Verstappen suspected "flexing" in Mercedes F1 rear wing incident

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen says he had suspicions regarding Mercedes’ rear wing flexing, in explaining why he touched Lewis Hamilton’s car in parc ferme after Formula 1 qualifying in Brazil.

Verstappen suspected "flexing" in Mercedes F1 rear wing incident
Listen to this article

The championship leader was fined €50,000 for touching Hamilton’s rear wing after he finished second to his title rival in conventional qualifying on Friday at Interlagos, with Hamilton’s car later failing the FIA’s post-session technical checks as its DRS was found to be opening the wing more than the permitted distance.

After an overnight investigation, the Brazilian Grand Prix stewards opted to disqualify Hamilton from qualifying, while a separate examination of Verstappen’s actions leading to his fine.

When asked by Motorsport.com to explain why he had touched Hamilton’s car – as well as his own shortly beforehand – Verstappen replied: “Well, I was clearly looking at the wing.

“So, yeah, I mean, you can see on the video what I did exactly. I was just looking at how much the rear wing was flexing at that point.”

Pressed further during the post-sprint race press conference that followed the 24-lap event won by Valtteri Bottas, after the Finn beat Verstappen away from his inherited first place grid spot, the Dutchman said his actions “had nothing to do with the DRS – what they [the FIA] were looking at”.

In response to a question that asked if he had had any specific suspicion that he subsequently moved to directly inspect on Friday, Verstappen stated that he had and then explained that it was related to the new load and deflection tests that were introduced at the French Grand Prix, following a furore over flexing wings at F1’s two leading teams during the early rounds of the 2021 season.

Mechanics on the grid with the cars of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Mechanics on the grid with the cars of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Intrigue has continued to follow this area, with the varying downforce and drag levels produced by both the RB16B and the W12 often giving either Red Bull or Mercedes an edge at certain tracks.

“Yeah, of course there have been talks, and of course there are things to still look into – because at a certain speed it seems like the wing is flexing,” he said.

“Of course you know we had, at the beginning of the season, to all change the rear wings a bit because of the back off [of the rear wing at high speed].

“But it seems like something is still backing off over there [at Mercedes]. So, that’s why I went and had a look.”

Verstappen also joked that he hoped his sanction – “quite a big fine” – would result in officials having “a nice dinner and a lot of wine!”

He added: “I hope good, expensive wine – that would be nice. They can invite me for dinner as well – I’ll pay for that dinner too.

“I do have to pay [the fine, not Red Bull]. So that’s a little bit less FIFA points for me then on my laptop.”

Read Also:
shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton: Brazil F1 DSQ "devastating" ahead of sprint recovery
Previous article

Hamilton: Brazil F1 DSQ "devastating" ahead of sprint recovery

Next article

F1 Grand Prix sprint results: Bottas wins for Brazilian GP pole

F1 Grand Prix sprint results: Bottas wins for Brazilian GP pole
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter Prime

When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Prime

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week, and though it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted more just why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action.

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why new Williams F1 boss shouldn't avoid 'Mercedes B-team' comparisons Prime

Why new Williams F1 boss shouldn't avoid 'Mercedes B-team' comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023