"There is no other way to explain what happened" - Red Bull claims Mercedes knew about the FIA technical directive 'in advance'

Red Bull Racing team consultant Dr. Helmut Marko looks on in the garage during qualifying ahead of the 2022 F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Red Bull Racing team consultant Dr. Helmut Marko looks on in the garage during qualifying ahead of the 2022 F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Niharika Ghorpade

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes that Mercedes could have had prior knowledge of the FIA's technical directive before coming to the Canadian GP. The Austrian disagreed with the idea of introducing any mid-season rule changes and believes it is up to the teams to resolve their issues.

Upon being asked if Mercedes could have had insider information, Marko spoke to the Dutch edition of the Motorsport Network saying:

“I was very surprised when I saw their floor with that second stay. When the technical guideline came out it was clear that there would not be enough time to supply such a part, so yes. Otherwise, you cannot explain what happened. “

Marko believes Mercedes could have been tipped off by someone from the FIA. The FIA technical directive was announced the night before the teams arrived in Canada, where one of the solutions to resolving the bouncing was the allowance of using a second stay on the floor. Nonetheless, the Silver Arrows team was ready with the support part, which according to Marko, takes a long time to manufacture.

Helmut Marko on Mercedes’ new floor stay🗣 “We were very surprised to see that second stay on the floor. It was clear that after the technical directive came out, there was not enough time to make such a part.”

The Austrian was surprised they had the part ready when the Montreal weekend started and is suspicious of the timing of the directive like many other teams. The suspicion is largely driven by the recruitment of former Mercedes employee Shaila Ann Rao into the FIA as the interim Secretary-General of Motorsport. Overall, Marko remained unimpressed by the idea of the FIA intervening mid-season.

On the possibility of a potential mid-season rule change, the senior Red Bull advisor said:

“I totally agree with Max. And on top of that: the FIA cannot decide our set-ups. Changing the ride height means changing the setting and the FIA can't do that at all. My next point is that it's because one team has problems. That team has to solve those problems itself, at least it shouldn't affect other teams."

He continued:

"We already have rules for it and those rules apply to everyone. If anyone can't fix it, that's their own problem. It is also very easy to remedy: you just have to raise the car, although you are of course slower.”

Red Bull advisor feels Mercedes' lobbying backfired on them

The Red Bull advisor felt that despite Mercedes’ lobbying and campaigning for an FIA intervention, the technical directive could backfired on them. The Austrian senior was unimpressed with Toto Wolff’s demeanor and agitation about the porpoising issue.

On the FIA technical directive that could be counterproductive to Mercedes, Marko commented:

“Yes, in German we say, ‘der Schuss went nach hinten los’. In other words, it can come back like a boomerang.”
#AMuS In yesterday's team boss meeting Domenicali, things are said to have got heated. Mattia Binotto pointed out that a rule change as big as the TD on bouncing would have to be approved by the FIA World Council. Toto Wolff is said to have reacted angrily to this.

Unimpressed with Toto Wolff’s demeanor off-track, the Red Bull advisor said:

“He has to know how he wants to present himself publicly.”

Many teams, including Red Bull, have protested against the mid-season rule change. Mercedes have been accused of whining about bouncing as a ploy to lobby the FIA into resolving the problem for them instead of improving their car. Wolff blasted his rivals at the Baku weekend for prioritizing safety over performance and politicizing the porpoising issue.

Edited by nicolaas.ackermann12


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