Jenson Button has asserted that the reason for Red Bull’s supposed drop in performance at Spa was a front wing revision that they deployed in order to meet newly stringent flex tests at the Belgian venue last weekend.
While Red Bull honchos Chris Horner and Adrian Newey have been adamant that their front wings have been completely legal, Button is more than skeptical. The McLaren pilot recently told ESPNF1, “I think Red Bull’s pace was affected by the new tests….Watching the car here on the track it was not flexing as much.”
Moreover, Button is hoping that the Red Bull squad will be further hobbled in two weeks, at Monza. “I hope the new even more stringent tests for Monza will have even more of an effect,” he said. “They say they won’t have to change anything but they said that at Spa.”
It should be remembered that Mark Webber managed to put his Red Bull on the pole at Spa, and the Aussie came in second in the race. He might have actually won if he hadn’t flubbed his start and dropped back several places.
Moreover, Button is also discounting the fact that the McLaren has actually improved during the midpoint of the season, which could account for the shrinking gap between the Red Bulls and the McLarens. Their new blown diffuser (which creates a sort of farting goose sound at speed) has proven to be effective, and the McLarens are generally flattered at venues with long straights (such as Spa) where they can make maximum use of their F-duct setup. At some of the other circuits remaining on this year’s schedule, they might not be so fortunate.