FIA considers freeing up aero rules

The FIA is considering a radical plan to allow flexi wings in Formula One if teams reject its push for a standard chassis in the future, autosport.com has learned

FIA considers freeing up aero rules

Talks are currently ongoing to frame future regulations from 2011, with the FIA making it clear it wants more road-relevant energy efficient engines to be introduced.

As well as that, the FIA wants an overhaul of car regulations too. The governing body has made no secret of the fact that it believes a standard chassis would be the best way of reducing costs and improving the show.

Its stance was made clear in a letter circulated to F1 team principals earlier this month, a copy of which has been seen by autosport.com, in which FIA president Max Mosley outlined his vision for the future.

Meetings are scheduled between the FIA and the teams for after the British Grand Prix to discuss the radical plan and come up with alternative proposals if the teams are not happy.

"We believe that a standard chassis is the best solution," wrote Mosley in his letter. "The competition would then be between drivers armed with rival, fuel-efficient drive trains but otherwise in equal cars. Painted differently and with different sponsors, the cars would look as different as they do today to anyone but an expert.

"But if the teams want to continue to make individual chassis, we need some proposals which really do meet the four agreed objectives of road-relevance, safety, cost reduction and improving the show. We also need to ensure the survival of the independent teams."

Mosley acknowledges that teams are unlikely to accept plans to adopt a standard chassis, but he believes that only a radical alternative solution will be of any benefit.

And that is why he has suggested the idea of freeing up the aerodynamic regulations to allow flexi wings - which have been banned for many years in F1.

"One example of radical change would be to permit moveable aerodynamic devices," added Mosley. "Arguably, the safety problems of 40 years ago no longer exist.

"Modern Formula One technology is sufficiently mature to eliminate the risks of both passive and active aero devices. Moreover, the FIA is already confronted with ever-more sophisticated moving bodywork. Engineers appreciate that when subjected to a force, everything moves - it is just a question of how much.

"Immense time and effort is currently going into making bodywork which moves enough to enhance performance, however slightly, but not enough to excite the interest of the regulator or rival teams. This is not satisfactory; it is wasteful, expensive, ultimately pointless and contrary to sporting fairness.

"With moveable aero devices, both active and passive, designers would have an incentive to build a car which the driver could adjust to optimise performance when following another car. This would facilitate wheel-to-wheel racing.

"There are also a number of areas where active aero could be road-relevant, for example cooling systems. But part of any discussion on moveable devices would have to be how to contain the resulting increase in performance.

"In the hope of starting a useful debate on a new approach to chassis design with variable aerodynamics, we are preparing a discussion paper similar to the one on engines.

"Among other things this will look at the implications of moveable devices and any changes to engine output, which might become necessary in order to contain speeds. This paper will be circulated as soon as it is ready.

"We think it might perhaps be useful to follow it up with a discussion in the second week of July (after the British Grand Prix), at which each team would be given an opportunity to present its ideas (ideally in writing beforehand) and answer questions on future Formula One regulations, either alone or jointly with other teams."

shares
comments
Davidson hopes Indy moves end doubts

Previous article

Davidson hopes Indy moves end doubts

Next article

Briatore: Alonso will be champion

Briatore: Alonso will be champion
Load comments
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)

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

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
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021