F1 fans reject FOTA’s ‘Mario Kart’ wings


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

  1. Marc Connell said on 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.

    • newnhamlea1 (@newnhamlea1) said on 24th June 2010, 20:47

      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.

    • Mike said on 25th June 2010, 10:23

      It would be a disaster.

  2. ukk said on 24th June 2010, 20:34

    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 ;-)

  3. rob said on 24th June 2010, 20:38

    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.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th June 2010, 22:41

      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.

  4. Dan said on 24th June 2010, 20:47

    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

    • BasCB said on 25th June 2010, 7:23

      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.

  5. 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.

    • Bartholomew said on 25th June 2010, 13:14

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

  6. F1Yankee said on 24th June 2010, 20:51

    ya know, this really is some video game crap. most racing games have a “feature” called auto-catch up – it silently improves the performance of racers in the back, so that poor players still get a feeling of “whew, close one! that was super fun!” and continue to spend money.

    i dare you to tell the difference.

  7. Sean said on 24th June 2010, 21:08

    This one gets worse the more I reflect on it.

    It will, by definition, de-value passes altogether.

    Think of the best pass you ever saw, the one that had you leaping around the room. Maybe it was Mansell on Piquet at Stowe, or maybe it was Hakkinen on Schumacher around Zonta at Spa, or Alonso around Schumacher around the 130R, or…you get my drift. Now consider how great it would have been if you knew that the guy making the pass had a button that gave him, whatever, 10kph or 15kph more for no good reason, and the guy in front WASN’T ALLOWED TO USE HIS! Unbelievable. At least the “push to pass” in Champcar or KERS in F1 allowed both attacker and defender the option to use the ‘artificial’ boost, if they had all their ducks lined up, at least. And those rare passes that would have gone down in the annals of all-time classic F1 moments, well, they’ll be all over before they even reach the braking area now, they? It won’t even be close. And the extra passes we do get will all be, by definition, the result of an arbitrary rule that just hands the advantage to the guy who’s behind, for the tremendous virtue of…being behind. You might say there will be cases where the ‘wronged’ party who gets picked off like a sitting duck for the terrible error of being ahead will then be able to turn around and use the same method to re-pass, but (a) we all know it often doesn’t work like that, and (b) SO WHAT if it does happen??? It’ll then be back to square one but the unfair advantage will still be there, won’t it?

    Wrong, so wrong. It amazes me that there was a HUGE debate after Bahrain about how to liven things up and allow more passing moves, I actually tried to write down all the ideas at the time and I gave up after about 40 of them, but not one person said: how about having a moveable-wing-that-the-driver-behind-can-use-but-not-the-one-in-front-and-only-if-he’s-less-than-1s-behind-at-arbitrarily-defined-points-on-the-track-and-not-during-the-first-2-laps-and-can-you-tell-we’re-making-this-all-up-as-we-go-along?

  8. No aerodynamic surfaces independent of the main bodywork forward of the centre line of the front wheels, behind the centre line of the rear wheels …the aero guys would still have lots to work with…wings are so 1970’s

  9. matt90 (@matt90) said on 24th June 2010, 21:29

    If they want an F-duct without the inelligent solution of using a knee, why not just allow it to be controlled by an electronic flap, which can be activated by a flap on the steering wheel by the thumb or index finger?

  10. I have the perfect solution for overtaking. The car behind can use the adjustable rear wing, and the car in front can use KERS. Can KERS outpace the low-drag car behind, or will it give a bigger slipstream? Who knows? Oh, the tension….

  11. schooner said on 24th June 2010, 22:34

    Perhaps FOTA should consider implementing a system that would allow the drivers of cars one second or less apart to manipulate each others rear wing. This option could only be activated after the halfway point, and only after the stewards of the meeting have designated the race, to that point, as being a total bore. :)

  12. Christian Ditch said on 24th June 2010, 23:11

    Right, I don’t think this new rule is fantastic, because it’s far from that, and I hope that it gets amended before the start of next season.

    But I’m sick of hearing people saying that they’re going to stop watching F1 if they push the rule through. They’re the same people that said they’d stop watching after Indy-gate, Spy-gate, Spa-gate, Lie-gate, and every other minor scandal in F1!

    Seriously, it’s so tiring to hear empty threats continually.

    Even if the FIA push through this rule, we will all still continue to watch. People who take the effort to write on forums are NOT going to turn off from F1 because off some stupid rear wings rule!

    • dragon said on 25th June 2010, 7:00

      I know I’m not going to stop watching it. I would LIKE to, if rules such as this were passed, because it’s the only way I can think of expressing my outrage – but I’ll end up watching anyway. However, if F1 fans worldwide came to some sort of agreement to just refuse to watch the 2011 season, sure, I’ll jump on board :P

  13. Hi there! Haven’t posted in a good while, been rather busy. Just posted to say I generally agree with the gist of the article, especially as I voted in favour of such devices being used whenever required, but felt that the unnecessary slandering of Mario Kart to be particularly unpalatable. For a start it’s Super Mario Kart, one of the best racing games ever made, and for the record there are no blue shells or wings, not in the original anyway.

  14. Icthyes said on 25th June 2010, 0:22

    So, let me get this straight:

    Devices which could be controlled by the driver from the cockpit were banned. McLaren got around this by just making it a hole in the car. Then that gets banned, and in its place we get…a device which can be controlled by the driver from the cockpit.

    • Tom M in Australia said on 25th June 2010, 0:34

      Traction control was banned. McLaren got round this just by adding an extra brake pedal. Then that got banned, and in it’s place we got traction control. Then that got banned…

    • BasCB said on 25th June 2010, 8:05

      Yep, seems the ban on movable aero devices is gone. A victory for the engineers?

      Maybe we should add another rule using the ideas from the SWIFT indycar solution for 2012. Let the movable part have LED lights that light up if it is used to give the people watching a clue as to what is going on. A similar light can be used for KERS switching on or buffering engergy as well.

      That would be fun watching a light show.

      • bosyber said on 25th June 2010, 8:27

        Yes, that does show the full gimmick at its best.

        Seriously, if they keep this rule, such LEDs should be done too, and then we can at least have a category in race strategy: overtake with/without LEDs.

        But on the other hand, this is a replacement for the lack of telemetry being shown in the race – if we had a diagram showing KERS,throttle/brake, gear, etc. for larger bits of the race, we would not need to have it on the cars so much.

  15. fecklessmoron (@) said on 25th June 2010, 0:33

    I haven’t seen a whole lot wrong with the racing this year. F duct or not.

    I don’t see an adjustable rear wing creating Vettel vs Webber or Button vs Hamilton vs Button type of excitement any more than I think overly soft tires will create interesting races like Canada.

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