Adjustable rear wings confirmed for 2011 – but only for overtaking

Debates and polls

Drivers will be allowed to adjust their rear wings to overtake in 2011

Drivers will be allowed to adjust their rear wings to overtake in 2011

F1 cars will get adjustable rear wings in 2011 – but drivers will only be allowed to use them to overtake the car in front.

Should adjustable rear wings be allowed in 2011?

  • Yes - drivers should be allowed to use them at any time in the race (48%)
  • Yes - but drivers should only be allowed to use them to overtake in races (21%)
  • No - adjustable rear wings should not be allowed at all in races in 2011 (31%)

Total Voters: 2,015

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Speaking during the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-In the team’s engineering director Paddy Lowe confirmed the adjustable rear wings would be allowed as F-ducts had been banned for 2011.

Lowe said drivers will be allowed to use them at any time during qualifying.

But in the races drivers will not be allowed to use them in the first two laps. After that they will only be allowed to use them if they are within one second of a rival car as Lowe explained:

[It's] been agreed to ban the ‘F-flap’, or ‘F-duct’, system. But in their place we will have an adjustable rear wing. The flap will be adjustable by the driver.

You can run it however you likes in qualifying which will allow you to get a better lap time using it wherever you can. In the race you can’t use it for the first two laps at all.

But after that if you’re within a second of the car in front then you will be able to deploy it. That will be very interesting. It’s a FOTA initiative to help improve the show and I think it’s very exciting.
Paddy Lowe

Lowe also confirmed FOTA had agreed to let teams use Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems in 2011 having suspended their use this year.

Read more: F1 2011 Season

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194 comments on Adjustable rear wings confirmed for 2011 – but only for overtaking

  1. Cranberry said on 23rd June 2010, 12:28

    Ok, so Lewis comes to the main straight on Montreal circuit right on Teflonso’s tail, and overtakes him easily by using this new shiny toy on his steering wheel….What next? Teflonso can use it again to overtake Lewis, sure, but since they cannot re-adjust the wing after the passing maneuvre for the twistier parts of the track…

    Everyone starts the race with maximum downforce and by the end of it all everyone has minimum downforce on their wings? They sure won’t be able to overtake by adding downforce from the wing, can they?

    Ridiculous idea, It’d be better they use f-ducts and restrict their functionality electronically.

    • Maciek said on 23rd June 2010, 13:13

      I think you misspelled A-l-o-n-s-o.

      • Cranberry said on 23rd June 2010, 17:43

        Nope, the man has gone from the biggest controversy in F1(spygate) to the even bigger controversy in F1(crashgate), and always escaped unharmed….sometimes even praised by his fellow spahish media “professionals”.
        Nothing sticks to him.

  2. Fabian N said on 23rd June 2010, 12:29

    its just getting silly when the drivers have to push a button for kers and one for the adjustable rear wing. and then theres the button for the front wing.

    • Tiomkin said on 23rd June 2010, 12:45

      An F1 car was capable of adjusting the wings etc automatically. But because ‘this is the pinnacle of motor sport’, the driver has to manually do it.

      Sports cars on the road are more advanced. Let F1 become hi-tech again please. Bring on the computers. F1 is a TEAM sport, not a driver sport.

      • BasCB said on 23rd June 2010, 17:10

        That seems like a sensible idea to me. If the teams want to go for high-tech gimmicks to pleas the fans (instead of a very simple device with the F-switch, a 1950s idea) let it be real high tech.

        If the car sensors dirty air wake, let the ECU automatically adjust front and rear wings to cope with losing downforce. It will be better to police and more hightech.

  3. Alex Bkk said on 23rd June 2010, 12:35

    I’m taking a wait and see attitude. For certain some teams will build a better system than others. I’m also considering the fact that DDD’s will not be allowed next year which will change down force in the corners so teams will have to do some serious body mods to try to make up that loss. I suspect that greater straight line speeds will take a serious toll on brakes and tires specially in the earlier part of the races where the cares are much closer together and overtaking before corners. We’ve seen some serious racing this season even though Macca has the only really functioning F Duct in F1… I know some fans were lamenting the loss of fuel stops and thinking that all we would see were processional bores for races. This hasn’t been the case has it? Hopefully we will hear from a few of the F1 super techs on this forum as to how they think rule changes for next year will affect the racing. I’m willing to give it a chance.

  4. paul said on 23rd June 2010, 12:38

    so now they can use kers, adjustable rear wing thing, adjustable front wing, change gear, brake balance, concentrate oh and finally drive the car too all for overtaking loool

    • BasCB said on 23rd June 2010, 17:12

      The adjustable front wing is reported to be dropped for last year as it added to little advantage.

  5. Carl said on 23rd June 2010, 12:39

    One of these days the drivers will be driving with a Keyboard and mouse.

    • RandomChimp (@randomchimp) said on 24th June 2010, 8:57

      There’s an idea, remove the driver from the car and allow unlimited developement and no technical regs. Have him sit in the garage and drive the car by remote control, while his vehicle does 400 mph around Monaco’s Grand Hotel Hairpin. SORTED.

  6. Pingguest said on 23rd June 2010, 12:42

    The rules allowing adjustable rear wings will be even more artificial than the rules allowing adjustable front wings.

    The new rules are just a little bit more of the same we already have: a flawed concept. I think its time to do away the high-downforce aerodynamics and get rid of wings and diffusers all together.

    • Rob said on 23rd June 2010, 12:52

      There needs to be a reintrodution of ground-effect, although more restricted than when it was previously used for safety reasons, and a serious reduction in the downforce generated by the upper elements of the cars.

      Road cars do not generate massive amounts of downforce with wings, they use diffusers and sculpted bodywork, so if there is to be more relevance to road cars then these should be emphasised.

      • newnhamlea1 (@newnhamlea1) said on 23rd June 2010, 13:12

        i dont get this whole ‘road car relevance’ BS a road car will never travel at 200mph up the straights of Monza or take 130r at full throttle, or for that matter change its engine every 1500km. If you want road car relevance watch touring cars. I hate the way f1 is going, the show does not need to be improved! ban the dd difusors and then leave the regulations alone for the next 10 years! and for that matter stop the engine freeze and remove engine rev limiters.

  7. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 23rd June 2010, 12:52

    Don’t forget the teams have lots more track splits than the public has. It was mentioned a few races ago that they have upwards of 10 lap splits – I’m sure establishing positioning won’t be too hard.

  8. Tom M in Australia said on 23rd June 2010, 13:02

    Sigh… They just dont get it.

  9. Maciek said on 23rd June 2010, 13:05

    It just seems to me that it’s a recipe for controversy – I can see drivers using the system when informed they’re within one second of the car in front, only to be penalised later when it turns out that by the time they used they had fallen out of the one-second gap by 0.001s.

    We’re having a pretty high overtaking season now. Another case of over-fixing things, I think.

  10. newnhamlea1 (@newnhamlea1) said on 23rd June 2010, 13:07

    I really dont like this, it seems so contrived and artificial.

  11. PJA said on 23rd June 2010, 13:08

    If adjustable rear wings are to be allowed in F1 drivers should be able to use them whenever they want, I don’t like the idea of them only being able to use them if they behind another driver.

    Also as they will only be allowed to use them if they are within one second of another car does this mean they will be controlled by the ECU, so that as soon as the rules are met the button to adjust the flap will become live and the adjustable rear wing will work?

    If it is able to be activated all the time you could have the situation where a driver may loose a fraction of a second between been told he can adjust the rear wing and activating it and so break the rules.

  12. DGR-F1 said on 23rd June 2010, 13:11

    So, as one technological advance improved, it’s banned and the engineers come up with another idea, which is improved, and then banned.
    Why are the teams agreeing with such a charade? If F1 is about technology, lets see the technology. If its about back-to-basic Cossy-engined monsters, lets see that.
    At the moment we are watching the whole ‘show’ slowly begin to disappear down its own collective plug-hole.
    Why not just agree to keep the ideas that actually work, and either write them into the F1 ‘spec’ the following year, or allow the other teams to catch up in their own time? In the meantime it allows for variations in design and possibly finding a solution of benifit outside F1. As it is, no more F-duct, no more exhaust-diffuser, so what are all the engineers going to do now?

  13. anyone thought about lapped cars?
    what would be the rules if something like Button chasing Alonso in Canada happens again (which probably would), they they encounters a lapped car. Would the frontrunner be allowed to adjust the wing as “he is passing a car” ?

  14. Richard H said on 23rd June 2010, 13:21

    Giving only following cars the straightline speed advantage seems extremely contrived. It is also likely to mean that drivers will only attempt to pass on the straights so we won’t see any battling in the braking zones. It won’t add to the show and will be just another area of confusion for the casual viewers they are so eager to attract.

  15. Nixon said on 23rd June 2010, 13:26

    2011 looks like a great season with KERS, Adjustible rear wings, ande Adjustible front wings. But i think that all of these mechanisms will make the drivers slower. Resulting in no overtaking. As i said 2011 LOOKS like a great season, but i am not that sure.

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