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Illegal wings fly Bulls to back of grid

2014-11-23 07:26

BULLS MUST FLY: A Yas Marina stewards' decision that Red Bull's front wings were illegal cast a pall over driver Sebastian Vettel's last race for the team and sent him and Daniel Ricciardo to the back of the grid. Image: AP / Luca Bruno

ALAN BALDWIN

  • Red Bulls sent to back of the grid
  • Front wings declared illegal
  • Red Bull says 'singled out'

YAS MARINA CIRCUIT, Abu Dhabi - Outgoing Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel and team mate Daniel Ricciardo have been sent to the back of the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP grid after qualifying fifth and sixth.

Stewards ruled after Sturday's qualifying sessions for the race that each Red Bull car had an illegal front wing.

International Automobile Federation technical delegate Jo Bauerreferred the matter to the race stewards after post-qualifying checks indicated the cars were not in compliance with technical regulations.

LAST RACE FOR RED BULL

He reported that the front wing-flaps were designed to flex under aerodynamic load, a breach of the rules. The stewards called a Red Bull representative and subsequently ruled that the cars should be excluded from the qualifying results.

Instead of fifth and sixth respectively Vettel and Ricciardo will now start 19th and 20th respectively.

Neither driver is in contention for the title but Ricciardo is the only driver other than Mercedes’ championship leader Lewis Hamilton and team mate Nico Rosberg to have won through the 2014 season.

Sunday's race will be four-times champion Vettel's last race for Red Bull; he will drive for Ferrari in 2015.

Mercedes has already made sure of both championships, with Hamilton and Rosberg fighting for the Drivers' crown on Sunday and starting on the front row.

Red Bull said it would accept the decision but was disappointed to have been "singled out" for punishment. A team statement said: "It is clear that other teams are interpreting the rules in a similar fashion.”

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP finale this weekend.

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