FIA to negate Red Bull suspicions with rule tweak UPDATE The saying "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" seems to be the perfect way to describe the technological race in Formula One the moment.
First there was the diffuser debacle, then it was McLaren's controversial f-duct device and now it's Red Bull's ride-height system.
|The Red Bull car is just a blur to the other wannabes|
Most teams have already designed their own double diffusers and a few have responded with the f-duct systems of their own. So last on the list (for now at least) is the low ride-height device which has allegedly given the Red Bulls a significant advantage in qualifying - helping them to gain three out of three pole positions this season.
However, McLaren, who initially questioned the legality of the system and then downplayed it, look like they will become the first team to imitate the device.
According to Mark Hughes' BBC blog, the new suspension system could be ready for the next grand prix in China and it will give McLaren a 'further 0.3s boost'.
'The intriguing thing regarding McLaren is that they hope to have new suspension parts in time for China that will allow an aerodynamically-enhanced qualifying performance, the car running with an optimally low ride-height which will then return itself to the higher ride height required when 150kg of fuel is put into the tank on race day.
'It's a system McLaren believes Red Bull has used since the start of the season, a claim denied by Red Bull.' AutoTrader zzzz04/03/10 (GMM) According to a paddock rumor late on Saturday, a simple solution to F1's latest technical controversy is being touted.
Some teams suspect Red Bull is somehow regulating the right-height of the RB6 between qualifying and the race, perhaps with an ingenious compressed gas system that can be legally drained or re-filled in parc ferme conditions.
But the truth is that no team is even sure Adrian Newey's car has such a system, let alone any idea about how it might work.
However, the fact remains that a potential grey area in the technical regulations might now be similarly exploited at great cost by many of Red Bull's title rivals. zzzz
It is believed the FIA has already been bombarded with clarifications about what the technical and sporting regulations allow, which has caused some officials to consider making a rule tweak.
Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the new rule would allow a single suspension adjustment between qualifying and the race, which would negate the need for other teams to seek to emulate Red Bull's trick.
But the new rule might at the same time negate Red Bull's advantage, which would be unfair if the system was legal when devised to the word of the existing regulations.
The situation will reportedly be discussed during the next meeting of F1's technical directors.
In an interview with sport1.de, Red Bull's Helmut Marko said any suggestion that the RB6 is veiling an illegal secret is "groundless" and "completely without proof".
"Normally we would not comment. We have come to the races for the technical inspections (scrutineering) and have been thoroughly examined. Again on Thursday, the legality of our car was confirmed absolutely," said the Austrian.