Red Bull ‘always complied with the rules’

© Ubaid Parkar, 1 August 2012
© AP Photo/Balazs Czagany

Despite the latest FIA crackdown that caused discomfort in the Red Bull camp, the defending world champions insisted that its cars have been legal throughout the year.

Motorsport’s governing body issued a technical directive regarding engine mapping ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend after it found Red Bull exploiting a loophole in the regulations in the preceding race in Germany.

But the team run by the Austrian energy drinks manufacturer dismissed any implications that its technical approach was an infringement.

“The bottom line is that the result sheet comes out at the end of qualifying and the end of the race - and the car complies with the regulations,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was quoted saying by Reuters.

“At the end of the day, it is down to the FIA and the stewards to decide whether the car is legal or not,” he pointed out. “Every single time our car has been questioned by other teams, it has always complied with the rules.”

The Milton Keynes-based outfit has been under the scanner several times this season including claims that it was using a prohibited manual device to alter suspension settings when the car is in parc ferme.

The issue sprung up when the mechanism, which improves ride height and performance, was discovered at the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this year although Red Bull was adamant that it used tools as directed in the regulations and that no change was done manually.

Red Bull was also directed to change its wheel hubs in Montreal as it was gaining an aerodynamic advantage with its design.

At the Monaco Grand Prix, Red Bull ran a car with a floor that the FIA found was in contravention of the rules, which the team had interpreted it differently. Mark Webber won the race at the Principality from pole position but was allowed to keep the result.

Red Bull has been at the centre of similar controversies since its first championship winning year which included laws governing ride heights and flexible front wings.

“Of course the nature of F1 is that it is competitive, but the regulations are written in such a way that they are open to interpretation,” Horner reasoned.

“From HRT to Red Bull, every single team interprets the rules, otherwise every single car would look the same. Part of our strength is our ingenuity and I don’t think we should be criticised for being creative,” he added.

 

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