The FIA announces drastic measures: Monza, last appointment with ‘traps’ in the wing
One of the biggest secrets surrounding this Formula 1 season is the application of the regulations, regarding the flexibility of the wings. Until now, the teams had played like a tightrope walker. But the FIA has said enough. Monza will be the last round where any flexible wings will be allowed, with all teams undergoing a tough test at the Singapore GP to check that the guidelines have been met.
Article 3.2.2 of the F1 Technical Regulations states that all parts that influence the downforce of the car must be “rigidly secured and immobile with respect to their frame of reference defined in article 3.3. Furthermore, these components must produce a uniform, solid, hard, continuous and impermeable surface under all circumstances”. A measure that the FIA suspects is not being complied with. The organization has been categorical in emphasizing that no “assembly design that exploits localized compliance or degrees of freedom” will be permitted, according to Autosport. At the Singapore GP, the corresponding tests will be done more exhaustively, as the FIA believes that the teams are using tricks to successfully pass the load tests. In the last Grand Prix the measures had already been increased, but not even in these cases were they able to find the ‘traps’.
To avoid further tricks by the teams in this type of preliminary testing, according to the German media, the FIA will force all teams to present assembly plans that show the attachment of the front wing to the nose and the rear wing to the endplates, rear impact structure and pylons. Aston Martin has already modified its spoiler… now what?
The British team, as confirmed by Tom McCllough, Aston Martin’s performance director, was the first to suffer in this matter, since the FIA insisted on changing these components, among a few other teams. “We changed the front wing philosophy a little at the beginning of the year,” he explained to the media in Zandvoort.
Fernando Alonso was also very dissatisfied with this type of regulations, and time has ended up proving him right. “I’m also not in favor of changing the front wings mid-year because if a car starts with some flex, why do you have to stiffen those flaps mid-year or something like that?” explained the Asturian before this new measure, more in favor of acting at the beginning or at the end, but not in the middle of the season.
I’m not in favor of changing the front wings mid-year because if a car starts with some flex, why do you have to stiffen those fins mid-year or something like that? Both confirm with these statements, in one way or another, that the FIA acted on the AMR23 spoiler to prevent its flexibility. Now, with more than five races underway, they intend to tighten these measures for the rest of the teams on the grid. “If a component is not legal, it should not be legal during the first ten races of the season,” the Asturian reflected on this matter.
It may be that in this part of the season, the teams have gained performance in their cars with these tricks when it comes to measuring the wings. Hypothesis aside, the FIA decides to act in Singapore, when more than 13 races will have been held. Uncertainty is now the feeling of the teams, since it may be that for their aerodynamic concepts to be satisfactory, a certain flexibility in the wing is one of the keys. In Monza, the ‘traps’ are over, and we will see which teams are most affected.