New front wing tests and DRS rules tweak for 2013

2013 F1 season

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2012The FIA has confirmed a series of changes to the F1 rules for the 2013 season.

Teams will face stiffer front wing deflection tests in 2013 in a bid to prevent the use of wings which are designed to flex at speed.

The use of DRS will be restricted to the designated DRS zones at all times in practice and qualifying as well as during the race. Previously drivers had free use of DRS during practice and qualifying.

Following two incidents in 2012 where teams claimed their cars were stopped on track after qualifying for reasons of “force majeure”, the FIA has now ruled that teams cannot use it as an explanation for why they stopped. The FIA added they “will determine how much fuel the car would have used to get back to the pits and add it to the one litre sample minimum”.

The FIA-imposed curfew on teams’ activities during race weekends will be increased from six hours to eight on Thursdays. The maximum number of times a team may break the curfew has been cut from four to two.

The minimum weight for cars will be increased for 2013 as the weight of the tyres supplied by Pirelli will also increase.

The FIA will also impose “minor” changes to the front roll structure design and the previously-introduced increased static load test will be applied to all chassis.

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49 comments on New front wing tests and DRS rules tweak for 2013

  1. @lhfan said on 5th December 2012, 14:49

    I jus hope all these rule changes would some how enable mercedes to give a fighting car to hamilton . Don ask me how !

  2. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 5th December 2012, 14:52

    I hope that makes things clearer.

  3. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 5th December 2012, 14:54

    How interesting. If a car has an engine blowup on his inlap from his last Q3 lap – is that not a legitimate force majeure?

    • Yes but like it says in the article, they’ll calculate the amount of fuel the car would have needed to complete the in-lap and if the car has that minimum amount of fuel, no sanctions will be performed. Other than the 10-place grid penalty for engine change, that is.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 5th December 2012, 15:44

      It’s a good reason for not getting back to the pits.

      But it’s not a good reason for lacking enough fuel for the sample.

      This is aimed solely at teams under filling cars.

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 5th December 2012, 16:05

      @mike From Keith’s wording:

      Following two incidents in 2012 where teams claimed their cars were stopped on track after qualifying for reasons of “force majeure”, the FIA has now ruled that teams cannot use it as an explanation for why they stopped.

      it’s almost like “teams cannot use [force majeure] as a reason why they stopped” – as opposed to fuel.

  4. TED BELL said on 5th December 2012, 15:05

    some sense finally for DRS usage

  5. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 5th December 2012, 15:06

    DRS in Practice and Qualy; does the driver have to be behind another car to activate it or can they do it freely in the designated zone?

  6. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 5th December 2012, 15:11

    While I understand the regulations has to decrease downforce levels else braking zones would disappear and shorten, overtaking would be more difficult and racing would be more dangerous, but I can’t help but want to see an F1 car without technical limitations left over from all these decades.

    I know Red Bull made the X2010, but even since then technology advanced considerably with flexi wings, hot-blowing diffusers, various drag reduction devices (F-duct, DRS, double DRS for the rear and the front wings, DRD) and more sophisticated aero elements.

  7. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 5th December 2012, 16:06

    Love the DRS rule tweak. It’ll make race and quali pace MUCH easier to observe as the two will be more closely correlated.

  8. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 5th December 2012, 16:09

    heavier tyres? I hope the teams make sure the wire or safety system that attaches them to the car gets stronger as well… we ‘ve seen some accidents when the tyre got off completely. The thing drivers and spectators need the least is a bouncing cannonball going at 120kph, I hope the fatal accident suffered by Surtees Jr left this lesson for some good safety improvements

  9. Jayfreese (@) said on 5th December 2012, 16:20

    What about the stepped noses, I’ve been heard they would disappear.

    No rule for that? Just a design tweak?

  10. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 5th December 2012, 16:25

    Teams will face stiffer front wing deflection tests in 2013 in a bid to prevent the use of wings which are designed to flex at speed

    I think that they should substitue Teams by Red Bull so the rule will be
    Red Bull Racing will face stiffer front wing deflection tests in 2013 in a bid to prevent the use of wings which are designed to flex at speed
    They are far ahead in exploiting the technology of Carbon Fiber Composites i have a feeling that they will find something beyond the rule and the FIA will introduce a much tougher test in 2014

    • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 5th December 2012, 16:56

      These new rules aren’t even aimed at the Red Bulll design – it’s the McLaren front wing (which rotates) which prompted the additional test with the weights attached in a different position.

    • @tifoso1989 – so what you are suggesting is having different rules for everyone then? That would completely irradiate the FIA’s impartiality and send the sport into a farce. And anyway, as @ilanin said this rule is as much aimed at McLaren as Red Bull.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 5th December 2012, 17:42

        you missed the point another time what i mean’t is that this rule was made by the FIA to reduce the advantage of Red Bull in that area

        • @tifoso1989 – ah, I apologise, it wasn’t particularly clear that was the meaning of the comment! I’m not sure it’s so much to do with materioa sciences more the way the aerodynamic load is applied at high speed. It is after all a static load test with weights simply applied to the wing, so at high speed aerodynamic characteristics could lead to an effective weight greater than that of the load test.

        • ka (@ka12) said on 6th December 2012, 1:32

          To be honest, I dont see it as a lost for RBR. Still plenty of time from now until 2013 first race, if Flex FW were allowed next year, other teams would do the something similar to RBR and the advantage among them in this area became almost zero.

  11. Irejag (@irejag) said on 5th December 2012, 22:11

    I wish they would just let the teams have more freedom. As long as the car stays on the track and the brakes work, who cares how much the front wing flexes. I just want to speed and driver ability come through.

    • @irejag – I agree, I’d also like to see more technical freedom (all the cars are far too similar these days) and a reduction in costs to allow the designer’s skills and ingenuity to actually show through. The only problem is if it isn’t properly regulated then we may end up with the ridiculously high (not to mention extremely dangerous) cornering speeds of the 1980′s ground effect cars.

      • Dave (@davea86) said on 6th December 2012, 6:50

        I understand why the FIA are increasing the tests as some teams are trying to evade the purpose of the rule whilst meeting the letter of the rule.

        The unfortunate thing is that some of the work that these teams are doing are pretty cutting edge in terms of computer simulation. There’s an interesting article here which was written last year when the flexi-wing issue was in the F1 news a bit more. It’s about how Red Bull are using software which combines the results of their CFD (aerodynamic) and their FEA (structural) studies to design parts with aeroelasticity. It’s a little technical if you haven’t had any exposure to some of the methods being used although the author does a pretty good job explaining it.

  12. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 6th December 2012, 0:07

    If Gary Anderson was right about Ferrari’s rear-end instability when closing the DRS, there will some clinking of glasses in Maranello tonight. Perhaps, for the first time in two years, we might see a Ferrari again that’s also competitive in qualifying, and as a result Fernando’s title chances just received a boost.

  13. IceBlue (@iceblue) said on 6th December 2012, 3:33

    Tires and wheels are not tethered.
    It is the steering and drive spindles that are tethered.
    If you don’t believe that then you need to explain how you plan on tethering a rotating object to a fixed surface.

  14. philcooling (@philcooling) said on 6th December 2012, 9:27

    The FIA page, linked above, says :

    “For safety reasons, use of the DRS during practice will now only be allowed in the place(s) it will be used on the track in the race.”

    No specific mention of Qualifying – does that mean that DRS will be free to use then?

  15. Mark Lorenz said on 9th December 2012, 15:06

    I’ve read somewhere that in 2013 the F1 front wings will be narrower of 15 cm on both sides to reduce the eventual loss of debris because of these huge wings. Can someone explain me this, I can’t find any confirmation to it.

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