As Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull powered to their fourth world title in India it has emerged the RB9 was tested for what was described as a ‘bending floor’ by the FIA.
Germany’s Auto Sport und Motor reports that former Stewart and Jaguar designer Gary Anderson, now a technical pundit for the BBC, put forward the theory of a bending floor after watching the recently introduced thermal image camera looking rearward on Vettel’s Red Bull car.
The images show the the floor underneath the driver’s feet, known as the ‘tea tray’, was running very hot even at slow speeds.
Anderson believes Red Bull’s design genius Adrian Newey may have found a way to “lift the ‘tea tray’ away from the track as it gets hot” - as quoted on motorsport.com - as a result the team could run a lower front ride height.
The German publication added that Force India also believes Anderson’s theory and that such a feature would be illegal.
So in India last week FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer put the theory to the test heating the ‘tea tray’ up to 300 degrees.
“The result? It did not move,” said Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Michael Schmidt. “Consequently, the Red Bull RB9 is legal, at least in this area.”
It is the latest of a number of theories put forward suggesting that something is illegal on Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull car.
In the last month it has been the topic of illegal traction control after former team boss Gian Carlo Minardi questioned noises he heard coming from the Red Bull in Singapore, however, nothing of the sort has been found.
The recent domination of Renault powered cars suggests a new engine trick has been developed which allows the car to run on four cylinders through the corners thus improving traction, however, nothing has been confirmed.
What is known, however, is that with just three races to go of this season and with major changes coming for 2014, that advantage may not last much longer.
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