Moveable rear wings are not needed and already dying

Posted on July 1, 2010


Proposals for the mad moveable rear wing appear to be struggling already, just days after being announced out of the blue.

Mercedes' engineer Jock Clear (R) has urged caution on any rule changes. Credit: Mercedes GP

At today’s F1 Fans’ Forum, McLaren principal Martin Whitmarsh said the option was still open to not use the devices at all, while engineer Jock Clear, of Mercedes, argued the sport has to be certain of the outcome before agreeing to the idea.

Essentially, the plan seems to be to put a version of McLaren’s F-Duct on all the cars, but restrict its use only to overtaking by giving cars behind a significant speed advantage. Together with the return of a standard KERS unit, it’s all supposed to ‘improve the show’ by giving overtaking cars big advantages.

All of which somewhat defeats the object of going motor racing. It’s not easy to overtake in Formula One and it’s not supposed to be. But we’ve already seen this season the top drivers can do it in the right conditions: on tracks where it is possible at all and, especially, when they are managing their tyres at all. That’s race craft, not the power of a magic button.

Next season, with double diffusers gone, Pirelli holding to their pledge to bring aggresive tyre choices to each race and careful modifications to the aero rules to ensure cars can run closer together, the teams and drivers will do the rest.

With little movement likely on the driver market, at least four teams could bring race winning cars to the grid in 2011 and all of them packed with top drivers. No need for magic buttons.

Posted in: Formula One, News