Fallout continues after costly Sauber blunder

By on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mar.30 (GMM) After Sauber's Melbourne disqualification, angry fans have demanded to know why the C20 was cleared to drive all weekend with an illegal wing.

Team owner Peter Sauber has said the Swiss team had two wing specifications on hand in Australia, with one of them fitted to Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi's cars on Sunday breaching a technical rule by mere millimetres.

Given the tough midfield championship fight in modern F1, Swiss newspaper Blick estimates the potential cost of the disqualification in the millions.

So given that scrutineering takes place on the Thursday before practice, why did the FIA not discover the illegal wings before they were raced?

"The checks before practice is only to see if the 24 cars meet the safety requirements," explained Paul Gutjahr, one of the three stewards at Albert Park.

Indeed, only the Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Toro Rossos were given the same post-race rear wing legality check after the race in Australia.

Another question is whether Sauber's technical director James Key will be fired for the oversight. "How can I answer that?" gutted team boss Sauber said.

"It will certainly be days before we can even mentally deal with this," he added.

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