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Hughes: Red Bull have a choice to make in Baku regarding wings

Hughes: Red Bull have a choice to make in Baku regarding wings

01-06-2021 15:23 Last update: 16:24


Next weekend's F1 weekend in Azerbaijan is one where the focus will not just be on track performance. The flexi wings will be a topic of discussion again this weekend. In fact, Mark Hughes thinks that the flexi wings could well play a major role in Baku.

He writes that in his column on Formula1.com. "Azerbaijan’s Baku circuit features the most contrasting layout of the season’s calendar. In terms of what it demands from the car, it’s an extreme compromise between the Monaco-like middle sector, which is all about slow corner performance – braking, rotation, traction, driveability – and the massive 1.4-mile flat-out stretch along the kinking ‘straight’ which finishes the lap and which also takes in part of sector one." This, according to the Brit, is exactly why the flexi wing could well be decisive.

"For not only is this race the last one before the FIA’s new measuring protocol comes into effect, in France, but it’s also the track on which the biggest benefit could be gained from such a wing. The reduction in lap time the flexing might give around a conventional track would be slight, but around Baku with that long straight – the longest stretch of flat-out running the cars see all year – it could be worth a more significant chunk." concludes Hughes.

Hughes looks at Red Bull options

Red Bull, the team that sparked the flexi wing debate, will have to make choices in Azerbaijan. A little bit of one and a little bit of the other doesn't seem to be going to work.

"Historically at Baku, Red Bull have favoured a low-drag approach. But generically a high-downforce wing which prioritises the slow corner performance can also work here, with a very similar lap time delivered in a different way. So it could be that Red Bull prefer their high-downforce wing anyway, especially if it gives significantly better tyre performance. But the interest around their choice is sure to be intense."

It's not just Hughes who will be following Red Bull's choice with interest. The competition, mainly Toto Wolf and Mercedes, will also be watching Red Bull's every move with eagle eyes.

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