Teams agree to ban F-ducts for 2011
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, May 9th 2010, 17:32 GMT|
Formula 1 teams have voted in favour of a ban on F-ducts for next season, after teams rejected a plea by McLaren not to outlaw the blown wing concept.
McLaren stole a march on the opposition at the start of this season by introducing the F-duct onto its car - which provides a straight-line speed advantage through drivers diverting air to help stall the rear wing.
Rivals teams have worked hard to try and copy the system, but have found difficulties incorporating it because chassis have to be homologated for this season.
Although Sauber, Ferrari, Williams and Mercedes GP have managed to run blown rear wings already, a majority of teams were concerned that designs could get out of control for next season - both on cost and safety grounds.
During the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) meeting in Barcelona on Sunday morning the matter was brought up, and the majority of teams voted in favour of it being outlawed for 2011, even though McLaren tried to convince teams not to ban it.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner, whose team is still looking into the concept, thought that safety aspects were a big concern.
"It is a clever piece of engineering and hats off to the guys who invented it, but some of the solutions this weekend look a bit marginal when you see drivers driving with finger tips and no hands," he explained. "So I think there is a safety issue and a cost issue to take into account."
Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry told AUTOSPORT that he supported the ban on F-ducts because the designs brought little to the sport.
"I personally think that it is sensible to nip in the bud technologies that, on the face of it, don't really have a relevance for use outside of F1," he said.
"By the end of the year I know we, and I am sure most of the other teams, will have an F-duct on their car and that neutralises the advantage of having it.
"The engineers have already come up with ideas for next year that are zany in the extreme, and it is difficult to see how they would be used elsewhere. Plus they would be expensive."
He added: "I know it is disappointing for those who invent these ideas, but I think what people have to get used to is, like the double diffuser idea, they may be fairly short lived.
"You get your pay back for the year when you have got it and other people haven't - and if it isn't a useful technology then it comes off.
"What we should be encouraging is stuff that we can be using elsewhere, and I am personally a big proponent of KERS because of that."
FOTA agreed earlier this season to outlaw double diffusers as well for next season because of fears that the designs were getting out of control, and they did little to improve the racing.