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Verstappen incident a "perfect opportunity" for T-wing ban

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Verstappen incident a "perfect opportunity" for T-wing ban
By:
Co-author: Jonathan Noble
Apr 14, 2017, 5:24 PM

Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner has renewed calls to ban T-wings after Max Verstappen hit the detached wing from Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes in Bahrain Grand Prix practice.

Red Bull Racing RB13 rear detail
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13

Verstappen was limited to 18 laps of running in the Friday evening session at Sakhir due to the extensive damage to his car's floor after he went over the stray component.

"I didn't expect it would cause that much damage," said Verstappen. "It smashed basically the floor."

Horner has been a vocal critic of the small wings atop cars' engine covers since they began to appear in testing.

Red Bull does not run a T-wing, and Horner believes incidents such as Bottas and Verstappen's show FIA race director Charlie Whiting has grounds to take action - though he doubts it will happen.

Bottas had already lost part of his T-wing during last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

"I am probably the wrong person to be asking because we don't have one, so everybody is going to say we want to get rid of it because we don't have one," Horner told Motorsport.com

"But I think Charlie, if he so wished, has the perfect opportunity under the grounds of safety to get rid of them. But I feel that they will probably be here for the rest of the year.

"Today it did about £50,000 of damage so I think they should be banned on grounds of safety and cost."

Verstappen said the incident effectively meant he was unable to do a proper long run in second practice.

Red Bull closer but puzzled

Despite the disappointment of Verstappen's disrupted evening, Red Bull had an encouraging Friday in Bahrain.

Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen were second and third in the daylight session, and while Verstappen's damage limited him to eighth in practice two, Ricciardo was only 0.066s off the pace as he took third behind Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari and Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes.

Both Ricciardo and Horner were surprised to be so much closer to the pace than had been the case in Australia and China.

"It is alright. It is not qualifying, if it was qualifying I would take that for now," said Ricciardo. "Actually I would be pissed because it was pretty close to pole essentially, but it was a good day.

"I am not reading too much into low-fuel stuff because at the moment it looks good but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense compared to a week ago.

"We will be reserved with that. We did everything we had to, a lot of laps."

Horner insisted Red Bull was "still struggling a little bit" and "not entirely happy", describing Ricciardo's small deficit to the front as "a bit strange".

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