Brawn hopes flexi-wing issue is over

Ross Brawn is hopeful that the 'distraction' of Formula 1's flexi wing controversy has now come to an end following the tougher bodywork tests introduced by the FIA

Brawn hopes flexi-wing issue is over

With revised front wing deflection tests in place for Belgium, and ramped up floor requirements coming for Monza, the governing body has made it clear it will not tolerate any teams getting an advantage in this area.

Both McLaren and Mercedes GP reckon that Red Bull Racing and Ferrari - the two teams at the centre of controversy - are already running with their front wings higher than at previous races, so the situation appears to have calmed.

"All of us can see that what was visible in the last couple of races didn't seem to be the case here," said Mercedes team principal Brawn. "I don't know what has happened but it looks visually to me to be different. I think everyone can see that."

When asked by AUTOSPORT if he thought that the issue could have a line drawn under it from the next race, Brawn said: "I hope so. It has been a bit of a distraction and probably in some ways a bit unfair on the teams who have been doing very well this year because it reflects on them a little bit.

"I hope there is a line drawn under it and we don't talk about it any more, because it has been a distraction. But that is the nature of F1, it happens all the time and you can recall the debates we had last year about the double diffuser. We were on the receiving end of that for a large part of last year. It is the nature of our business to push the boundaries of what can be done."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who had been quite vocal on the matter in recent events, was equally optimistic that matters had improved - but still reckoned the FIA had to keep up its vigilance.

"I wasn't that confident that it would be nailed, but we can all see the wings are in a different stiffness and positional domain than they had been in previous races - for whatever reason," he said

"The [FIA] requirements for Monza really will end what has been a misnomer: the bodywork is intended to be attached rigidly with no degrees of freedom and when you look at bib stays that hinge, buckle, slide and have dampers, it seems a bit bizarre to me. So I think it should end that particular trend and that is the mission really. That will be good.

"But I think it is a matter of constant vigilance. You have got a situation now where we all know that a millimetre of ride height is a point of downforce in simple terms, so the temptation for people to take liberties there will always remain.

"I think that the FIA has got to absolutely remain vigilant and quickly act when it sees something untoward, because I think there is sometimes a frustration that these things, they go one, two or three races, and that has a material impact on the championship. So they have to continue to be vigilant."

Whitmarsh said that in the wake of the FIA's clampdown his team was not actively pursuing a push to get its front wings much closer to the ground.

"We haven't been putting our effort there at the moment," he said. "As far as we can see, it certainly is not intended in the regulations. We put our efforts into more productive areas and I think we are relying on the policing of that area to make it no longer a discussion, I hope."

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