• 2011 season

Drivers voice concerns over moveable rear wings

ESPNF1 Staff
June 25, 2010 « Pirelli to use GP2 car as F1 test-bed | »
Driver-adjustable rear wings should make racing more exciting in 2011 © Sutton Images

A number of drivers have voiced concerns over the FIA's decision to allow movable rear wings in the regulations next season.

In 2011 drivers will be allowed to adjust their rear wing once they are within a second of the car in front to try to aid overtaking. The idea was dreamed up by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) purely to try and inject some excitement into the racing on Sundays.

However, Red Bull driver Mark Webber is concerned that giving the drivers the ability to flick a switch to aid overtaking, could take the skill and excitement out of F1.

"Overtaking moves should be about pressurising, being skillful, and tactical," he said. "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.

"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."

Jarno Trulli also has concerns about moveable aerodynamics that, until the introduction of the adjustable front flap in 2009, were always outlawed on safety grounds.

"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 lost the rear wing a couple of times and it is one of the most dangerous things that can 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 will suggest to the FIA that they should design and give the same rear wing to everyone because if there is no standardised wing, this might result in a failure and we do not want this."

Robert Kubica, who spoke out about the idea when it was first mooted, said he is not convinced the adjustable rear wings will even work.

"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."