Christian Horner says "TOTAL RUBBISH" in response to Toto Wolff's "flexi floor" statement
Christian Horner has hit back at Toto Wolff after he hinted that Red Bull were one of the teams with an illegal flexible floor.
Christian Horner has dismissed suggestions that Red Bull could be one of the teams affected by a new F1 directive as “total rubbish”, hitting back at Mercedes counterpart Toto Wolff amid an on-going ‘flexi floor’ debate.
The flexi floor saga continues as the big teams keep accusing each other of taking advantage of rule.
The FIA have confirmed that a new technical directive on the car’s floors will be in place from August’s Belgian Grand Prix, resisting pressure from some of the top teams to loosen the clampdown.
The directive is mainly centered around safety and trying to reduce the porpoising of cars with a new metric. But the FIA are also introducing measures to stop teams from flexing their floors, following speculation that some were exploiting a loophole to boost performance.
Mercedes believes that Red Bull and Ferrari, 2022’s fastest teams, have more flexible floors than the rules intend, with the focus on the wooden plank and skid blocks underneath the cars.
During Austrian GP, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said “I think so. I haven’t been able to squeeze the skids of certain teams.”
Opinion on who those certain teams were, he replied “Yeah, we are looking at our competitors.” He wanted the directive immediately because “it can have a performance impact”.
Both Red Bull and Ferrari have been adamant about their car’s legality and they have passed all official FIA checks up to this point. They have also both voiced their discomfort about the new technical directive.
But Horner slammed the notion that Red Bull were utilizing a flexing floor to find performance, while also joking that Wolff was “referring to the cars around him at the moment” – a dig at Mercedes’ lack of form at the front.
“That’s total rubbish,” insisted Horner. “Absolutely no issues or concerns on our floor.”
Flexi Floor Saga and Performance Impact
F1 regulations state that a car’s floor plank can only flex by 2mm. However, the FIA’s checks only take place in three areas of the floor, and there are suspicions that some teams have been able to have engineer more flex in places. There are suggestions that teams have been able to instead get up to 6mm of flex thanks to this, which would give an aerodynamic benefit as cars would be able to run a higher rake, and lower to the ground.
Mercedes have been one of the teams affected most by porpoising and are accusing their rivals of flexing their floors, while Red Bull and Ferrari have little to no bouncing and are those accused of having a flexi-floor.
“The technical directive is obviously focused on the bouncing and the porpoising which certain cars have struggled with,” Horner explained.
“Obviously we saw at Silverstone, no cars were really affected by it. Is it the duty of the competitor to make sure their car is safe? Or is it the duty of the FIA to ensure that the competitor runs their car safely?”
Ferrari head Mattia Binotto hasn’t replied to the accusations yet, as we head onto French GP race week.
What are your thoughts? Share on our social media.