If there is one thing I really like about Mark Webber it is that he is real. He speaks candidly and says things that other may think but are afraid to say. Webber’s candid nature fits snugly into his charming Australian demeanor and wrap that package in a confidence and championship leading bow and you have quite a gift for F1 fans.
Leaving Hungary, Webber has taken the championship lead with him as well as the constructor’s championship lead. The victory that saw fit to crown Webber current points leader was, by some margin, easily won as his car had such superior pace to everyone else on the grid save his own teammate, Sebastian Vettel, in the sister Red Bull RB6 chassis. That domination has created some controversy surrounding a new front wing that Red Bull has developed which is rumored to be beyond the letter of the regulation.
The critics, mainly McLaren and Mercedes GP, have been suggesting that the approximate one second advantage that Red Bull have ont heir rivals is basically the type of advantage a flexible front wing would give. No strangers to innovative thinking, McLaren and Mercedes GP have their own success stories regarding the letter and spirit of the regulation. McLaren invented the F-Duct this year while the former iteration of Mercedes, Brawn GP, had their Dual Diffuser in 2009.
That kind of innovative thinking is what Webber feels is being attacked and he has politely told rival to shove off. Webber tells the BBC:
“The car has always been passed by the FIA.
“When people don’t like what they see on the stopwatch, they have to justify their own positions sometimes.”
The UK-based Australian, 33, added: “Our guys have broken their balls to design a car in the spirit of the regulations, but when there’s pressure on people to perform and they’re getting destroyed, that’s how it is.
“Some teams have done certain things, other teams have done other things. McLaren incorporated the F-duct, which is a sensational idea.
“We’ve turned the world upside down to try and do that, which is not without resource difficulties – but that’s Formula 1.
“We’re more than happy with what we have on the car, and we’re sleeping well at night. You should never penalise things that are ingenious, and people who are doing a good job. There’s always something new to bring out of the cupboard.”
We may find out if it’s innovative thinking or a step beyond acceptable limits as the FIA have informed both Red Bull and Ferrari, both accused of running flexi wings, that they will step up their testing procedure and examine, once again, the legality of the front wing. In the mean time, the trash talk has become part of the fun in F1 and it’s nice to see Webber lay some smack down on the two teams who have challenged the letter versus spirit conundrum more times than I care to mention. That’s F1.
Perhaps germane tot he comment is that Webber says they have worked to the spirit of the regulation…not letter of the regulation. So that may be an issue come test time. With that, Red Bull make no bones about their desire for engine parity and have suggested that this should be allowed as well. I sense a compromise coming; no flexi wing if you give us a better engine on par with the Merc lump.
“We’ve been looking for engine parity for the last few years because we know we don’t have the most powerful engine.
“When we go to a track where there are not many straights, the car is good because we’ve had to try incredibly hard to get the car performing on those circuits.”
Could we have a new and improved Renault lump by Spa? Perhaps a more rigid front wing is more likely.