F1 fans reject FOTA’s ‘Mario Kart’ wings

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Formula 1 in 2011?
Formula 1 in 2011?

The Formula One Teams’ Association’s plan to introduce adjustable rear wings has come in for fierce criticism from fans.

It’s not the wings themselves which have earned the most criticism but the rule which will only allow them to be used by a driver who is trying to overtake.

That was condemned as a “gimmick” which will create “artificial racing” in a poll of over 2,000 fans on F1 Fanatic.

Over two-thirds of fans were happy to see the introduction of adjustable rear wings – which will mimic the function of the F-ducts currently in use.

But only one in five support the rule which states that drivers can only use it when they are within one second of the car in front.

Many of the comments criticising the plan were aimed at that part of the rule:

We might as well save the money and get the drivers to sit in Sega?s Virtua Racing where the last car gets a speed boost over the leading car to provide closer racing and more overtakes.

Either let then have and use it when they want or don?t let them have it. It?s F1 and not a computer game.

That wasn’t the only response likening the rule to something out of a video game:

This rule is absolutely absurd, and if implemented, F1 will lose me as a viewer. You might as well put in Mario Kart-style bananas and blue shells ?ǣ it?s a complete and utter farce.

If FOTA wanted to find a way of allowing teams to make use of F-duct style moveable aerodynamics but without the inelegant solution of using a driver’s knee to control it, then the adjustable rear wing makes some sense.

But it’s easy to understand the criticism of a rule which would give a substantial and artificial advantage to a chasing car.

While F1 has been urged to many overtaking easier, fans believe this artificial device will make it too easy and therefore less exciting.

More importantly, it’s the difference between ensuring F1 is perceived as a form of motor sport, and not a world wrestling-style ‘sports entertainment’ gimmick.

Several drivers have criticised the plan for the same reason. Mark Webber told Autosport:

It is good for the PlayStation I think, but I don’t know how well it is going to work in F1. […]

Overtaking moves should be about pressurising, being skillful, and tactical. Yes we want to see more overtaking, of course we do, we know that, but we also need to keep the element of skill involved in overtaking and not just hitting buttons.
Mark Webber

The good news is it’s not too late for the FIA and FOTA to fix this rule. They must change it in time for next season, allow adjustable rear wings to be used throughout the race and keep ‘Mario Kart’ rules out of Formula 1.

Read more: Adjustable rear wings confirmed for 2011 ?ǣ but only for overtaking (Poll)


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124 comments on “F1 fans reject FOTA’s ‘Mario Kart’ wings”

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  1. completely agree, this rule is even worse than bernie’s shortcuts idea.

    1. LOL. I think both the ideas were equally ridiculous. Im wondering what Bernie’s aging and senile mind comes up with next.

      1. I have no problem with the wing, and even the first two laps portion of the rule, but allowing the trailing driver to overtake while the leading driver is not allowed to defend is just ridiculous. Like Webber said, overtakes should be performed with skill, not the push of a button. I wish this wing and KERS would both just go away.

        1. You can’t have it both ways people. Either they try these new things and get criticised or they leave it the way it is and get criticised.

          At first I didn’t really like the ide but after having read up on it and know fully understand how it is going to be implemented, I am all for it.

          1. You can have it both ways, cutting reliance on aero would improve racing and wouldn’t be artificial in any way.
            Chalky, Perisoft and Mark Webber are totally correct.

          2. Personally, I think that Chalky and Mark and I should go out and have a drink to celebrate our rightness. Chalky, have you got Webbo’s mobile number? I think I might have accidentally deleted it out of my phone.

            (For what it’s worth, I’ve never complained about the lack of overtaking; first, I’m not sure it’s any worse than it’s ever been, and second, it’s the nature of racing. If you don’t like it, don’t watch – but don’t turn motorsport into a half-baked reality TV show because you’re easily bored.)

  2. I can’t understand reasons for opposing it… I think the FIA have done a great job with this rule.

    1. So people are opposing using the wings as a boost. But they’re for a KERS push to pass? It’s practically the same thing!

      Conflicting statements.

      1. Thought of this too, but KERS can be used to attack AND defend. So there is a difference.

        1. What will probably end up happening is that since they can’t defend their position with the wing, drivers with KERS will try and make their once per lap use to defend if another driver is close to overtaking…

      2. No its not. KERS can be used by any driver once a lap. It doesnt matter whether he is leading the GP, chasing a car in front, or just racing by himself at the end of the pack. A car does not have to be 1 second behind another car, at a certain part of the track to access a boost.

        1. Oh, did they change the rules for using KERS? In 2009 they could use it several times per lap for a total of 6 seconds or so.

        2. Yes, but the proposed idea was using it as a “push to pass” for the same purpose as the adjustable rear wing. It probably won’t happen but people are all for that to happen, but not the adjustable rear wing.

          1. “Push to pass” buttons are silly, whether KERS or this adjustable wing idea.
            Webber is absolutely correct.
            Less reliance on aero is the solution: adjustable front wings & ground-effect cars for instance.

      3. this is nothing like kers.

      4. It’s FOTA’s suggestion. FIA have nothing to do with it, other than accepting it.

    2. it is artificial and gimmicky, i watch f1 to see skillfull overtaking not ‘press a button and bam im past’ overtaking, it should be unlimited use or no use at all, thats what i like about kers, everybody can use it, it merely acts as a power boost.

  3. Everyone’s making a fuss out of nothing, I think. Odds are this will end up like the adjustable front wings – functional but ineffective.

    1. Well looking a blown rear wing (f-duct) the system is very effective in providing high top speed without sacrificing low to mid speed downforce.

      Also looking at the ruling by the WMSC, it does not ever limit the moveable parts to the Rear wing. Unless I am missing something, It only ever says Driver Adjustable bodywork.
      It leaves it very open to interpretation. What other parts of the car can engineers move to enhance straight line speed? Movable front wings? Moveable diffusers?

      1. Unless the scope of the “driver adjustable bodywork” is defined by a 1000 page manual with CAD data etc, i think it offers enormous amounts of freedom to come up with bodywork to be adjustable.

        They might just make the blown rear wing switch not through drivers knees/hands but by pushing a button that opens up a flap to enable air to flow through it. Just to name one possibility.

    2. That’s what I thought, but it’s the principal of the thing even if it does nothing.

  4. rear wings – mind how stupid and absurd they were in the early 70’s 80’s – if its on a car let it be used – unless is it’s so teams have more room for sponsors logo’s? – otherwise why bother??

  5. Fans are not dumb we know the difference between a driver and a racer. Using these buttons (KERS, adjustable wings) to supplement a lack of talent won’t cut it. A driver that can’t pass or defend without aids should be fired to make room for someone who can.
    A car that has limited pace and balance should focus on those areas instead of a button. What a Joke!!

  6. This rule is total crap and outrageous, preposterous, unheard of!

  7. The only upside I can think of is Kobayashi is still around next year, it’ll mean some interesting rear ending, Japanese style!

    1. anakincarlos
      25th June 2010, 7:46

      Thers something onthewing some thing?

  8. I hope the voice of fans and drivers combine to get rid of it.

    It needs to be done very fast though because they’re all starting on their 2011 cars and I’d imagine it’s alot of work to get this wing change right.

  9. Here’s even more drivers being just as sceptical about the rear wings and worrying about policing and safety aspects involved as most of us here are:

  10. I think that in the way the rule is intended (to aid overtaking), the method proposed is the only way it will work. If drivers are able to use it at any time then, similar to KERS, they will all use it in the same places, removing any advantage and therefore any point to what will no doubt be a very expensive piece of kit.

    In the end what it comes down to is how far you are willing to go to promote overtaking, there’s no time to make radical changes to the aerodynamics so if you want to make a change it has to be a so called gimmick. The F-duct certainly falls under that catagory, it has provided most of the overtaking this year and I dont see people complaining.

    1. thats becuase it was a clever aerodynamic innovation that somebody came up with, no different to the DD diffusor. nobody is stopping others from using it and nobody is making stupid rules about its use and when it can be used.

      1. Yes, but the only reason the F-duct is effective at all is because the other teams can’t copy McLaren’s version due to the cockpit regulations. If everyone was told at this point last year that the blown rear wing was an option then it would be back to a stalemate situation.

        As I alluded to in my first post, the only way to help natural overtaking in F1 is to radically change the aero regs to allow cars to follow each other through corners. Until that time we have to make do with giving the trailing car an advantage.

        It seems to me this change will only really have an effect on races where there’s a long enough straight with a fast corner preceeding it, such as the back straight at China, so the time lost due to dirty air in the corner will be regained by the loss of drag on the straight.

  11. I still think my solution (mandate the effect of area in the area behind a car) is the right one, but, isn’t this solution just a shortcut to where we want to be, namely that we don’t want the aero of the car in front to destroy the overtaking opportunity for the car behind?

    Now, I will argue that the wing should not do anything more than eliminate the loss suffered from following the car in front, but with that proviso I don’t see the problem.

  12. Im not sure what all the fuss is about. You can only use it when you are within 1 second of the car in front so you must be probably as quick if not quicker anyhow. It will stop drivers racing in fuel saving mode which makes a mockery of F1.There will be alot less of the lead car just cruising as he will know should the guy behing get anywhere close he will have a good chance to overtake. if he does overtake then you will have a battle to try and reovertake which would be good to see. Drivers will always be pushing, the car in front pushng hard to make sure the guy behind does not get within a second of him and the guy following will be pushing like hell to make sure he can get within 1 second so he can use the advantage. Its hardly mario kart blue shells now is it. Every driver has the same tool and it will mean all out racing. If the guy behing has used his kers then the lead car can use his to try and couter act the moveabe wing. I would be interested to know what happens after a safety car comes in, will they be able to use it straight away or wait for 2 laps as at the start of the race.

    1. It will stop drivers racing in fuel saving mode

      What makes you think that?

    2. this is a good point, any car in the 1 second window is usually just stuck there. this gives the driver something to compensate for the loss of downforce while following, so infact actually levels the field again.

      all of a sudden this doesn’t sound such a bad idea, and looks like something that actually addresses the problem of faster cars getting stuck behind slightly slower cars.

      I think I and most of the voters where too quick to write this one off, when infact we should be giving this idea a chance

  13. Best Article Picture. Ever.

    1. I agree – epic indeed!

    2. SNES mario kart, fantastic!

      1. Laughed so hard I had to change my pants!.

      2. unfortunatley this was the only mario kart without speed penalty as first placed player.
        this was the mario kart where the fastest always won

  14. While F1 has been urged to *many* overtaking easier, fans believe this artificial device will make it too easy and therefore less exciting.

    Should that be make?

  15. teeb123456789
    24th June 2010, 20:26

    What happens if the race leader is stuck behind a backmarker? Will he be allowed to adjust his wings? Or since it is technically not an overtake for position, will he not be allowed to?
    This could be very confusing when the leaders are negotiating backmarkers. (Think back to Canada when Button passed Alonso due to the slower car of Chandhock). Could backmarkers use the wings to un-lap themselves?

  16. Marc Connell
    24th June 2010, 20:31

    Just bring back turbos, any engine up to v12s, kers, adjustable rear wings, re fueling but also make an option available for teams who want to run a full race without refueling and only on one set of tyres.

    Bring back all the banned technology what made overtaking easy if you where a bad or good driver.

    No traction control or anti lock breaks. Maybe up the limited BHP to 1000bhp? Allow teams to tamper with more of the engines settings?

    I think allowing more engines will cause more over taking. If they where allowed a new engine every 2 or 3 races. They can afford to tamper with the engine to get more speed and sacrafice engines reliablity. They have the spare engines so why cant they max them out to get more speed to over take?

    Allow them to run engines what can survive top fuel dragster fuel ( 90% nitromethiane and 10% methanol )

    Endless possibliltys to make overtaking happen.

    I know all of this sounds mad but just imagine a F1 without rules and designers with no limitations.

    1. they should definately go down the motogp route with regards to engines, the greater the amount of cylinders the car has the greater the minimum weight, it would also be a good idea to limit the ammmount of fuel allowed for the race, then you would get all sorts of different developement routes.

    2. It would be a disaster.

  17. not that I like the idea, but just to point at something popular on the Playstation we seem to overlook in F1. The current rules favor the car onfront – i.e. it creates such a wake the chasing car simply cannot get close enough to pull a move. Not an exploding banana, but definitely an oily spot ;-) not so obvious, but equaly Playstation style :-) So FIA, please think of an auto-turn-off diffusers instead ;-)

  18. When the racing proves to be extremely exciting and there is tons of overtaking, then all the people complaining now are going to be worshipping the decision.

    1. No, because that will mean overtaking will be devalued due to the quantity and probable lack of quality. Plus, I imagine we’ll see a lot of overtaking on straights rather than in the braking zone, where it will be less exciting.

  19. I should be going to the F1 fans forum in London next week, I’m sure this will come up and make clear that this is not a good idea. I will do my best to give my opinion that this is a not a good idea

    1. That’s great Dan, thanks for that. I hope the guys being there take note and give this adjustable bodywork a good thinking before doing it.

  20. It’s a shame that no one has figured out a way to increase the length of the braking zones without either requiring retrograde technology or potentially increasing the hazards.

    1. Bartholomew
      25th June 2010, 13:14

      All they have to do is require smaller steel brakes – this is the most cost-effective way to overtake.

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