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Flexing Wings and Deflecting Controversy

With the issue of flexing rear and front wings making the headlines for the past three weeks, autosport.com's technical writer Craig Scarbrough analyses the rules, and the tests, the loopholes and the benefits

Cries of foul and flexing wings were resounding around the pitlane and press room over the opening two Grands Prix of the season. Some television from Malaysia footage showed a highly visible example of flex in Ferrari's front wing, and issues surrounding the team's rear wing in Bahrain the week before further fuelled this controversy.

But flexi-wings are not a new phenomenon. Arguments over moving bodywork hark back to the first days when wings were tried in F1 and have reappeared regularly ever since. In the nineties, improved knowledge of aerodynamics and carbon fibre conspired to create new semi-rigid and hence flexible wings available to the teams.

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