Formula One has always been a sport of many restrictions. Every year teams as well as the public are greeted with a long list of restraints that must be abided, resulting in an equal and fair sport. While teams have long tried to develop their vehicles around these restrictions, on occasion one oversteps their bounds, causing some distress. This time round it seems that Red Bull has landed into some hot water, causing the FIA to ask them to modify the vehicle before their Canadian Grand Prix weekend.
The problem revealed itself when Red Bull driver Mark Webber drove the RB8 vehicle last month at Monaco. Winning the race, teams began to question the cars performance, pointing to legality of a floor hole located in the front of the cars rear tire.
Being quite a competitive sport, every small alteration can bring about a great advantage. It is because of this that the FIA had put the team under investigation, telling them that such an change violated the rule that stated that there must be a "continuous, rigid (no degree of freedom in relation to the body/chassis unit)" and "impervious." This had the effect of making the car that Monaco Grand Prix winner Mark Webber was driving illegal.
Reporters have noted that Mark Webber hit out against any implications that the designs were illegal. Journalists at Pitpass relayed the drivers words, writing that he was “happy to be called lots of things and happy to have criticism about my driving and lots of stuff, but that he would not take criticism in that respect.” The driver went on to say that “All the teams that were against it did not make any protest after Monaco, the car passed the test after Bahrain, the car passed the test after Monaco and no there has been a clarifications on the rule and the rule now is different and we had a car that was legal for the first part of the season and now the rule has been changed and we will start again.”
To make matters worse, reporters at the Press Association noted that the Red Bull team would have to make a second design modification. After fixing the hole issue, Christian Horner’s team has been caught by the FIA with regard to a wheel hub problem. While Red Bull has claimed that the purpose of this was for cooling, challenging away hot air, the FIA feels that it would assist in aerodynamic performance.
Whatever the outcome may be it doesn’t look good for Red Bull. After a long streak of victories these issues may cost them the edge they need to win the season.