Red Bull Racing has hit back at claims from its rivals that the FIA's flexing-wing clampdown is the real reason why it was not so fast in Belgium last weekend.
Formula 1's governing body introduced tougher flexible bodywork tests in Spa, and has revised the floor regulations for the next race in Monza, in a bid to ensure that teams are not gaining a performance advantage through flexing front wings.
Although both Red Bull Racing and Ferrari said their wings were unchanged for the Spa event, those claims were disputed by rival teams, who reckoned that changes had taken place. They based this view on the fact that the front wings on both cars appeared to be running farther from the ground than they had in recent races.
World Champion Jenson Button also told the UK's Daily Telegraph that he reckoned the new wing tests had made a difference.
"I think the circuit characteristics suited us in Spa and that Red Bull's pace was affected by the new tests," Button said. "I hope the new, even more stringent tests for Monza will have even more of an effect. They [Red Bull] say they won't have to change anything, but they said that here. Watching the car here on the track, it was not flexing as much."
Red Bull Racing's team principal Christian Horner has responded to those views by insisting that his outfit made no changes to its wings, and he hinted that it was McLaren's wing that was now flexing more.
"I can categorically tell you that they are the same wings that ran in Hungary a month ago," he said when asked about the comments from his rivals that his team's wings appeared to be running higher than before. "Whether that is the same for our competitors I can't say – but I would be very interested to know, and you might find it was a silver wing that was most flexible this weekend."
The tougher floor tests and regulations to be introduced at Monza will force almost every team on the grid to make changes to their cars. But the strictness of the new floor deflection tests, allied to new skid block regulations, look set to bring an end to the flexing controversy.
And with McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh and Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn saying they hoped a line could be drawn under the controversy, Horner, too, was optimistic that the issue would soon be at an end.
"On the basis that nothing has changed on our car, I cannot see why they should not be happy," explained Horner. "I would be interested to know who had the most flexible front wing this weekend, because I can guarantee it wasn't us."