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)


Browse all comment articles

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

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4
  1. 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.

  2. 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 :)

    1. Add more balloons, I saw that in soccer, really livened things up…

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

    1. Dude, you are my mentor!

  5. 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.

  6. hmm plenty of fans dont like kers but that doesnt make them right. i think its a good idea and if it needs tweaking once its introduced then so be it. I think the level of overtaking is ok at the moment but it has been difficult generally over the last 10 years. Why reject something that makes it possible?

    1. KERS reduced the amount of overtaking because it was primarily used as a defensive weapon (it’s more effective that way than as an overtaking tool). It’s not a question of rejecting something that makes overtaking possible – it’s rejecting something that achieves the rare combined feat of making overtaking tougher and cheapening the value of the passes that do happen.

  7. Just to let you know, I loved Virtua Racing when it was in the arcades, but I stopped racing it because of the speed boost. It was the most frustrating part, when leading a race on the final lap and the guy in last uses the speed boost to win.
    There is no defence against this as a leading driver, other than to weave and block.

    I do not want to see an artificial overtake for a win in F1 and neither will the drivers. In fact, if it’s made that easy to pass, ironically we could get less passing with the 2nd place driver just holding station until the last lap as with what I experienced in Virtua Racing.

    Let’s hope FOTA listen to the fans on this.

  8. i dont get this, you didnt like it on some 90s videogame so it wont work in f1 in 2011. eh?

    for 1 who says its going to make it “easy” for 2, on tracks when the dirty air makes it very difficult to overtake, this may help a faster car stay close and nail the overtake where previously they would drop back. i thank god we elect a commitee to sort these things out and fans aren’t always listened to

    1. you didnt like it on some 90s videogame so it wont work in f1

      The objection isn’t that it won’t work, it’s that it’s not appropriate for F1.

    2. i dont get this, you didnt like it on some 90s videogame so it wont work in f1 in 2011. eh?

      As Keith says, it’s not appropriate for F1.
      We should not be reducing the skill required to overtake buy providing a push to pass system that favours only the driver that is behind.

  9. It’s a gimmick though. Why not allow decent front tyres back to improve grip – that would help offset the aero problem. And lose the dumb “you must use both tyre types” rule – let them choose what tyre they want and when…

  10. So, this idea is to replicate a driver getting into the tow of another driver, then. Except, once they get out of the tow to go past, they still have the extra pace.

    And of course, the purity of the racing is gone, but hey, itll attract the US viewers in!

    We dont need overtakes willy nilly, where being in front is being penalised – at least before once they got out of the tow they were out of the tow, and you could still defend. What is needed is more opportunity for overtaking, but the drama and importance of the overtake only stays if it then hands a defendable advantage to the car in front, where its not a given that the place will just be taken back.

    1. Let me speak for all 300 million U.S. citizens and say, no. We like our socialist-style racing just fine, but we don’t like anything from “socialist” countries.

    2. I think it will just make it more of a mistery why anyone is interested for the US viewers!

      Doing something expensive and complicated you can also acheeve with a pretty simple push to pass button (not saying that is a good solution, just easier), that will just show Americans how the “old continent” makes life complicated for itself

  11. er the driver is quicker but gets slowed down by dirty air, it may help it may not. its certainly not a gimmick and racing is certainly not “pure” – what a naive view that is!! racing stopped being pure in 1959..if it ever was

    1. The dirty air business is not relevant. This is for passing on a straight, where straight line speed matters. Dirty air is good in this context. Of course the FIA has not specified where it can be used, but the scenario of the pre-ordained part of the track being in a corner seems a fairly ineffective opportunity for passing at most tracks. Passing mid-corner is not going to happen, unless the new wing position allows the driver behind to fly. It would have been totally useless in ths mode at Montreal, for example, anyway.

      And you would still need to lay down the wing on the next straight. But then we basically have a ridiculous scenario where the car behind is given the full moveable-aero advantage for all or most of the lap that the sport has worked for a generation to prevent on various grounds. Leaving aside this shocking volte face of safety and performance-limiting policies, it would make a mockery of all passing. There is no way to consider this new rule not being absurd.

  12. well its loaded in favour of the guy in front at the moment so this is A WAY of rebalancing it. to say it is against the ethos of F1 is ludicrous, what about skirts, self righting suspension, driver aids, telemetry, pit to car radio, turning up and down revs. they could all be considered impure…..and ANYWAY, they can already alter the front wings! staggered you agree Keith

    1. I have to disagree with you.

      well its loaded in favour of the guy in front at the moment so this is A WAY of rebalancing it

      There are other methods to assist in overtaking that can be used. Preferably ones that are not criteria limited, applicable to only one of the drivers battling for position.

      what about skirts, self righting suspension, driver aids, telemetry, pit to car radio, turning up and down revs.

      and these are not restricted to a single driver at one time over another.

      Allowing this rule sets a precedence that making adjustments of this sort are ok. What would be next? If you are 5 secs behind another driver you can use traction control? If you are 10 secs behind another driver you can use 1000rpm above the rev limit?

    2. Allowing this rule means that if a driver does adjust their wing to pass, then their car won’t be as good at getting round the corners. They don’t appear to be allowed to re-adjust it until the next checkpoint. This means that the car will be easily re-passed on the next corner and lose ground to the car it was attempting to pass for the rest of the sector.

      In other words, the wing not only introduces a level of artifice and unfairness, but is counter-productive to overtaking. A complete waste of time and energy which will probably lead to an adjustable wing ban in 2012 or 2013 one the teams realise just how pointless this implementation is.

  13. yes i remember all the “expert” debate when refueling was banned. All of it was conjecture and most of it was wrong. Why not wait and see? I personally cant see a “principle” or a “pureness” in racing that is lost. You can turn the revs up at the moment whats the difference in that and turning your wing down??

    1. ANYBODY can turn their revs up at ANY time, just like ANYBODY can use kers next year at ANY time they see fit. This new rule is BS, it is more appropriate to something like mariokart.

  14. grosjeans.rubble
    25th June 2010, 14:35

    how about random powerups throughout the course?! you run them over and it enables either f-duct, KERS, active suspension, or adjustable wing. these could be good for the sector only.

    hmmm maybe we can get codemasters to include it in this year’s f1 as an easter egg!

    1. or maybe you could have a squid that flies up to the car up front and sprays ink all over their visor.

  15. reductio ad hitlerum

  16. Am I the only one who thinks if the guy behind is already close enough, he will have a slipstream advantage and rear wing stall so the overtake will happen before arriving at the next corner? Seriously, who wants to see cars overtaking eachother on the straight?

    What a farce that rule is! Why dont we implement some catch-up logic into engine management systems while we’re at it, like Need for Speed games? If a driver is too much in front, his engine will produce less power so that the others can catch up and liven up the race.

  17. with everyone getting so upset about it being like a video game they played once, no one seems to have mentioned that if a car is overtaken by a car using a lowered wing then they can also use the lowered wing once hes passed. i look forward to the reasons why this is rubbish, wont happen, isnt pure etc

    Nothing is ever as simplistic as we think and the law of unintended consequences means that any rule changes will mix things up. But hay, if it reminds you of playing mario bros,it shouldnt happen, right.

    1. Maybe things aren’t as ‘simplistic’ as you think, but it seems you’re not thinking very much, so that’s not surprising.

      Please stay away from racing. Just… can you go do something else? You, and everyone like you: Leave.

      And don’t let the door hit you in the a** on the way out.

    2. One of the problems of this rule is that the overtakers *have* to use the lowered wing once passed, meaning that their overtaking will be very easily negated. Twice the passing for absolutely no additional sporting meaning or narrative value on that lap, followed by several laps of no attempt being possible because the following car is too far away. Overtaking should have a point – because a mistake was made, a gap was seen or a car was mechanically better than another – not be something that happens merely to satisfy some outside “quota”.

  18. Does the new regulation permit rear wings to pivot up and down like the original wing car, the Chaparral?

    So you’d push a button and the wing would lie flat, then you’d brake and a little motor or gas piston would push the wing back into position?

    Seems unsafe. Why not push the button and a little parachute deploys on the car in front?

  19. theRoswellite
    26th June 2010, 2:23

    A couple of points (or questions?)

    One result of a variable rear wing, if it turns out to be highly successful in providing a passing advantage to the following car, may be that cars will not want to be leading on a final lap, but instead holding close to the car ahead and waiting for the last lap or even last corner. Is this what FOTA wants to see happen…cars attempting to obtain the best “position of advantage” instead of the going for the lead?

    It can provide for great tactical racing…close racing…and exciting finishes, but certainly if leading the race becomes a serious disadvantage, we will all be witnessing a very different F1…for better or worse.

    Also, in previous remarks I questioned the implementation, safety and simplicity of operation of this rule change, my problem was primarily related to restrictions existing around the one second rule. Hopefully, it will be clear and not issue in a season of protests and post-race DQ’s.

    But, I must admit that I am a closet techno-freak. I would enjoy seeing the designers turned lose to use variable body work, KERS in an unlimited way and find new advantages such as the F-duct, as long as the rules worked to make the cars more energy efficient and reduced or eliminated downforce and the unwanted stepchild: wake turbulence.

    Subsequent rule changes could work to maintain parity in the field without resorting to any highly “artificial” means…an obviously very subjective term.

  20. Several people (including so called experts on TV) have been calling this ridiculous because it might mean being 2nd into the last lap might be a better position and 1st.

    This is true in many forms of motorsport, particularly in MotoGP and WSBK, where, if the line far enough from the last corner, riders can slip stream past each other and get ahead before the line.

    This adds tactics to the wheel to wheel racing part of things. So far in F1, we’ve only had tactics to avoid racing or just to go faster.

    Having said that, other forms of motorsport get this situation naturally, by nature of their machinery. They don’t resort to adding 3 extra buttons for the driver to play with. It’s just as silly as all these power boost buttons in Indycar and A1GP.

    Let’s get back to the main problem. How to get cars to follow each other and make the draft more effective, without cheat buttons.

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.