Movable wings make my head hurt

As if managing tens of miniscule controls to specific and ever-changing conditions —– while racing at 200mph —– was not difficult enough, the movable rear wings on F1 cars for next year have these basic rules:

– the car behind can use them if it is only within 1 second of the car in front

– they cannot be used in the first 2 laps Or the first 2 laps after a safety car

– they can only be used on one designated straight (some circuits don’t have straights… no confirmed statement on this yet… presumably it just won’t be used)

– the driver in front can only use his – to defend – if he is also within 1 second of a car in front

The good points of this:

– quicker cars won’t get held up by worse cars only due to downforce problems

I think this is a good thing. Some may think it is bad that a driver in a worse car will be unable to affect a race through valiant and skillful driving in a worse machine (e.g. Petrov against Alonso!), however I find it very frustrating when a simple downforce insufficiency for a chasing car means that a champion-chasing car is held up by a mid-rank car

Also, if even the top cars are racing each other, if one driver does haul himself within 1 second of the car in front, then he has done well enough to place himself to take advantage of the new rule.

HOWEVER….

There is also KERS next year. The engineers think that the wing can provide as much boost as KERS. But KERS is limited to a number of times use per lap.

This is, therefore, going to provide more exciting strategy and quick-wits from the drivers, managing KERS while being chased – so the following driver may be tempted to either:

1- save KERS for the straight to use along with the wing

or

2 – if the driver ahead is saving KERS for the straight, then try a quick dash with KERS before the straight comes up – possibly a smarter move (on a circuit with 2 straights or at least 1 near-straight)

Can’t wait!

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One Response to Movable wings make my head hurt

  1. f1addicted says:

    What cars will this favour?

    ML – Engine power and experience with the F-duct
    Fr – Their power + aero package at the end of 2010 was admirable

    RB / Newey are the aero-experts, but, if they lack power on top-speed then this may be amplified with ‘extra’ top-speed of the rear wing.

    However, as we saw, the majority of tracks don’t even favour power, they favour downforce. Therefore, there may only be a handful of tracks this is important at, e.g. Silverstone, Shanghai, Canada, AbuD, Korea, Monza.

    The wing can be moved any time in Quali, but again, this is only relevant to a few tracks.

    What drivers will it favour?

    Perhaps different drivers in different ways. Most obviously, if Lewis is a great over-taker and Vettel also keen to charge, but then in another way, this may perfectly suit Alonso.

    His technique is always one of patience and cleverly biding his time. so he will be fully content and patient to sit behind a slower car for a whole lap and wait for the straight chance.

    But again ‘however’… Ferrari completely screwed KERS up in 2009, even nicely toasting Kimi at one point.

    KERS is also new for RB, and they also need to ask the teams for spending amnesty for 2010, after spending too much. My guess is that other teams will grant it, BUT make them spend less in 2011, with the shortfall of what they over-spent in 2010. IF that happens, their budget may impact KERS R&D.

    Mercedes… unknown! Brawn is clearly trying to duplicate the 08/09 – crap/amazing budget strategy, so maybe they have had over half a year already on their 2011 car… though the new Pirelli tires should mean that they are still starting fresh on research.

    All four teams have huge pluses going for them. Only testing will tell.

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