modifications after Red Bull questioned the legality of the Silver Arrows’ rear brake ducts.
In what could be a very busy week for the FIA, the governing body has issued a new Technical Directive relating to the rear brake ducts in the wake of Red Bull’s protests.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, Red Bull’s engineers suspected that the rear brake vents were not compliant with Article 11.5 of the Technical Regulations which state:
Air ducts around the rear brakes will be considered part of the braking system and shall not protrude beyond:
a) A plane parallel to the ground situated at a distance of 160mm above the horizontal centre line of the wheel.
b) A plane parallel to the ground situated at a distance of 160mm below the horizontal centre line of the wheel.
c) A vertical plane parallel to the inner face of the wheel rim and displaced from it by 120mm toward the car centre plane.
d) In the forward direction, a radius of 330mm from the centre of the wheel or in the rearward direction a radius of 180mm from the centre of the wheel, when viewed from the side.
The new Technical Directive produced as a result of this particular protest, the details of which have not been released, means the reigning World Champions have been left with no choice but to make some adjustments to the W11.
This specific enquiry could set the tone for the rest of the week in the build-up to the Australian Grand Prix.
Teams are still waiting for a satisfactory answer after the FIA’s investigation into Ferrari’s power unit, while Mercedes’ DAS system and Racing Point’s alleged W10 copycat could come under more scrutiny before the lights go out in Melbourne.