Brawn defends moveable wing concept

Ross Brawn has jumped to the defence of plans for a moveable rear wing in Formula 1 next year - on the back of scepticism from drivers on safety grounds and fans on if it will make the racing too artificial

Brawn defends moveable wing concept

Although teams have made it clear that they will only introduce the radical concept if it is guaranteed to improve the show, Brawn is optimistic that the idea will work.

Brawn, who heads up the Formula One Teams' Association's (FOTA) technical rules group, has played a key part in helping formulate the idea and push for the introduction of it for 2011.

He thinks technically the wing will be safe - and that the only matter that will need careful thought is the sporting regulations to make sure that overtaking is not too easy.

"There has been quite a bit of work done by several of the teams, CFD work, and the wing is being configured so that if there was a failure it would fail in its full loaded position," said Brawn.

"The way it works is that the front of the flap lifts up, it is not the back of the flap going down. So the main plane and the flap will be horizontal and, if there is a failure, the wing will drop back into its fully loaded position."

Teams are now working through finalising technical regulations, to ensure that the straight-line speed benefit is not too great so that overtaking becomes too easy.

Current plans to allow a 10mm slot gap in the rear wing to open up to a 50mm slot gap may be trimmed back if teams find the cars get more than a 10 km/h straight-line speed boost.

Brawn thinks that tweaks may need to be made - but reckons it can work.

"The amount that we said we are going to lift the wing - we set a target which we think is adequate, and maybe a little bit more than is needed, but then we will have the scope to reduce that if the effect becomes too strong.

"What we now have to define carefully is when you are allowed to use that facility. The idea is for some sort of calculated proximity based on the section times and loops in the track - so when a car is close enough he will have the message that he is close enough and he can use it for the next period, part of the lap or a complete lap, and reduce the drag on the straight."

FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh said earlier this week that he believed teams should be open to ditching the idea of a moveable wing if tests of it early next year did not prove a success.

"I think we have to look at it at the beginning of the year, F1 has to overcome this arrogance of saying we had a great idea, all our ideas are great, we must never admit to a bad one," Whitmarsh said.

"You cannot implement it that late, but if everyone builds it and in early testing if the conclusion is that this will not be to the benefit of the show we should say don't use it, and if the way we envisage using isn't better than we should change the way we envisage using it.

"Changing its deployment now, and the sporting regulations, with it would be relatively simple if it was in the best interests of F1."

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