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Whitmarsh thinks FIA tests have slowed Red Bull

Martin Whitmarsh insists it would be a strange coincidence if Red Bull’s weakened dominance is not connected with the flexible bodywork saga.

Just two months ago in Hungary, the RB6 was utterly dominant, but at the subsequent Belgian, Italian and Singaporean rounds, it was Red Bull’s rivals that took the chequered flag first.

Lewis Hamilton said last week that Adrian Newey’s car was slowed by the FIA’s more stringent front wing and floor flexibility tests — a claim denied by Red Bull.

“It (the end of Red Bull’s dominance) may be a coincidence, but that would be quite strange,” McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh told Germany’s Auto Bild Motorsport.

He said that while the wings on the Red Bull and also the Ferrari cars were visibly bending, those two teams “had some very strong races while we were at a loss”.

Whitmarsh confirmed he was involved in the push to clamp down on the visible flexibility of Red Bull’s car.

“I asked (the FIA) whether we could design wing endplates that touch the ground, and the clear answer was no.

“So if we can’t do it, then the others can’t as well, because endplates that are 20 to 30 millimetres lower to the track equates to about one second per lap,” insisted the Briton.

He thinks that, without the latest flexible bodywork saga, McLaren’s championship situation might be very different with just four races now to run.

“Maybe we weren’t clever or bold enough,” said Whitmarsh.  “But if a system is not legal, then nobody should be allowed to use it.”
 © RIF | GMM