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 (32%)

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. Eric said on 24th June 2010, 6:13

    i can see it being excellent, there will be so much over taking you wont know which position your car was in by the time it comes around again, LOL.

    take time out to read the full report and i think you will understand it just a little more.

    predetermined points on each track,
    light up display when driver can use it.
    first touch of the break and its discontinued.
    and extra 15ks per hr predicted depending on set-up.

    how many times has a driver been held up due to not quite enough power to overtake even though they are quicker?
    they end up just sitting there and hopping for a mistake, or normally have to back of due to car overheating and when mistake is made they still cant get passed.

    i realize it will take time to get used to, but im all for it…

  2. Jonesracing82 said on 24th June 2010, 8:32

    why dont they implement the “1 second rule” for KERS also…..

  3. RKU said on 24th June 2010, 9:57

    Thumbs up to the adjustable rear wing concept

    I was initially against this – like any true die hard conservative f1 fan

    But then as I thought about it, I came to realize that hey, this is really good!

    For one thing, it’s really difficult to stay within one second of the car in front through corners, due to air disturbance and the subsequent loss in downforce, so you have to really be quicker than the car in front to stay within 1 second.

    In terms of implementation, I’m guessing that the time intervals are calculated at some or all of the sector points (there are over 30 sectors at each track from what I understand – although the f1 audience only sees 4). 

    So this system then promises to give us more overtaking, without having to compromise the design of these beautiful cars. I’m all for it. In fact, depending on how well it works, drivers may prefer to chase in the closing laps and plan to launch an attack. I like that more strategy will be involved, but I fear that drivers who outperform in qualifying won’t be able to defend – thus the fastest cars will always end up at the front. 

    But if it works, it makes the racing a little more interesting! And that’s a good thing!

  4. Bleu said on 24th June 2010, 10:57

    With these wings I could imagine seeing two drivers overtaking each other multiple times. Then we hear on the radio. “Lewis, don’t overtake him now! If you do so he will overtake you on the final lap and win the race.”

    • Mike said on 24th June 2010, 12:19

      Unfortunately, they will make the change that is possible so insignificant that it doesn’t do anything anyway.

      Lower classes play with gimmicks to increase their popularity.
      So why F1?

  5. dave said on 24th June 2010, 12:22

    not good, i don’t like it

  6. John H said on 24th June 2010, 12:53

    “After that they will only be allowed to use them if they are within one second of a rival car as Lowe explained:”

    What the hell is wrong with these people. How are they going to police this. Very poor.

  7. Christophe said on 24th June 2010, 13:08

    The first thing that sprung to my mind was: what about KERS?

  8. MP4-xx said on 24th June 2010, 15:52

    “never happened”?
    well, as far as I remember, F1 is a “racing” sport, not a “tyre nursing” sport..
    I watch F1 not only for the overtaking, but also for the war strategy, that include surprising factor (counter-strategy) in the mid of race.

  9. theRoswellite said on 24th June 2010, 15:54

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
    Leonardo da Vinci

    The wing is the problem, and it’s manipulation is not the answer.

    However…..allowing the driver to selectively vary the rear wings angle of attack may or may not end up improving the presently unacceptable situation regarding passing, but trying to enforce a rule that restricts the usage of such a device to only that situation where a car is “following by less than a second” will open the door to utter chaos.

    How will this one second gap be measured?
    Who will be depended upon to do the measuring?
    Who will maintain the measuring equipment?
    Will the activating device (the driver?) be expected to deactivate the system if the gap increases to more than a second…in the middle of a corner?

    The list of problems seems endless.

    If they want to try the variable wing…fine…but, please drop the idea of trying to control the manner in which it is used.

    To improve passing the FIA needs to reduce the wake turbulence caused by the car’s aerodynamic devices, to the greatest extent possible, and look toward an increase in mechanical grip as the means by which cornering speeds can be maintained. Fast, beautiful, and competitive cars (not inverted airplanes) would be the result.

  10. I appologize for not checking the spelling of my previous post. I was a bit worked up. Please forgive me.

  11. I’m not opposed to movable aerodynamic aids. Nor am I opposed to KERS, of whatever power and duration Fota/ FIA decide. I am absolutely opposed to contrived conditions of use. I am also opposed to manditory rules that divide the grid in relation to where they qualified, and the tire compounds they start the race with. I’m not particularily fond of manditory use of 2 tire compounds during the race. In my opinion the old Goodyear style qualifying tire, and race tire was far superior. It seemed to put the result in the race itself, Car/Driver to Car/ Driver, and pit strategy played a minor part. Allow pit stops, but make the racing relavant to why we watch them in the first place. Who is the BEST driver that day, and which is the best car. NOT who is the best chess player. or rule stretcher, with the fastest computer and biggest bank of theoratitions. Passing will be there when glandular fortidude, savvy, determination and opportunity come to the fore.
    Am I nuts?

  12. Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 24th June 2010, 21:52

    Enough said…. it’s a horrible idea, a farce of a competition and cause enough to ask Mr Todt to move appart.
    Period.

  13. Matt said on 25th June 2010, 2:22

    Once again this is the FIA and or FOTA trying to fix something that isnt broke. Improving the racing is down to 2 things in my opinon, and thats the circuit designs and also the difference between the tyre compounds. I think its safe to say both of those elements gave us the cracking race we had in Canada the other week.

    • Eric said on 25th June 2010, 3:16

      i believe it had more to do with the track surface Matt…
      same tyres this weekend but not the wear we had in Canada…

      KERS i see will also still be allowed so it will be an interesting 2011 season….
      someone drops there rear wing for more speed and the other driver pushes his KERS button to counter the overtaking move…

  14. Okay.. X in front and Y comes up to within a second behind him. Now Y hits the wonder button and dips his wing to pass.. but hang on, X pushes the KERS button at the same time and gets a boost. Result = Fail!

    KERS standardised and unlimited to use would have been the best answer. The muppets at FIA have gone overboard with the dipping rear wing and its almost certainly going to cause a lot of confusion next year.

  15. Vince said on 25th June 2010, 22:31

    Totally crazy, and the FIA want Joe Bloggs fans to get involved more and gain new audiences so they go add a stupid artificial addition to the rules. Also if KERS is coming back how complicated would it be to figure out who is doing what and when and how they got past :-s

    They should make the tyers lower profile on the rim and wider, remove all under-tray defuser fin aero and allow larger lower rear wings this will give more mechanical grip and a good wake to draft from. Remember the good old days of Mansell and Senna?

    Other Cart series races have plenty of overtaking so why cant F1.

  16. Eric said on 26th June 2010, 0:44

    KERS with Indy Cars run a system where they are limited to anything from 10-30 uses per race, which are for 10 seconds each with an eight-second recharge period between uses, each track is different some have more or less depending on the circuit…
    they also still refuel as well, the new system disengages the gears so you can not put the car in gear till the nozzle has been removed…
    they still have a problem were they loose front grip when traveling behind another car, so what new…

    personally i still would like to see how the Wing thing works once its been sorted…
    passing is such a do or die affair that you either get it right or the whole thing turns to custard…

  17. Enigma (@enigma) said on 1st July 2010, 12:26

    So if someone is within a second of someone in the last sector at Silverstone, he can adjust his wings from the pit straight until Stowe? That’s a BIG advantage.

  18. This is a ridiculous idea…. what happened to driver skill? It’s not like 2010 season was a bad one….far from it!

  19. Mike Johnson said on 16th November 2010, 6:28

    Just throw a full course caution with 3 laps to go every race, like we do in NASCAR

  20. Alonso Fan said on 19th November 2010, 0:44

    I think Alonso was the rightful winner of the 2010 Championship. Ferrari made a big mistake after Schumacher crashed by not bringing him into pit. Vettel got very luck indeed! But im Glad he won and not Hamilton. The thing about Alonso is, when he is winning he becomes happier and more outgoing AND much more modest. But when he is losing he takes it badly. In contrast Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel became more arrogant as they were winning and could see the Championship within their sights. And i dont like this to be honest. The reason i like Alonso is cause he kicked Schumacher off the throne driving a Renault twice in a row and as i said he doesnt become aggressive or arrogant when winning.

    But i was disappointed in Alonso for waving those gestures at Petrov for not letting him past. Petrov has to prove he is cut out for F1 so he had every right to hold Alonso back to prove he could do what an F1 team requires. Still though, had Ferrari pitted Alonso at the same time as everyone else he would be Champion again. I just hope he will do it next year! Alonso pulled off an incredible lap to get fourth on the grid. the car wasnt fast enough and like everyone said, that was all him. He made errors, but he dragged it round to get fourth and that was damn impressive!

    Good luck next year Alonso! You will win it again

    Well done to Vettel, but i just wish he would act a little less arrogant next time. Same goes for Webber whom i thought was a really nice guy till he started winning. I prefer winners who keep their cool to losers who dont. Because losing when coming so close is painfull.

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