How do you stop teams from using wind tunnels?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Toyota F1 wind tunnel, 2006The latest Max Mosley master plan to cut costs in F1 involved banning teams from using their wind tunnels.

On January 11th proposals will be put to the team principals requiring that they reduce their wind tunnel use as follows: Each team may have only one wind tunnel operating five days per week, eight hours per day, with a maximum of eight ‘runs’ with one car at a time each day.

Wind speed will be restricted and only 60% scale models can be used. Many teams already use full size models and some already have more than one wind tunnel. Modelling the tests on computers using Computational Fluid Dynamics will also be restricted.

But exactly how can the FIA do this? I don’t see how they can enforce it short of putting an ‘FIA spy’ in every team. And will teams with ‘B-teams’, like Honda/Super Aguri be allowed two tunnels?

This seems to have a couple of worrying flaws that makes me wonder whether this is a serious proposal. Is it another use of the classic Max Mosley tactic of demanding an utterly unreasonable innovation in order to get the teams to agree to something less severe?

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