Red Bull Racing would welcome a clarification from the FIA about the use of suspension in Formula 1, following allegations that it is running a mechanical form of "active ride" this year.
Rival teams suspect that Red Bull Racing is doing something clever with its suspension – perhaps through the use of gas-filled dampers – that helps give the team a lower ride-height in qualifying for an extra boost of speed. One theory is that the gas pressure helps push the car down for its optimum ride-height with low fuel for qualifying, before releasing the pressure prior to the race so the car lifts back up – allowing its starting weight of fuel to be added without the car bottoming out.
Red Bull Racing has denied that anything it is doing with its car is out of the ordinary, and team principal Christian Horner has said he would welcome any move to clear the matter up – especially following allegations from McLaren that the Red Bull could even be breaching the regulations.
"McLaren has made a lot of comments recently, be it about our fuel tank size or the future of our drivers and now supposed systems on the car," Horner told AUTOSPORT. "Categorically, we don't have anything like that on the car. It is down to them to speculate, but a clarification would be good for everybody."
Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn said last weekend that he thought it best it was cleared up exactly what changes could be made to suspension after qualifying.
"I think we do need to tidy it up, in fairness to Red Bull because there are accusations being thrown around. It is very unfair," he said. "They have a very good car, and there is no evidence they are unnecessarily doing anything untoward. You can do things with tire pressures between qualifying and the race which is a simple way of helping the situation but it is necessary for the FIA to just clarify where we stand.
"Our understanding – I can't remember the article exactly, but you are not allowed to make any suspension changes between qualifying and the race. Anything that influences the suspension, be it gas pressure, be it the intentional manipulation of temperature, would have that affect. I think we need Charlie to clarify that to get rid of the controversy."
Horner believes the fact that rival teams were sniping at them was actually a positive, because it showed how serious a threat his outfit now was.
"Ultimately, we tend to ignore comments from other quarters, but it demonstrates we are doing something right that they have a need to," he said.