Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Mercedes' 2022 car is 'NOT LEGAL' with tensions already high

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner SLAMS Mercedes’ 2022 car and insists new parts are ‘NOT LEGAL’ just minutes after drastically-different livery is revealed… as bitter rivalry continues where it left off at Bahrain testing

  • Red Bull and Mercedes’ fierce rivalry shows no signs of abating this season 
  • Thursday is the first day of the session testing meeting in Bahrain 
  • Christian Horner has already questioned the make-up of the Mercedes car 
  • He said: ‘The new Mercedes violates the spirit of the regulations’

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has claimed the rival Mercedes car ‘is not legal’ and ‘violates the spirit of the regulations’. 

The intense rivalry already looks to be ratcheting up between the two dominant Formula One constructors at the second pre-season testing event. 

Thursday is the first day of the testing in Bahrain and according to Auto Motor Und Sport, Horner told them: ‘The new Mercedes violates the spirit of the regulations. For us, some parts are not legal. 

Christian Horner has sensationally claimed that the new Mercedes car is 'not legal'

Christian Horner has sensationally claimed that the new Mercedes car is ‘not legal’ 

Lewis Hamilton took the new-look Mercedes for a spin on Thursday in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton took the new-look Mercedes for a spin on Thursday in Bahrain

Mercedes opted to use the more basic version of the car for the first testing event in Barcelona but changed things up in the middle east. 

They have added some sidepods and fins that run alongside the cockpit. 

The sidepods are designed to allow the car to cool as efficiently as possible and feature a series of vents. The vents have been allowed to return to cars this season. 

Rules state that side impact spars (SIS) need to have a conventional shape and all of the teams had the same set-up last term.  

But Mercedes have gone for a radical approach of having the SIS completely detached from the sidepod. Time will tell if their innovation pays off and leads to an advantage on track for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.  

Max Verstappen will be following along with interest to see how the Mercedes performs

Max Verstappen will be following along with interest to see how the Mercedes performs

But clearly Horner is already disputing the legality of the changes brought about by Toto Wolff and Co at Mercedes. 

Testing has been even more closely followed than usual given the backdrop of last season’s dramatic and controversial finale.  

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