Red Bull Racing has found itself at the centre of its second rules controversy in the space of a fortnight, with the FIA instructing the Milton Keynes team to modify its wheel hub design.
There had been suggestions that the RB8 was gaining an aerodynamic advantage from its unusual design, which features holes that channel hot air from the brake ducts to the outside of the wheel rim.
Not only does this channelling of hot air help preserve tyre temperatures, but – it was claimed – the design could improve the RB8’s aerodynamic performance by energing air flow over the car’s front wing, which contravenes Article 3.15 of Formula 1’s Technical Regulations
“Any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance [must be] rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car [and must remain] immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car,” the clause reads.
To conform to the regulations, the team was instructed to block these vent holes from the inside of the wheel hub.
This directive comes less than a fortnight after the FIA sought to ban the floor design the team had been using since the Bahrain Grand Prix. The team won the Bahrain Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel, and the Monaco Grand Prix with Mark Webber using this floor design.
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