Honda frustrated by flexi-wing saga
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, March 30th 2006, 23:23 GMT|
Honda Racing boss Nick Fry remains frustrated by the flexi-wing saga that has engulfed Formula One - even though the situation has appeared to be resolved.
Ferrari, McLaren and BMW have had to make modifications to their cars for this weekend's Australian Grand Prix after the FIA expressed concerns in Malaysia about the possible flexing of wings at high-speed.
But despite the changes having been made, Fry has said that the situation has upset his team because they have been unable to run so close to the regulations as their rivals do.
This is because of a one-year suspended ban that hangs over Honda until May this year, after last year's BAR fuel-tank saga.
"We have been in the position, because of what happened to us at the beginning of last year, that we have had to make sure that every aspect of our car was squeaky clean," he said. "So that is what we did.
"So for us it has been a little bit disheartening that others may have been doing something different. But we were in a corner where it was impossible for us to copy what some of the others were doing."
When asked whether he felt Honda had lost results on the track because of the situation, Fry said: "We might have been disadvantaged, but whether that was the difference between winning a race or not, who knows?
"I think it is very difficult to look backwards. You can always give an excuse list. But there was an advantage the others had which has now been stopped."
Honda's technical director Geoff Willis has expressed his disappointment that the situation reached the point of a possible protest, because he believes the FIA had made it clear last year that teams were not allowed to gain an advantage from flexible car parts.
"The regulations are quite clear about the tests that we put on to determine whether the wings are stiff enough," he said.
"And in addition to those specific measurements and pull-back tests, there was a technical directive that (FIA technical delegate) Charlie Whiting issued in the middle of last year in a response to enquiries by a number of teams.
"It basically said that you are not meant to be achieving performance benefit by means of bodywork deflection.
"So it is not good enough to pass the deflection tests, if you are still being seen to use some mechanism or use the deflection. And I think that is something that a number of teams had not focused on."
Willis said his team would continue keeping a close eye on their rivals to make sure that no teams were gaining an advantage from flexing parts.
"We can detect it fairly easily by looking at the data of other cars and comparing it to our own, so we normally know who are doing things that would lead us to suspect that there is some bodywork flexibility," he said.
F1 think-tank, the Technical Working Group, is set to discuss new flexi-wing tests at a meeting prior to the San Marino Grand Prix.