Formula 1 has been discussing flexible wings again since the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend. Although the current Ferraris and Red Bulls cars withstand the usual FIA stress tests, engineers in Maranello and Milton Keynes are said to have devised something to increase the maximum speed irregularly. They would have simply made aerodynamic parts, for which there is currently no verification procedure, flexible, that is to say.
More specifically, they are rear wings of Ferrari and front wing end plates of Red Bull, which bend backwards at high speeds and thus reduce air resistance. The SF16-H is said to be flexible, not the wing itself, but its carbon suspension, which connects it to the chassis. The trick is even supposed to work with the Monkey Seat, an additional element over the diffuser, and work with exhaust gases, which in itself is already forbidden.
At Red Bull, the engineers are supposed to use the transverse acceleration skillfully, by not connecting the end plates of the front wing at its rear end to the rest of the car. Thus the parts “fluttered” and moved outwards in the curves, which would be aerodynamically advantageous. Both batches are currently not tested with a stress test, but are affected by the corresponding regulatory passage as much as all components, which are checked.
Christian Horner refutes all accusations
Red Bull team leader Christian Horner banished the rumors to the realm of fables: “We passed all tests. The FIA has looked at everything. There are no problems there,”the British wavers, but does not contradict the essence of the accusations. The FIA confirms checks made by the top five teams on Saturday, even with a 50-percent increase in load weight. But neither the rear wing nor the “Monkey Seat” nor the end plates of the front wing.
The play was captured by onboard cameras at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and presented on the official Formula One homepage to the public. There’s a good chance the stewards are going to take action soon. However, a suitable stress test needs to be developed, which does not currently exist. The teams could not put a stop to the FIA’s intervention: there is no need to change the rules, just an initiative from race leader Charlie Whiting. But he does not make an effort to do so.
A slim-looking Williams chief engineer Rob Smedley does not see the matter so critically.” If there is any advantage to be found, and I remain emphatically in the economic climate, which does not violate the rules, it is Chapeau! Somebody did a better job than everybody else!” He believes, however, that the regulators should still have the matter on their screen, because technical equipment should be prevented.” In particular, if it takes place in a grey area, Smedley adds, and strives to evaluate the matter in itself.
Article 3.15 of the Technical Regulation states that any aerodynamically relevant part of a Formula One car should be fixed and without the slightest tolerance connected to the spring mass of the car. The conformity of parts with this paragraph has been discussed frequently. 2012 McLaren and Red Bull were said to have a front wing solution that improves performance by automatically folding at maximum speed. Recently, two years ago, a defective Red Bull wing caused a stir, as it turned out afterwards.