Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Red Bull excluded from qualifying

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer in Abu Dhabi
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Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel have been excluded from qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for driving illegal cars.

Governing body the FIA said the front wings on both cars were too flexible.

Ricciardo and Vettel, who qualified fifth and sixth respectively, can start from the back of the grid, although the team will have to strengthen the wings.

Red Bull are "disappointed" and believe "other teams are interpreting the rules in a similar fashion".

But they said they accepted the decision of the stewards and would start Sunday's race from the back of the grid.

The race stewards made the decision to disqualify Red Bull after hearing an explanation from the team.

Teams can gain an aerodynamic advantage by having front wings that flex downwards at speed.

Red Bull
Front wings on Formula 1 cars must not flex beyond a specified limit under aerodynamic load

The rules on flexible bodywork have been toughened in recent seasons after teams pursued it as a way to make cars as efficient as possible in a straight line but have as much downforce as possible in corners.

In previous years, Red Bull have been the leading exponent, but the rules have been tightened in recent years.

Front wings are subjected to load tests under which they must flex only within certain parameters.

The FIA said the Red Bull "front wing flaps were designed to flex under aerodynamic load".

The Red Bulls were said to be in breach of article 3.15 of the technical regulations.

It says that any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must comply with the rules relating to bodywork, must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom) and must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.

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