FIA looking at new F1 tests to stop flexi-wing trickery

The FIA is looking at changing the way it tests for rear wing flexibility of Formula 1 cars in a bid to stop teams employing increasingly clever designs to get around the rules.

FIA looking at new F1 tests to stop flexi-wing trickery

For years now, motor racing's governing body has conducted static pull back tests of rear wings in a bid to ensure teams are not letting the rear wings flex down at speed to reduce drag.

Currently the FIA conducts two tests, one vertical and one horizontal, to ensure that rear wings do not flex too much.

The first test demands that the rear wing must deflect no more than 7mm horizontally when a 500N load is applied horizontally.

The second test demands that the rear wing can deflect no more than 2mm vertically when a 200N load is applied vertically.

However, teams designs have got so sophisticated that they are able to ensure that the rear wing is strong enough to pass both these tests, but is still able to rotate backwards at speed when it is at full racing speed.

Read Also:

Onboard footage of cars at the recent Styrian Grand Prix highlighted that some cars still appear to be pushing the limits with the behaviour of their wings.

One obvious example was Max Verstappen's rear wing which was shown to be moving around during his late-race battle with Valtteri Bottas.

However, it is not clear if this was intentional by Red Bull or the team had made the wing too fragile, because it had also shaken itself apart during the race as some elements had fallen off (main image, above).

Whatever the intention, rear wing flexing has come under the watch of the FIA, with the governing body saying it wants to find a way of changing the format of its tests so they are better suited to how wings behave out on track.

Read Also:

Asked by Motorsport.com if there was any move to change the deflection tests amid intrigue over the Red Bull wing, FIA head of single seater matters Nikolas Tombazis said: "We are not talking specifically about Red Bull here or any other competitor, but we are looking at rear wing flexibility.

"We do hope to make some enhancements to the regulations and to the deflection test sometime in the not so distant future. But we want to do it reasonably carefully and not to rush it and make a wrong call."

Rear wing load test

Rear wing load test

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Tombazis was clear that teams had got clever in ensuring their wing designs were fully legal when tested in the pits but then were still able to flex out on track.

"The best deflection regulations for aero elasticity are the ones that most closely mimic the real load cases that a component can see on the track. So in other words, the force a wing sees is normally down and backwards, approximately, let's say, 40 degrees or so.

"Currently the loads we put in, there's a horizontal pull back and there's a vertical load, and some smaller loads like on the trailing edges and so on.

"We feel that is perhaps getting slightly outdated, and the teams may be using the fact that the load test and the load cases [on track] are a bit different to design their wings in a way that they are most resistant where the FIA loads are, but maybe less resistant where the rear aero loads up.

"We'd like to address that matter. It is not a five minute job, but it's on our job list."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

FIA didn’t investigate Racing Point brake ducts before season
Previous article

FIA didn’t investigate Racing Point brake ducts before season

Next article

Bottas: Mercedes F1 contract talks “moving in right direction”

Bottas: Mercedes F1 contract talks “moving in right direction”
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022