Alpine would be ‘very surprised’ to see wing protests in Baku

Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski says he would be “very, very surprised” to see a flexi-wing protest war erupt in Baku this weekend.

The FIA is using video footage and a mapping device this weekend to evaluate wing deflection on all cars ahead of the introduction at the upcoming French Grand Prix of new more stringent load tests.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff is maintaining his scrutiny of rival Red Bull and isn’t dismissing lodging a protest, while Christian Horner, his counterpart at the Milton Keynes-based squad, has in return singled out Mercedes’ front wing as a potential protest target.

But Budkowski, who says that the aero appendages on Alpine’s A521 are strictly legal, doesn’t foresee a protest war breaking out this weekend.

“First of all, we have designed our rear wings to the regulations,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“Our rear wing is completely legal. But the FIA has the right to introduce new tests on the wings or any other part of the car which is absolutely fine. That’s part of the process and we accept that.

“We’ve done some of our own tests and we will have to change some of our [rear] wings for the next race and believe this is the case for most of the other teams down the pit lane.”

    Read also: McLaren wants action from FIA in Baku on flexi wings

Budkowski says the time given to teams to redesign their wings, which is anything but a straightforward process, should preclude a protest.

“Whether there is going to be a protest, I would be very, very surprised because the FIA have taken the problem, added new constraints from France and gave teams reasonable enough time, the minimum amount of time really, to change the wings,” he said.

“It’s not about slapping things on and off the wings, they are structural items and are pretty critical, especially here in Baku on the straights with the walls close by.

“The last thing you want is people playing around with their wings last minute in the garage. But the process is right, the FIA has done the job, from the next round we will have new constraints and we will respect them.”

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