2009 F1 rules make rear wings tiny

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Williams has tested a version of its car with a rear wing apparently designed to meet the 2009 F1 rules. Becken has pictures of it on his blog and here’s an artists’ impression of how the 2009 F1 cars will look (right, found on the F1Technical forum).

I knew from looking at the 2009 F1 technical regulations that the new rear wings would look small but I’m taken aback by how drastic the change is.

With the Williams pictures it looks as though the front wing of the car and the sidepods are still 2008-spec.

The 2009 F1 rules should reduce the complexity of the front wing and add an adjustable element, which provoked much debate here recently. The new rules will also get rid of the winglets from the sidepods, making the back of the car look much smoother.

Hopefully the questionable aesthetics will be more than made up for by much closer and more exciting racing. And it certainly looks a lot better than Max Mosley’s horrible CDG (‘centreline downwash generating”) wing did.

F1 2009 season

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61 comments on “2009 F1 rules make rear wings tiny”

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  1. I was hoping the 2009 aero bits ban would get rid of the horrible shark fins on the engine covers :(

  2. as much as I want to see overtaking in F1 far more often, that mini rear wing looks so stupid!

    Couldn’t they achieve something similar with a more compact one? in the sense of keeping the same width and depth?

  3. Or banned rear wings altogether but
    allowed uprated venturi tunnels.

  4. The ‘shark fin’ will compensate for loss of advertising inches on the rear wing whilst allegedly giving an aerodynamic advantage.
    It’s unlikely to go unless regulations say so…

  5. The ultra-small rear wing kinda makes me hope a team gets a major sponsorship with a company with a very large name, and have to try to squeeze it on there :-D

    All in all I’m not overly bothered what it looks like, as long as it significantly improves dry Formula 1 races, which are being painfully hampered by the aero problems (to the extent that even my friends who are just casual viewers have noticed the direness of the problem). I think it’ll probably look better when we see the whole thing – the hybrid Williams is a bit of a false picture.

    Anyway, you probably get used to the look of them. I thought the 1998 cars were quite ugly after the 1997 ones. Today’s cars are not beautiful compared to the ones of 2000. I want to see a straight, flat, front wing dammit! I don’t want these bucket things!

  6. Apart from the rear wing (ugly), isn’t the back of the car a little… anorexic?

  7. judging by the artist impressions, the rear of the 2009 cars will look like 1991 F1 racers.

    I keep thinking of the Jordan 191 when i see those pics, big droopy front end, pinched and high rear.

  8. Still surprised Max hasn’t announced his new “parachute wing” initiative yet.

    Why not just tape a wickerbill to the driver’s heads at this point?!

    ARRRGHH!! Beleive it or not Max wings, don’t only look cool, but work (possibly why nearly every open wheel race car (sorry formula ford) has them).

    and now some noises you’ll hear from me

    stomp stomp (That’s me going down into the basement)


    (me, in basement, smashing plaster of paris Max)

  9. Take some getting used to but,I don’t care what it looks like as long as the cars are going around each other instead of lining up to parade around the track.

  10. can’t the teams generate roughly the same amount of down force on the smaller wing by increasing the angle off attack on center section? while only increasing the drag marginally over a wider wing with less attack angle? all the changes do is make the teams spend more money and complain about cost. i hate to say it but maybe we should rip all the aero off them put in big engines slicks and drivers with some gonads and let them go at it. wait isn’t that where this all started?

  11. The car looks to be still quite narrow, not like the pre-1995 cars I was hoping for.

  12. Its interisting that this solution look is quite the opposite of the first CDG solution.

  13. Fred Schechter, please do not mention the words ‘basement’and ‘smack’ in the same sentence as Max……. ;) I have to sleep tonight, you know !

    I liked it (the car, not my first sentence). Looks a lot more like the 80’s/90’s cars. Sure the rear wing might be a little on the small side, but are you really going to see that when it flies past you at 280kph?

  14. Those sidepods look to to be at least 10 years old! Do the new rules stipulate anything about the sidepods (and the dramatic tapering like we see today), or am I reading too much into this basic rendering?

  15. I could get used to the narrow rear wing, honestly. I don’t think it looks bad or anything. Maybe a little odd, but nothing more than that. What really stuck out for me though is how wide the front wing will be. The fronts of these cars will look like airplanes. But then again, I suppose I could get used to that too. I could certainly see the benefit of a larger front wing.

  16. Can anyone spell “oversteer”? With the huge front wing and mini rear, regardless of angles of attack, how will they keep the ass end on track?

    The rendering also shows a reduced engine housing, I guess with KERS providing power who needs V8’s? A nice inline 4 cylinder 800 cc Fiat will do nicely, thank you very much.

  17. it does look stupid :|

  18. I like the first response in the other blog: “coisa feia!” (Ugly thing!)

    I would have rather seen them removed or see them enforced as the kind of teatrays Indy/CART would have run, and I expected the regs to limit the number of elements in front, too.

    I think both spectators and drivers will get used to it quickly. Remember that the return of slicks will increase mechanical grip greatly and that the cars will now be “lighter” as they navigate the track. Expect a lot of wheelbase experimentation.

  19. god its looks awful!

  20. I’m going to counter my first assessment of the narrow rear wing. The more I look at it the weirder it looks. It should be wider, and the allowable depth should be minimized.

    But I guess it depends on what the FIA are going for. Maybe a narrower wing produces less turbulence than a wider wing, regardless of the depth?

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