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. Prisoner Monkeys said on 25th June 2010, 0:44

    I think people will be more receptive to the system once they see it in action. The wings are only expected to yield an extra 15km/h, and so they hardly guarantee an overtake. I think it will be very difficult – if not impossible – to watch the racing next year and say “That pass only happened because of the rear wing”.

    • Icthyes said on 25th June 2010, 1:23

      I think that’s the problem. Many will just assume it was the rear wing.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 25th June 2010, 2:58

        Well, it’s pretty obvious that the wing has been designed to facilitate a driver’s skill in overtaking, not replace it. It doesn’t guarantee an overtake – all the defneding driver has to do is use KERS (or even just drive defensively), and the wing won’t do an iota of good.

  2. John H said on 25th June 2010, 0:46

    Why oh why am I not surprised by this. Just when you think F1 is rediscovering itself it wants to put a shotgun to its head and pull the trigger.

    Is anyone at FOTA watching this season. EVERYTHING IS OK… STOP CHANGING THINGS… ARRRGGHHHHH.

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.

  3. Bartholomew said on 25th June 2010, 2:19

    This idea is not very good, but KERS is even worse.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 25th June 2010, 3:00

      They’re trying to make KERS as attractive as possible to all the teams. It’s not compulsory, but the weight of the car has been inceased by 20kg so that anyone who doesn’t use KERS will still have a weight penalty. It won’t be the same as last year when only three teams ran it (and robbed Fisichella of victory in Belgium).

    • dragon said on 25th June 2010, 9:38

      KERS, at least, ticks the box of being a technology that we can see being useful in road cars in the future.
      Now, if they only changed the rules to allow a minimum number of uses per race, rather than per lap, we would also avoid the predictable patterns we saw in ’09, which effectively negated the battles on track.

  4. Tomás said on 25th June 2010, 2:41

    well, well… these are the rules…

  5. wasiF1 said on 25th June 2010, 3:21

    Whether you allow allow adjustable rear wings to be used throughout the race or you completely forget about this rule.

  6. Hamish said on 25th June 2010, 4:47

    Don’t know if this has been mentioned but I can see team mates using this to their advantage when they are together on the track. Driver A lets driver B past and then they alternate from sector to sector. Easiest way to establish a lead/catch up to a group

  7. With this we can think that the F1 is getting virtual…….. Many criticisms will be received from this virtual arena……

  8. Tiomkin said on 25th June 2010, 7:03

    Thinking about this logically. Is there any other sport that has rules like this? Player A can do (x) at this moment in time, but Player B cannot do (x) but can do (y). 5 seconds later Player A can do (y) but Player B cannot do (x).

    Football, tennis, tiddlywinks, snakes and ladders have concrete rules which apply to all players equally at all times. They don’t change EVERY YEAR, so why can’t F1? This rule tweaking is just job creation, someone justifying their pay cheque with dross like this.

    And to answer the person who says die hard fans won’t stop watching. They will eventually and they will stop new fans from following. (I will NEVER pay to go to a GP). You try explaining to anyone the ‘rules of F1′. Watch their eyes glaze over, watch the jaw drop as you tell them that frequently after the checkered flag, when you are done celebrating the finishing order is altered. Soon you’ll have to explain with calculator in hand, why teams are not taking part in the GP after flying round the world at great expense.

    /rant over// time to take the tablets.

    • Mike said on 25th June 2010, 8:14

      Maybe not in your version of snakes and ladders.

      I have devised a set of rules far superior to your petty common rules.

      S&LiA Rules
      (Snakes and ladders international association)
      1) If a superior player is by chance relegated by a snake, behind a much less able player, the lesser player will be shown a blue flag, and must allow the better player to move past.

      2) If a player does not attend a game meeting, the player will be fined $20 by the S&LiA.

      3) If a player is less than 2 places behind another, (s)he will be allowed to adjust the dice (Permo Marker) in order to gain advantage to assist passing.

      4) to save costs, the dice will be limited to the number 5.

      5) if a players die fails, the player may replace it at his own discretion.

      5a) if a players uses more than 5 dice in one day, for the following games he will start just off the board, at a position of negative five.

      6) If a liquid or solid object (food or drink) is spilled or dropped onto the playing area, all players must stay in position untill the mess has been cleared up by the Marshalls (Mum).

      6a) if this occurs when the leading player is less than 10 spaces from the end, Players will stay in formation and finish in their current order.

      • Tiomkin said on 25th June 2010, 8:55

        LOL I like it. I’ll give these ‘improved for the show’ rules a try. I’ll tinker with them until My favored player wins or the others quit and take up Monopoly.

  9. W-K said on 25th June 2010, 7:14

    Seems to me, that besides having an experienced driver helping the race stewards. They need a few to help these committees.

  10. Mike said on 25th June 2010, 7:53

    This whole thing is ridiculous, F1 cars arn’t meant to have movable bodywork for starters, 2nd they are, as others have pointed out, into a game, and lessening the skill involved.

    The other thing that annoys me, is that there is a much better idea, right in front of them. I didn’t watch A1GP a lot, but as I understand it, all cars had a push to pass button, which raise the rev limiter on the engine for a short time. This would achieve the same thing as the moveable wing, but it would surely be a much more popular idea.

    The even better thing that A1 showed us, was how you can limit it, not by saying, only use it when you are behind, but by only letting drivers use it say, 10 times in a race. This wouldn’t fell like a game, it would feel like stratagy. Where all drivers have the same opportunity.

    Even if my idea isn’t liked. I feel the point about movable bodywork stands, It’s just not what F1 is meant to be.

    At any rate, I feel this movable read wing might end up like the moveable front wing. Invisible to the viewers, and only semi useful.

  11. Patrickl said on 25th June 2010, 8:31

    These adjustable rear wings will be a lot less effective than McLaren’s f-duct. The f-duct can be used at all times and it allows McLaren to opt for more downforce without sacrificing drag.

  12. Patrickl said on 25th June 2010, 8:33

    Maybe they could have spots on the track that light up at random. When a driver goes over the lighted spot, he will get one use of the adjustable rear wing.

    Just to add a little more excitement :)

  13. Sparky said on 25th June 2010, 9:30

    I don’t think it will make an incredible amount of difference. The F-Duct makes it “easier” for McLaren to overtake but it doesn’t make it “easy”. Although, we shall have to wait and see how effective the new adjustable wings are…

    Other series have used a “push to pass” system but I don’t think that turns a race into a video game. The drivers are still pounding round at breakneck speeds and high g-forces. They will still need to have incredible skill to overtake and to resist being overtaken. I think it will be fun to see more drivers having to defend aggressively like MSC in Canada.

  14. dragon said on 25th June 2010, 9:43

    Also, I love Mario Kart. I mean, who doesn’t? If you ask me, the FIA should have been looking into this a long time ago. You want an audience in the US? Arm Chandhok with blue shells! You want more overtaking? Make drivers drive through tiny question marks on the track, and if they hit it just right, they’re allowed to use a turbocharger! Not to mention how undeniably cool it would be to have a huge jump over a lake…

  15. PJA said on 25th June 2010, 9:44

    I am against the idea of it only being available to the car trying to overtake as it is the racing too artificial.

    While it may not be too late to change the rule I doubt that the powers that be will.

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