Red Bull reportedly backed down on Mercedes mirror complaints

Date published: March 18 2022 - Michelle Foster

George Russell practices a pit stop at Mercedes. Bahrain March 2022

Ferrari may find themselves alone in their queries about Mercedes’ mirror assembly as Red Bull have reportedly backed down as they fear retribution.

That’s according to a report in Auto Motor und Sport.

Mercedes arrived at the Bahrain pre-season test with a mirror assembly that had Ferrari smarting.

The Scuderia’s team boss Mattia Binotto said: “Already in the past, we always argued the mirrors should not have any aero purpose. They should be there just to look behind.”

But Mercedes’ does more than that, the mirror assembly also having an aerodynamic property.

But according to AMuS journalist Michael Schmidt, it was not just Ferrari who had questions about Mercedes’ design, Red Bull were also said to have ‘expressed their doubts when they saw their main competitor’s car for the first time’.

However, they reportedly went quiet very quickly with Schmidt saying that’s because they were ‘afraid of being targeted by the competition’ as Red Bull have ‘something under the sidepods on the upgrade of the RB18 that could not quite correspond to the spirit of the regulations’.

What that something is, he didn’t say.

Ferrari are therefore likely to be the sole voice questioning the Mercedes’ design, although it seems the FIA believe it is legal under this year’s regulations.

The FIA’s head of single seater matters Nikolas Tombazis explained that the rules around the mirrors do not state “for the sole purpose of”, meaning they can have more than one job.

As such for this year at least the FIA have told Mercedes rivals that they are ‘not thinking of banning’ the design and that should it referred to the stewards, the FIA technicians will ‘declare the concept of the W13 legal’.

 

But that may be just for this season, with AMuS saying that at Mercedes ‘it is feared’ that the assembly will be illegal from 2023.

 

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