Mercedes rear wing row not over yet

F1 Fanatic round-up

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Sepang, 2012In the round-up: Teams continue to protest Mercedes’ rear wing design and use of DRS.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

FIA reassesses Mercedes rear wing (BBC)

“Teams have continued to lobby Whiting since returning from Malaysia last week and BBC Sport understands he will look in detail at their arguments this week before trying to come to a definitive position on the issue.”

Talking heads: The Mercedes DRS (Sky)

“I’m not Charlie Whiting so I can’t tell you if it is legal or not. All I can tell you is that the antis argue the system should be deemed a driver-operated aerodynamic device, and therefore banned, while Mercedes insist that it isn’t a driver-operated system and so there’s no valid reason for it to be banned.”

Malaysia race edit (F1)

The Malaysian Grand Prix in three-ish minutes.

Maurice Hamilton via Twitter

“Fans of F1 and rally cartoonist Jim Bamber can see a selection of his work here”

Comment of the day

Two more suggestions for teams who bounced back from poor seasons:

Stewart GP.
1997: (founded) Six points scored.
1998: Five points scored. Then…
1999: 36 points scored (four podiums including a race win).
John H

Over a season, the most notable improvement in a car has to be the MP4-24. From being two seconds off the pace to what I consider the best car on the grid by the end of 2009 is staggering.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Victory in the United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach went to Lotus driver Mario Andretti on this day 35 years ago.

Jody Scheckter led most of the way in his Wolf before suffering a puncture four laps from home. He recovered to finish third behind pole sitter Niki Lauda.

Here’s the start of the race:

Image ?é?® Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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95 comments on Mercedes rear wing row not over yet

  1. MW (@) said on 3rd April 2012, 8:51

    I think the reasons for continuing to question Charlie Whitings decision are (in order of priority):
    1. To be 100% certain that this will not be banned so that they can imitate it themselves.
    2. To cause this to be banned and lessen the threat from Merc. And also remove the threat of Mclaren or Ferarri adopting their own effective version of this and being more competitive.
    3.To distract attention from their own “controversial” developments.

    And the reasons not to complain: 0

  2. rdpunk (@) said on 3rd April 2012, 9:01

    Ross Brawn summed this up quite simply by saying there only against it because they don’t know how it works. Which is pretty true. The FIA has deemed it legal and normally that would be that but since the teams (mainly Red Bull) either can’t develop one or make it work, they want it banned. This is what really ticks me off about F1, if someone can come up with a very good development and the other teams can’t make it work then theyu ban it. It’s the same with the McLaren f-duct, it was good, it didn’t cost anything to use, banned.

    • Dom (@3dom) said on 3rd April 2012, 20:03

      @rdpunk I wonder if there is a great mystery regarding the fdfw that people don’t understand. So many people seem to think they understand how it works quite well (if not having a full understanding of how to harmonise it with the rest of the car)

      • rdpunk (@) said on 3rd April 2012, 20:12

        There may well be something within this system that we don’t know about I agree, how ever, many people are just going on the information we have been given via websites and Ted Kravitz. I think the main issue that the teams are going on about isn’t the system itself, but how it is activated. Merc say its the drs that does the actual blocking of the duct not the driver, hence nit driver activated meanwhile Red Bull say the driver pressing the Drs button is activating it, thus driver activated.

  3. Sean Newman said on 3rd April 2012, 9:04

    I think this is a genuine grey area. The rules are ambiguous. Fair play to Mercedes for trying to take advantage but I think it’s just a matter of time before it’s banned (maybe for next season). The reason being not because it’s illegal but because it’s against the spirit of the rules. Anything against the spirit of the regs eventually goes.

    Moving aerodynamics devices are banned with the exception of DRS. The idea of DRS technically is to remove drag from the rear wing temporarily and not from any other area on the car. During it’s theoretical discussion and development no-one anticipated the system Mercedes now use. If they had they would have outlawed it. That simply was against the principal. Whether driver activated or not.

    Clever it may be. Long lived it won’t be.

    • MW (@) said on 3rd April 2012, 9:41

      Moving aerodynamics devices are banned with the exception of DRS. The idea of DRS technically is to remove drag from the rear wing temporarily and not from any other area on the car.

      The other side of that argument is;

      DRS activation will effect the aerodynamics across the entire car.. All teams use this effect and Merc have capitalized on it most.

      • Sean Newman said on 3rd April 2012, 10:17

        I work in the aerodynamics field and yes it is true, it will effect the aero across the entire car. I was making the point that the rule was badly conceived and defined. I’m sure the intention was to remove drag only as a direct effect of the movement of the rear wing. I’m sure given hindsight the rule makers would have framed the rules to NOT allow the Merc solution, thats all.

        Hats off to Mercedes, shame on the rule makers!

  4. callum (@095cal) said on 3rd April 2012, 9:32

    Red Bull are one of the lowest teams on the straight by a big distance compared to rivals. No wonder they are trying to get it banned, however annoying it may be!

  5. Carlito's way said on 3rd April 2012, 10:36

    I absolutely love all the controversy and there’s no denying the merc system is very clever. Kudos to them for coming up with it. But you lot have got to be kidding yourselves if you think it’s legal. Wonderful as it may be (the system) its very clearly illegal as it is driver operated, and thats the reason teams will continue to protest it until the FIA puts an end to it or the other teams come up with their own copy of the system, whichever happens first.

  6. Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 3rd April 2012, 15:47

    It does seem hypocritical from Horner considering the stance he took last year when he declared that the objection to their flexing wing were just sour grapes and that the objectors should accept the ruling of the Fia. The flexing wing was arguably more against the spirit of the rules than the current issue but that didn’t bother RB in the slightest. I do have a solution however, ban the stupid Drs completely, I hate it because it comprimises the finesse of a driver controlling speed on the limit forcing him to react to a loss of downforce rather than apply subtle levels of acceleration which is one of the most vital skills of a driver IMHO. It also takes away from the overall show which is not all about overtaking. See, problem solved.:)

  7. DaveW (@dmw) said on 3rd April 2012, 18:35

    The effect of FWFD right now is a likely Schumacher-Stadtbahn situation in the races. I really don’t mind seeing competitive cars packed up behind a good driver fighting it out.

    As far as the wing itself, I think Mercedes have simply been more clever. I agree that the rule makers could not have wanted the DRS to be used as some kind of switch for additional complex aero devices. But how to you ban it without really getting into broader rear wing design? You could say, the new rule is “no holes” in the endplate. But we all know how useless specfically tailored technical rules modifications have been against clever designers. Anyway, without a rationale consistent with current rules, the FIA can’t be seen to issuing a Mercedes-specific rule. It was the similar situation with the flex-wing. They kept changing the test, appaerntly to address RBR’s apparent ploy, but it was the same test for everyone, and RBR alone kept beating the test. Why bother going down that road again?

  8. erix said on 3rd April 2012, 19:11

    You guys just make this up too serious. F1 is only a show, business, the champion usually decided before the season, it gets pretty hot in the middle part, just to ensure enough bet for harvest. Look at the rule of nose height, why mecca’s car is the only car who originally comply with it, and suddenly become the fastest car on the grid. The merc car has to be improved somehow, because fans demand of schumi’s performance. The renaults have reactive suspension so can become dark horse. All these only for betting adrenalin and good for business..sorry.

    • ” Look at the rule of nose height, why mecca’s car is the only car who originally comply with it”

      The bulkhead/nose height is _not_ a game changer, its just a different design philosphy and has its pro _and_ cons.

      McLaren have ran a lower bulkhead than other teams in recent years, it allows them to run a lower center of gravity and stiffer front-end.

      Other teams have the stepped nose because they prefer running a higher bulkhead which allows for greater airflow under the car, which they have done since 2009.

  9. For the love of God,it’s not driver operated.Duct is conveniently placed under the movable part of the rear wing,so that when DRS is activated duct is exposed to air flow,which in turn stals the front wing.Concept is absolutely brilliant,and is totally passive,And Horner can choke on it.Im not a Mercedes fan,Lotus is my team but this is redonkulous :)

    • Carlito's way said on 4th April 2012, 8:29

      Problem is it IS driver operated because but for an direct action from the driver ( pressing a button on the steering wheel) the system would not come into effect. If this ever went to court it wouldn’t last ten minutes. Still love the system and hope merc gets to keep it as it mixes up the grid.

  10. HewisLamilton said on 3rd April 2012, 22:56

    Wow, this is quite humorous. So RB have a contraversial Flexi Wing last year and had to listen to complaining about it, even after it was deemed legal. And it was deemed legal after the deflection test was modified to try and make them illegal.
    So now RB complain about the Merc and they are drawn and quartered for it by 90% of the posters on here. I would wager that the 90% saying RB should shove it are the same ones complaining that RB had an illegal wing.
    So it’s okay for other teams to complain about RB, but RB are not allowed to complain about anything?

    • Alain (@paganbasque) said on 4th April 2012, 8:02

      Yes and no, they can complain if they think that the system is not legal, but once not three times, Whiting must be exasperated giving, once again, the same answer and explanation.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 4th April 2012, 16:35

        I just don’t think Whiting’s supposed ‘same answer and explanation’ has held enough water against perhaps some very compelling arguments by Horner et al, and perhaps Whiting has told Horner he won’t be changing his mind about Merc but that he will be taking under advisement the legality of what Horner as perhaps presented to him as their answer to Mercs system, or all the other types of trickery (can of worms) that should then be deemed legal if Mercs is to remain so.

        I just think Whiting could not have given Horner et al a resounding set-in-stone NO go away, if the teams are still pursuing this issue with him. I’m sure whatever he tells the teams by China will be the final answer with a much clearer explanation to the teams which they obviously feel has been lacking or else they would have let it go by now and proceeded with their own system.

        There’s a possibility that Horner is saying to Whiting please make sure of your stance on this because we can instill a system that will knock everyone’s socks off if we’re going to go down that road of secondary uses of driver-controlled aero bits. Tell us ahead of time if we should spend the time and money instigating our concept, our answer to Merc, and then don’t complain when you see us improve drastically. Just suggesting that as one possibility.

  11. Sean Newman said on 4th April 2012, 11:36

    The FIA will eventually have to ban the Mercedes solution because it will just open a whole new can of worms.

    What if teams started using the movement of the rear wing to make other adjustments the driver would not normally be allowed to make? There are a whole host of such settings and it would just become ridiculous.

    Can you imagine a series of rods or pulleys that change things in the car all operated off the rear wing movement? I bet someone can think of a few useful ones. Just Crazy, but then DRS is just crazy anyway.

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