• Belgian Grand Prix

Stricter flexi wing tests for Spa

ESPNF1 Staff
August 2, 2010 « Jolyon Palmer reclaims F2 championship lead | »
Red Bull and Ferrari might have to rethink their front wings © Sutton Images

The FIA is set to ramp up its front wing flexibility tests amid the current controversy about the Red Bull and Ferrari cars.

After McLaren and Mercedes requested a clarification about the legality of their rivals' cars, the FIA tested the wings and the floors prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix and - as at Hockenheim a week ago - were cleared to race. But it emerged earlier on Sunday that Charlie Whiting was open to the idea of devising new flexibility tests, given the visible extent of the flexing wings.

Reports now indicate that the teams were told late on Sunday that stricter tests will be in place for the next race in Belgium. Article 3.17.8 of the technical regulations gives the FIA "the right to introduce further ... tests on any part of the bodywork which appears to be (or is suspected of) moving whilst the car is in motion".

It is believed the current front wing tests involve placing 50kg weights on the endplates, with a maximum 10mm in allowable flexibility. While the Red Bull and Ferrari wings satisfy these tests, Article 3.15 of the technical rules says bodywork "must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car" and "must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car". The rule adds that any "construction that is designed to bridge the gap between the sprung part of the car and the ground is prohibited under all circumstances".

It is believed the revamped tests will double the exerted force, which may require Red Bull and Ferrari to amend their designs ahead of their visit to Spa Francorchamps later this month. After winning Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix at the wheel of the dominant RB6, Mark Webber suggested that rivals' complaints about the front wings was a case of sour grapes.

"When people don't like [what they see on] the stopwatch, they have to justify their own positions," he said. "When there's pressure on people to perform and they're getting destroyed, that's how it is. You should never penalise things that are ingenious and people that are doing a good job, (but) that's sometimes the case."