Toto Wolff rubbishes Red Bull claims saying they are seeing ‘ghosts’

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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Toto Wolff has hit back at Red Bull boss Christian Horner, saying that the Red Bull team are seeing ‘ghosts’ after Horner claimed a mark photographed on the Mercedes rear wing is evidence of flexing.

Horner continued the mechanical war that has escalated between the two leading constructors throughout the season, recently labelling Mercedes’ rear wing as the illegal reason why his opponents gain impressive straight line speed.

After questioning the speed throughout the season, the Red Bull boss told Sky Sports F1 that he finally has an idea just how Mercedes are picking up such remarkable pace.

He said: “The grey shadow area is where that lower part of the wing is what we call fretting against, it’s where it has backed off, where it has moved and flexed.“

“We have numerous pictures from each of the recent grands prix that you can see this has been happening, and that’s what our concern has been.”

Following this, rival Wolff has since rubbished Horner’s claims, accusing the Brit of seeing a ‘ghost’.

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Wolff commented: “I can’t see anything in this photo other than stuff being scratched – a ghost.

“I don’t know where they got this photo from and what it shows. It’s a ghost.”

Mercedes and Red Bull continue to battle it out at the top of both the constructors’ leaderboard and the drivers’ standings, as Max Verstappen sits just ahead of Lewis Hamilton with three races to go.

With the title race firmly in the balance with just weeks until its conclusion the Mercedes boss revealed he has no clue as to whether their rivals will flag up a protest regarding the wing, admitting he ‘can’t follow their thinking’.

Wolff went on: “I don’t know what they are planning to do,“but as I said, I can’t keep up [with the accusations]. 

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“I can’t follow their thinking, It seems erratic. But that’s okay because I don’t want to put any more oil in the flames.

“We are trying to look at ourselves and do the best possible job. We are still on the back foot with 14 points and we need to do a good race. That’s what counts.”

It seems that Horner’s complaints regarding the Mercedes rear wing have led to some action, after the FIA announced yesterday that they would be introducing a new test for wings.

As a result Horner discussed the testing that will concentrate on the back of the wing, commenting: “There will be a pull-down test on the back of the wing, so effectively an amount of load will be added to the back of the wing.

“I think it will be more than 20 kilos, I think you would probably be closer to, split across the wing it’s probably going to be 70/80 kilos and it will be ramped up in stages. So you will be able to measure the deflection.”

In spite of Horner’s protesting, Wolff admitted he has new worries about the new FIA testing.

The Mercedes man said: “I think they are trying a new load test, also for next year, to have these things more robust and checking how much a wing deflects.”

“I think it is not in the regulations or a TD but more of an experiment but it will be interesting to see the results, because I think we are on the good side.

“But I am pre-empting because I don’t know what the results are or when they want to do it. We need to find out with the garage.”

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