As always nothing is ever certain in F1 and the floor used on the Red Bull RB8 at the Monaco Grand Prix, previously signed off by the FIA, has now been deemed illegal. Specifically, Red Bull had, for the last three races, incorporated small rectangular holes towards the rear of the floor designed to reduce ‘tyre squirt’ (shown in picture above).
What on earth is tyre squirt, we hear you ask. It’s explained quite well on the Scarbs F1 website; put simply the airflow around the rear tyres creates dirty air which disrupts the effectiveness of the rear diffuser. The holes used by Red Bull, referred to as tyre squirt slots, are designed to offset this effect and improve the quality of airflow to the diffuser and hence increase downforce.
Despite Red Bull introducing their fancy slots in Bahrain, three teams—Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes—spoke of a possible protest during the Monaco weekend. Eventually, they chose to keep quiet but the FIA Technical Working Group was asked for further clarification.
Having considered the Red Bull approach once again the FIA has now said the floor will have to be changed before the cars take to the track at next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix. Red Bull’s results from the previous three races will stand.
For their part, Red Bull say, via Helmut Marko, that the change won’t disrupt their preparatons. “We had not planned to use this floor in Montreal anyway,” Marko said. “We had prepared a different configuration using a flat version of the floor. Therefore we do not need to modify the cars in Canada.”