Red Bull had an incredible advantage over their rivals in Hungary - but will expected plans to toughen front wing flexing tests change things at the next race in Spa?
The flexible nature of the new front wing design innovatively created by Red Bull's engineers was more overtly visible in Hungary than it has been ever since it was introduced at Silverstone - and so too were its performance benefits.
The wing's properties are understood to be achieved through the unique lay-up of carbon fibre, which can be designed so it only deflects on high loading. But there are also suggestions that it could go beyond this and that there may be some kind of mechanism at the splitter under the chassis to enable it to move and enhance airflow under the car, increasing the effectiveness of the overall aerodynamics package.
Most discussions about Red Bull's front wings so far have suggested they are most effective on high-speed corners, where the wings most visibly flex and would therefore provide most downforce - but it was the slower sectors where they got maximum advantage in Hungary.
The Hungaroring's timing system is split into fairly equal sections. The first involves three relatively high-speed corners and two fairly long straights, and here in qualifying there was little difference between the Red Bulls and their rivals, with the fastest Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel, completing it in 28.803 compared to the 28.916 set by the fastest non-Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton's McLaren (just 0.4 per cent difference).
It was in the next two sections where Red Bull made the difference - the second sector with eight corners, mostly fourth gear or lower, and the final one with a section of long low-to-medium-speed corners.
Sector two took 27.521s for the fastest Red Bull of Vettel to complete, and he was 0.725s faster than Alonso, the fastest non-Red Bull (2.6 per cent difference). Given that Ferrari are also alleged to have similar technology to Red Bull, the advantage is even greater - with Vettel a full 1.146s faster in that sector than the fastest car without the technology, Renault's Robert Kubica. Sector three took Vettel 22.312s and he was 0.425s faster than the lead Ferrari (1.9 per cent).
In low-to-medium-speed sectors like the last two in Hungary, the system is at its most beneficial because it gives good downforce advantage for the corners and there are few fast straight sectors where the additional drag is a disadvantage.
In fast sectors, like the first one in Hungary, the additional drag from the lowered wing slows the cars on the straight and reduces performance - witness Mark Webber's speed trap time for Red Bull, the slowest of all during qualifying.
The dramatic visual flexing that could be seen on video footage of the Red Bulls, however, is most noticeable on fast straights heading into slow corners - yet it seems the more subtle elements of the design could be what really makes it most effective.
It seems, therefore, that Adrian Newey and his team may have pushed the boundaries in more ways than just the visibly flexing wing - and that suggests that maybe the expected new loading test (which is rumoured to be the same test but with double the load and double the deflection allowance) may not be enough to get to the root of the system.
Mark Webber alluded to Red Bull's innovation advantages after this weekend's race, pointing out: "This week it's the front wing, next week maybe it will be the rear. So far it's been active suspension, the diffuser, other suspension components..."
At the end of the day, this innovation did its job and got them another race victory. Given that the next two races, in Spa and Monza, are on high-speed circuits with fast straights where the wing would not have been so beneficial in any case, they will probably feel limited effect from a stiffened layup. And if there is a more subtle element to the design, maybe that will still continue working...