Mercedes 'welcome' new Red Bull legality question over power unit

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Mercedes say they "welcome" a new FIA query from Red Bull regarding the legality of their power unit.

This week it was confirmed Red Bull had requested clarification over a "trick" they believe Mercedes is using with the sensor that measures the engine's plenum temperature.

By the regulations, this must be at least 10 degrees warmer than the air ambient temperature, but Red Bull think Mercedes could have placed the sensor in an area where that requirement is met, while the actual temperature in the plenum is cooler.

As a result of running a cooler engine, some reports suggest Mercedes could be gaining 20 horsepower in performance over what it would at the higher temperature.


What is known is Mercedes-powered cars have a much larger plenum than the other engines, as highlighted by the bump on the engine cover.

But responding to the FIA query, team boss Toto Wolff was fairly amused.

“We love the fact that they are spending time on these things and researching and we welcome very much any intuitive that they wish to do and then look at it,” he said via Sky Sports.

“If that is a distraction for the other teams then that is good.”

Questions over the legality of rivals' cars are nothing new, even if Wolff admits they can be frustrating.

“I would wish we had some kind of special solution but it’s the modus operandi in Formula 1, business as usual,” he added.

“Queries are being taken to the FIA, questions are being asked. That’s completely normal.”

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That same point was made by Red Bull's Christian Horner, who noted the technical directives issued by the FIA after Mercedes queried their rear wings, pit-stop equipment and the Honda engine this season.

“Well, I think, as is the nature with all technical clarifications, they go continually between all the teams," he said.

“Those clarifications are usually to ascertain if something is, in the eyes of the governing body, acceptable as a solution. Of course, if it is you follow suit.

“But we’ve had numerous of those this year with our car and I think it’s something not unique to Red Bull and this topic certainly isn’t unique to Red Bull.

“That dialogue between the engineers, within their forums, within the technical working groups, is an ongoing process. So I’m sure it doesn’t come as any surprise."