Drivers unimpressed by rear wing plan

Formula 1 drivers have expressed major reservations about the introduction of moveable rear wings next season - suggesting it could make the racing false and, more seriously, lead to safety worries

Drivers unimpressed by rear wing plan

The FIA gave the green light on Wednesday to plans for an adjustable rear wing to be introduced in 2011 - where drivers will be able to open up the slot gap in their rear wing for a straight-line speed boost to help overtake cars ahead of them.

With the rules dictating that the leading car will not be able to respond if his pursuer has got within one second of him in the previous sector, current drivers worry that the move could detract from the purity of F1.

Mark Webber said: "It is good for the PlayStation I think, but I don't know how well it is going to work in F1.

"We need to put some good research into it, understand it and make sure it is beneficial for everyone - the drivers, the show, the spectators and safety, which is a big thing."

He added: "Overtaking moves should be about pressurising, being skillful, and tactical. Yes we want to see more overtaking, of course we do, we know that, but we also need to keep the element of skill involved in overtaking and not just hitting buttons, like KERS, like adjustable rear wings.

"We need to get the balance right in having skillful races between each other, and not an IRL [IndyCar] race where you pass each other four times per lap and everyone gets bored of that."

Robert Kubica backed up Webber's views that the moveable wing may not bring the added dimension to the spectacle that the teams hoped for in coming up with the plan.

"If the wings move a lot we will see the cars overtake in a straight line and I don't think there is a lot of excitement to see that," said the Renault driver. "It still will be the same for everyone and we will see how it will be working. The [adjustable] front wing was introduced to help overtaking by following the other cars, and we have seen it didn't work out."

Lotus driver Jarno Trulli reckoned that there could be major safety concerns about the wing - and thought that it could be an idea for the FIA to introduce a standard unit.

"I've only read a little bit about the new regulations and the one I do not appreciate is the movable rear wing, just on the question of safety," said the Italian. "This may only be my stupid concern. I'm not reading into it too much and we will talk with the engineers but we have to make sure we can run it in a way that it is safe.

"I have the lost the rear wing a couple of time and it is one of the most dangerous things you can have happen to you because you are no longer in control of your car. Normally it fails at very high speed and you're going to end up hitting the wall. I do not want to have the worry of my rear wing failing. The front wing is slightly different even though it is still a problem, the rear wing is worse.

"I've had rear wing failures with Renault and Toyota, in testing, at Monza with Jordan and I have always been very lucky, but if you are not lucky it is bad."

He added: "We are definitely all looking for a better show and more overtaking, that's clear, and if this can help then it's very welcome but it's looking a bit too complicated with the conditions under which you can use it.

"My only concern is the rear wing. I will suggest to the FIA that they should design and give the same rear wing to everyone because if any there is no standardised wing, this might result in a failure and we do not want this."

Force India's Adrian Sutil added: "It's again very good for the show. I think it's not so good from a driving point of view, because if you defend your position well it doesn't really matter.

"If there's a car behind you and he has the advantage of the slipstream anyway, and then he turns down the wing and he will gain another five or 10 km/h. I don't know. There are just too many things going on, really."

shares
comments
FIA fines and disqualifies US F1

Previous article

FIA fines and disqualifies US F1

Next article

Stat Attack: Europe

Stat Attack: Europe
Load comments
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021