Moveable rear wing not moving F1 drivers

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The initial reactions from Formula 1 drivers to the moveable rear wing plan approved for 2011 seem pretty close to those around F1B. I think Adrian Sutil sums it up best: “There are just too many things going on, really.”

Hat tip to Autosport for tracking down a few drivers to get their first thoughts on the rules change.

As a reminder, here’s the new rule via the FIA:

Driver adjustable bodywork
From 2011, adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the driver has completed two laps. The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit. The system will be disabled the first time the driver uses the brakes after the system has been activated. The FIA may, after consulting all the competitors, adjust the time proximity in order to ensure the purpose of the adjustable bodywork is met.

See what Sutil is saying?

Here are a few other drivers. First, Mark Webber:

“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.”

He added: “Overtaking moves should be about pressurising, being skillful, and tactical. 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.”

Next, Robert Kubica:

“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. 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.”

The guys seems to be hitting just about every talking point there is. We don’t want to be IndyCay. Hey, didn’t we basically try this already. On to Jarno Trulli, who hits the big talking point:

“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. 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 the lost the rear wing a couple of time and it is one of the most dangerous things you can have 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’ve had rear wing failures with Renault and Toyota, in testing, at Monza with Jordan and I have always been very lucky, but if you are not lucky it is bad.”

“We are definitely all looking for a better show and more overtaking, that’s clear, and if this can help then it’s very welcome but it’s looking a bit too complicated with the conditions under which you can use it.

“My only concern is the rear wing. I will suggest to the FIA that they should design and give the same rear wing to everyone because if any there is no standardised wing, this might result in a failure and we do not want this.”

Anyone think maybe Jarno won’t have to worry about the changes?

And finally, Sutil:

“It’s again very good for the show. I think it’s not so good from a driving point of view, because if you defend your position well it doesn’t really matter.

“If there’s a car behind you and he has the advantage of the slipstream anyway, and then he turns down the wing and he will gain another five or 10 km/h. I don’t know. There are just too many things going on, really.”

Again, I’m shamelessly taking these quotes from Autosport, to a far greater extent than I’d normally do. But these quotes all seem pretty solid and capture a lot of the issues with this particular rule change, and I thought they’d be worth your look.

Reactions? Anyone think the safety issue might become the big one? Big enough to change the regulations yet again?

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