FIA ready to allow moveable wings
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, January 8th 2009, 10:08 GMT|
The FIA says it is ready to accept the wholesale use of moveable aerodynamic devices in Formula One in a bid to help improve the show.
Although there has been a revamp of the technical regulations for this year to a bid to help make overtaking easier, FIA president Max Mosley believes that more radical steps may be needed to sort the situation out fully.
He suggests that rather than opting for sporting tweaks like reverse grids or a medal system to make the spectacle better, that it may be wiser to go for a more major tweaking of the technical regulations.
In a letter sent to the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA), Mosley said: "The main complaint from race fans is the lack of overtaking and wheel-to-wheel racing. Changes to the aerodynamics rules have been proposed by a group of top experts from the teams and will take effect in 2009. It remains to be seen whether these plus an extra 80 bhp from KERS will help overtaking.
"There are also proposals for changes to the sporting regulations such as wholly or partially reversed grids, allocating leading grid places by lot, giving the World Championship to the driver with most wins and so on.
"Arguably, however, none of these deals with the problem that once the faster car gets past, it tends to drive away. So none of these proposals is conducive to close, wheel-to-wheel racing.
"We intend to seek FOTA's help to investigate the use of moveable aerodynamic devices. If sufficiently radical, these could give a car following another car a performance advantage by virtue of being behind. In a primitive way, this was the case in the 1960s, when a car would get a "tow" and lose lift and thus be faster in the wake of another car.
"The result was wheel-to-wheel racing at the so-called slip-streaming circuits, for example pre-chicane Monza. Using modern technology, moveable aero devices could be used to give a car more downforce and less drag whenever it was in turbulent air.
"This would produce wheel-to-wheel racing on all types of circuit. It would, however, require significant (possibly automatic) moveable aero devices."
Moveable aerodynamic devices have been banned in F1 for many years, but the interpretation of the rules has led to frequent controversy amid claims from some teams that their rivals have been using 'flexi-wings'.
The freeing up of moveable aerodynamic devices would also end the FIA's need for labour-intensive scrutineering checks to ensure that teams are complying with the regulations.