BUDAPEST, Hungary (AFP) –
Red Bull on Monday hit back at their critics after being dragged into another controversy over the legality of their cars following the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Team chief Christian Horner said the champion team should be praised for taking an adventurous and creative approach to car design rather than slammed after accusations about the engine mapping and suspension setting devices on the Red Bull cars.
Horner said the fact that his outfit has faced no penalties this season shows that it is playing things straight — and added that he did not understand why Red Bull’s stance in pushing the rules to their limits should be criticised.
He said: “The bottom line is that the result sheet comes out at the end of qualifying and the end of the race — and the car complies with the regulations.
“At the end of the day, it is down to the FIA (International Motoring Federation) and the stewards to decide whether the car is legal or not.
“Every single time our car has been questioned by other teams, it has always complied with the rules.”
Both Red Bull drivers were left among the also rans in Sunday’s race won by Briton Lewis Hamilton for McLaren ahead of the two Lotus drivers, Finn Kimi Raikkonen and Frenchman Romain Grosjean, defending drivers world champion German Sebastian Vettel finisihing fourth and Australian Mark Webber eighth.
Vettel is third on 122 points behind Alonso on 164 and Webber on 124 with Hamilton fourth on 117.
In the constructors championship Red Bull lead with 246 ahead of McLaren on 193 and much improved Lotus on 192.
Red Bull has consistently denied all suggestions that it has been cheating in any way, including the use of an illegal manuel device to change suspension settings on the car, while parked in the parc ferme, to improve ride height and performance.
But the team has had to acknowledge that it is illegal to have such a device fitted to the car.
According to close observers of the technical performance of the cars, Red Bull has this year had to make changes to the floor design of their cars and wheel hubs as well as the engine mapping that, in a report by the the FIA at the German Grand Prix, was alleged to be illegal.
The team were dogged throughout both 2010 and 2011 by claims that they were using a form of flexi-wing technology that was in breach of the regulations.
Horner added: “Of course the nature of F1 is that it is competitive, but the regulations are written in such a way that they are open to interpretation.
“From HRT to Red Bull, every single team interprets the rules, otherwise every single car would look the same. Part of our strength is our ingenuity and I don’t think we should be criticised for being creative.”