Ian Parkes & Jan Bolscher
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 2:24 PM – Last update: 2:25 PM
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has indicated that the formation will need to address issues with the rear wing before the first-ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix gets underway.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s racing stable faced rear wing problems for the fourth time in a row last weekend, leading to changes ahead of qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix. In Losail, however, it was a mechanical problem with the DRS, not cracks in the wing itself. Particularly during the free practice sessions on Friday, it was clear to see how the DRS hatch of the RB16B ‘flapped’ back and forth, as it were.
The issue appeared in a week where rear wings were in the spotlight anyway, amid Red Bull Racing’s concerns over Mercedes’ copy. In Brazil, Lewis Hamilton was taken out of the qualifying result for a DRS violation, after which team boss Toto Wolff grumbled again to the FIA about Red Bull Racing’s repairs to the rear wing, while the cars were already under parc fermé.
In Qatar, the changes had no negative effect on Red Bull Racing, but Horner indicated that solutions are needed ahead of the last two races of the year. “It turned out to be our preferred wing and the way we wanted to go in terms of settings,” said the Briton. “If those other wings prove necessary in Jeddah or Abu Dhabi, we will have to come up with a solution to strengthen the DRS mechanism.
Asked if the problem was the actuator of the DRS mechanism and if it is easy to fix if it were, Horner replied: “In terms of reliability, hopefully it should be easy to sort out. They are actuators that we already have. many years, so it’s not new technology.”