Front wing flex test “trying to stop us” – Vettel

2013 Australian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Sebastian Vettel says the new restrictions on flexing front wings introduced this year were aimed at curtailing Red Bull’s superiority.

“I think most of the changes to the front wing came in trying to stop us so something that we maybe did better or that the others couldn?t do and then there?s just one more thing, so it?s not a new situation,” said Vettel during today’s press conference.

Team mate Mark Webber played down the effect the rules change would have on the team’s performance: “We?ve had a lot of different front wing regulations in the last few years.”

“It’s normal in Formula One that we have to adjust technically around new rule changes, sometimes within the season itself, not just at the start of the season: January, February. We obviously make the car fit within those regulations and we will have to adjust the car around the findings of how that front wing will form in those new regulations, so that?s fine.”

Webber added he wasn’t concerned about the ban on ‘active’ Double DRS, which also removed one of Red Bull’s assets from 2012:

“In terms of the DRS, it?s not a big thing for us. I think that we have been OK in qualifying in the past, also quite strong in races so the effect of the DRS, the delta of the DRS, all those type of things which is not something that we?re having a huge eye on, we?re not disappointed that the DRS is less in qualifying.

“For example, Sebastian and I are very happy, we pushed quite hard to have DRS dropped down in terms of volume on Saturday afternoon so we?re quite relaxed with that one.”

2013 F1 season


Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

Advert | Go Ad-free

130 comments on Front wing flex test “trying to stop us” – Vettel

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th March 2013, 10:53

    If Red Bull’s superiority has come about as a result of an illegally-flexing front wing, then it deserves to be curtailed – and Sebastian Vettel has no cause to complain.

    • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 14th March 2013, 11:12

      If they passed the test, it was not illegal. The new tests/revised tests are for new seasons.
      Stop whining

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th March 2013, 11:29

        Read the article – Vettel is talking about tests for the new wings.

        Stop jumping to conclusions.

        • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 14th March 2013, 11:50

          yes he is. the tests keep getting revised to reduce Red Bull’s advantage.
          As long as they pass they tests, the wing is legal.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 14th March 2013, 12:11

            … Sure…. but that’s a very slippery morale slope is it not?

          • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 12:24

            @mike
            Oh please. Because Red Bull is the only team to have ever tried to exploit the limits of FIA rules…

          • David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th March 2013, 15:31

            @dennis
            I’m not sure if you were serious by saying that but just in case you were: No, people like Andy Gordon Murray also did that. And what about MSC taking a penalty on the last lap? Perhaps even the P34 and the BGP001? Tyrrell’s wing-on-the-sidepods? Automatic transmission? Things like those?

            If you weren’t, though, my apoligies.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th March 2013, 13:01

        Well that’s the point. The rules say body parts are not allowed to flex. We could see the things flex and if they pas the test then the tests should have been revised. When Sauber, Honda, Ferrari and McLaren were found out to use flex, the tests were revised immediately for the next race. No mucking about or nothing.

        When Red bull was shown to abuse flex … nothing happened. Well they introduced a test of double the load at half the distance (ie same test result).

        it’s Red Bull who should stop whining. It’s pathetic enough they were allowed to use an illegal car for so long. What was it, winter 2009 or 2010 when they ran their “spider front” wing test setup to prepare the car for flexible parts?

        • Gridl0k said on 14th March 2013, 14:47

          The rules say body parts are not allowed to flex.

          Please paste the part of the technical or sporting regs that say this.

          • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 14th March 2013, 16:17

            @gridl0k
            Doing my part to add to the conversation.
            Section 3.17.1 of the Tech Regulations speaks to bodywork deflection, but it does allow for 10mm of movement, and indeed specified the method of test.

        • @patrickl – No they don’t. They say the bodywork has to be able to take a certain load in a static load test, but that is all – the rule has the intention of making flexible bodywork illegal, but it can’t because the rule can be circumvented with clever engineering. That is not “illegal”.

          Here is the FIA regulations regarding flexible bodywork (article 3.17):

          “Bodywork may deflect no more than 10mm vertically when a 1000N load is applied vertically to it at points 675mm and 975mm forward of the front wheel centre line and 790mm from the car centre line.”

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 14th March 2013, 18:56

            Exactly, the intention was clear that wings aren’t meant to flex. That they can doesn’t matter if they abide by the tests, but complaining when the tests are updated is a bit pathetic when clearly that was always going to happen if Red Bull introduced more flex.

    • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 14th March 2013, 11:22

      If the wing was OK under the old test, but will be illegal under the new one, then the wing has been legal at all times it has been used, no?

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 14th March 2013, 11:32

      @ascar2000us & @stjuuv
      The rules say there should not be any movable/moving aerodynamical parts on the car, you could argue if something is deforming/flexing/turning is moving or not, but in the eyes of the regulators it is moving (imo). And while their wings neverr failed at the tests it does not mean that theye were legal, just that there was no measurable evidence of it being illegal.

      • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 14th March 2013, 11:36

        But so were other wings. The good things about rules is that there is no double standard in them.

      • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 14th March 2013, 11:36

        The test is the only applicable measure of legality. No matter what the rules say, it is physically impossible to construct a wing that is 100% rigid and nonflexible, there simply are no common or exotic materials that have such properties. So in any case, the wing will be somewhat flexible no matter what – and to draw a line between what is acceptable and what is not, tests have been designed and outlined in the rules. Therefore – passing the test makes the wing legal by all possible definitions, there is no argument against it.

      • bag0 (@bag0) said on 14th March 2013, 11:53

        @mnmracer
        I did not say that RBR was wrong to make sutch wings, quite the opposite, they made best use of the regulations.

        @stjuuv
        I know that, but I still think if someone kills another man, but there is no way to prove it, he/she is still guilty. On the other hand, you are right to say, there is no way to produce non-deforming parts, and only the FIA is to blame if they cant enforce the rules. They should have different tests, judging the degree of deformation should not be tested by hanging wheights on the parts on predefined consoles. My solution would be, to use water (instead of wind/air), to measure the deformation. There are methods to generate constant high pressure flows (cheaper than a windtunnel), and there could be defined a measuring procedure in which the wings could be tested form different angles, and by the use of water & waterpressure there would be no need to predefine a console.

        • Stjuuv (@stjuuv) said on 14th March 2013, 12:01

          @bag0
          Your murder-analogy has absolutely no basis on reality. The only applicable rules are the ones enforced by tests – if the wing passes the test, it is legal and there are no “ifs and buts”. If the FIA wants to change the rules by changing the rigidity tests, that is their right, and it is completely acceptable, but it has no effect on the wings that were used before the rules were changed, even if the old wings wouldn’t pass the new tests. If you start to assess the old wings by the new standards then why do you stop with the wings? The old 3,0L engines don’t fit under the current rules either, but that doesn’t mean that all the teams were in violation of the rules before 2006.

        • My solution would be, to use water (instead of wind/air), to measure the deformation. There are methods to generate constant high pressure flows (cheaper than a windtunnel), and there could be defined a measuring procedure in which the wings could be tested form different angles,

          Why not cut to the chase and simply require all teams to use identical front wings of the same size, shape, and materials supplied by a single third party manufacturer, in much the same way as they all use Pirelli tyres? That’s the logical outcome of the desire to make F1 another spec series. And of course it would be a lot cheaper.

      • AJ (@ascar2000us) said on 14th March 2013, 11:55

        @bag0 The tests are devised to measure legality as Steven said.
        You cannot claim the wing is illegal because it was perceived to be.

        Seb is just stating that they have complied with the regulations by passing the tests and still have their wings flex.

        • David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th March 2013, 15:45

          I agree with your 1st paragraph, though I don’t think Vettel said anything regarding whether or not they’ve complied with the rules all these days.

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 11:56

      It wasn’t “illegally” flexing. It was flexing within the limits of the FIA test. Get over it already.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th March 2013, 12:24

      @prisoner-monkeys how’s a wing that’s legal illegal?

      The new test is indeed intended to regulate the flexibility of the wing in a way that wasn’t possible to test before. So they will be testing a bigger number of posibilities, and of course, the test is more restrictive.

      As Red Bull were the ones on the eye of the controversy, it’s obvious that Seb’s saying this.

      But in no way it means that the wing was illegal in the past. It’s an obvious juridical matter, really.

      • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 14th March 2013, 14:22

        I think its a case of an illegally legal wing!
        But i think its obvious. The base rule states that aero should not be aided by any moving body parts and hence all the tests. Now if anyone passes the test and still has flexing wings, it violates the base rule but no way to prove it cause standard test methods dont show deflection. That is a failure on FIA’s part and the test methods should be improved to allow for such deflection to be detected.
        Vettel saying that it is to stop red bull is part true cause it was RBR who found the workaround. But the fact is, no other team tried doing it simply cause flexing body parts are illegal [i think], which makes the bigger picture look like FIA actively stopping RBR, but all they are doing is doing their job.

        • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 14:33

          Actually Ferrari tried doing it, and failed miserably at Monza 2011.
          You can’t honestly believe that the other teams would not have made use of that because they feel bad about it…………

          The problem with the rule is, that it’s simply impossible to build a wing that does not move under any circumstances. There has to be a tolerance. And that tolerance is measured with the test. If the wing passes the test, it’s legal. If the wing still moves too much for the taste of the FIA (and that is pretty much the point of the whole story) then they will stricten the test.

          • John Well said on 14th March 2013, 15:06

            Lance was doping and passed all the tests. So are we to say that all of his 7 titles are his because he passed the tests at the time.

            It is good to support a team but we need to at least be honest with ourselves when debating on stuff like this.

          • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 17:01

            @John Well

            I see your point, however, as many others in this thread already mentioned, it is not possible to build an entirely stiff front wing. Hence why there’s a tolerance.
            There is no tolerance on doping.

        • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 14th March 2013, 14:59

          there simply are no common or exotic materials that have such properties.

          Maybe not (although I doubt there are none). But if stack enough sheets of paper together collectively they become rigid to certain forces. Other parts of the car are completely rigid, how did they do that with no common or exotic materials?

          Considering they designed their materials to give a very particular amount of flex above a certain speed, it would be child’s play for them to do the opposite.

          No they simply exploited the rules to the nth degree whilst staying legal. Nothing wrong with that. And nothing wrong with the rules being rewritten to take account of this exploit.

          This too and fro is what defines F1.

          • David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th March 2013, 15:49

            Other parts of the car are completely rigid

            I’m pretty sure they aren’t, althoguh any changes to them probably can’t be measures without a microscope!

          • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 14th March 2013, 17:03

            @DnC : Of course absolutely rigid seems to be a relative term, areas where any kind of flex is undesirable they will have reduced it to a level where it is as good as completely rigid under all anticipated conditions. I’m thinking areas such as the bulkhead or indeed (and obviously) the drivers’ safety cell.
            But I really don’t think making the wings rigid for all anticipated conditions is beyond them at all.

        • if anyone passes the test and still has flexing wings, it violates the base rule but no way to prove it cause standard test methods dont show deflection.

          All wings on all the cars flex. All wings on all the cars will always flex. The degree of flex can be reduced, but never eliminated. If there is a “base rule” which states that the wings cannot flex then Charlie Whiting needs to take remedial physics.

        • flexing body parts are illegal [i think],

          Then you think wrongly. For one thing, the chassis on these cars flexes.

          For another, passive DRS is specifically allowed at present, even though it would seem to be in violation of section 3:15. If RB gets a passive DRS system working successfully you can expect to see furious appeals from the other teams, and those appeals will probably be upheld and the passive DRS banned.

          On the other hand, if a team other than RB (Lotus for instance) is the first to successfully deploy a passive DRS then it may well be deemed legal, in much the same way as the DDRS was accepted last year because it came from Mercedes.

      • how’s a wing that’s legal illegal?

        I suppose in the same way in which engine mapping which was legal was “illegal” in prisoner monkey’s view.

    • Franly, Red Bull haven’t broken any rules. “Illegal” doesn’t apply here because the wings were legal under the wording of the regulations at that time. Moral isssues make no difference, as if you abide by the intention of the rules you will lose.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 14th March 2013, 22:10

        Personally I think that if, as PM says, “Red Bull’s superiority has come about as a result of an illegally-flexing front wing” then it’s far more shame on the FIA and F1 than shame on RB.

        While I totally get PM’s stance on teams, particularly Red Bull as he has opined about going back to last year if not earlier, saying that they are the least moral among the teams, and that teams should not be immoral when it comes to stretching the rules, and have their nerve then complaining when others do it, at the same time I think it seems to just be human nature in sport to stretch the rules. It seems to have gone on for years and years in racing, and other sports, and unfortunately there are millions of people seemingly, who can sleep just fine at night knowing that they succeeded by being slightly immoral if not largely immoral.

        I think Red Bull et al, if they can be within the FIA’s regs on flex, even if it is just within, are going to do that. And realistically, relying upon them to be more moral about it, and to install a wing that has virtually no flex, knowing that others may be benefitting from some flex that is within the rules, is too much to ask of Red Bull.

        If any flex is immoral then it is up to the FIA to make the rule thus. Asking Red Bull to be more moral than anyone else is like asking the fox in the chicken coop to ignore the chickens.

        The FIA should simply make the flex test so stringent that the flex that the teams do manage to have while being within the rules, should be an insignificant amount of flex, if it is the case as SV describes, that taking some flex away from their front wing curtails them.

        A final thought…I’m not convinced SV is whining. Just stating his opinion. I’m not sure the new flex test is meant to only curtail benefits RB might be gaining, or may have in the past. If their amount of past flex was not deemed legal, then other teams could have had that amount too. If other teams want to be more moral than that, then that is great for them, I applaud it, but I stopped expecting it long ago. Not that teams taking a higher moral ground is unheard of. In the MS/Ferrari era, no other team I’m aware of actually contracted a subservient non-competing teammate. That was taking too much of the sport out of it for most teams. But their hands were still forced to decide on a number 1 and number 2 earlier in the season than ever before in order to compete against the MS/Ferrari elephant in the room.

        My bottom line…if Red Bull are more immoral than the rest it is only by a hair, and if they whine the most when others seem to stretch the rules, their whining is only slightly more than the others. In other words, unlike PM, I have difficulty segregating one team from another in terms of their degree of morality. ie. I think they will all get away with anything and everything they can think of that will be ok’d by the FIA, and they will all whine when someone else scoops them on something until that something is made either illegal or legal, at which point the other teams will happily copy that which they previously cried was immoral but has now been deemed legal.

  2. jh1806 (@jh1806) said on 14th March 2013, 11:03

    This article is almost an admission of illegality!

    • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 14th March 2013, 19:14

      I couldn’t agree more but it is interesting to read the different opinions on the topic. Crazy but yes a legal screened front wing that broke the rules because of ingenious sophistication. And THAT is what Vettel is acknowledging by complaining about the new “improved” test.

    • @jh1806 – no, it’s acknowledging they circumvented the rules previously through a legal loophole exploitation and that the rule book has now been changed to prevent that. So it’s an admission of their exploitation…

      • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 15th March 2013, 6:58

        @vettel1
        Circumvent/evade/elude/dodge, and I would go as far as, bend or break the rules. We have to give it to RedBull. It’s very clever but questionable and most likely giving them unfair advantage.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 15th March 2013, 7:05

          @zicasso “breaking” is another kettle of fish entirely – the car was legal and that fact can’t be disputed. It was allowed to race at the time but wouldn’t under the new restrictions, which is all that Vettel is highlighting here.

  3. LuvinF1 (@luvinf1) said on 14th March 2013, 11:06

    I see it as correcting a faulty test to prevent Teams from circumventing already existing rules.

    • Brace (@brace) said on 14th March 2013, 16:15

      How beautifully worded. (no sarcasm)
      All that this whole thing is actually about, you said perfectly in one sentence.

      And as @jh1806 above you noted, Vettel pretty much admitting that they were basically getting away with something, not because it was by the rules, but because the test for determining legality was ineffective.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 15th March 2013, 2:02

        I too agree with the wording above, but as to ‘getting away with something’ I think that is questionable in that it is the FIA’s test, not RB’s. So if RB passes the test, how do you fault them or claim they were getting away with something. I agree there is a morality issue, but I don’t see how you police that, and I can’t envision RB voluntarily backing off on their ambition and assuming everyone else will be equally moral to do the same. There should be a target they all know to strive toward. It’s not supposed to be the foxes running the hen house. It’s up to the FIA to get their tests together and done right they could if they wanted remove all chance to behave immorally regarding front wing flex. I also think they don’t necessarily want to do that because they like a degree of controversy, for it brings headlines, and they don’t want to make the regs so strict and regimented that the likes of Adrian Newey goes off and designs racing yachts.

  4. Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 14th March 2013, 11:10

    It should be pointed out that flexing wings have never actually been legal. All bodywork attached to the car is required to “be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not
    having any degree of freedom” and “must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car” (F1 Technical regulations Article 3.15), and this rule has been in the technical regulations for years.

    The issue has been with the way Article 3.15 is enforced, which the FIA has set out in various different places but is now Article 3.17; teams were designing to meet the tests rather than actually obey what the law says. It wasn’t legal, but it wasn’t illegal in any way that could be detected by scrutineering. The FIA has responded by repeatedly tightening up the enforcement procedures, and quite rightly so.

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 12:17

      “rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom”

      That is wrong. The test the FIA does specifically allows a certain degree of freedom. It is virtually impossible to build a front wing, that does not – in any way – flex giving the forces at work.
      Just watch high-speed footage of cars going over curbs in quick chicanes.

      In the same manner you might just as well write into the rules that no part of the entire vehicle touches the ground at any time. It’s not going to happen.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 16:48

      No @dennis, what @ilanin writes is true.

      It is against the rules to have flexing bodywork to any degree. But because that is in practice not possible, there is a tolerance to allow for materials vibrating etc.

      The test is just a means to make sure teams adhere to the rule, not the rule itself. So when its clear to see for everyone that bodywork meets the test but does not meet what is in the rules about being rigid, the FIA must improve their test to make the parts comply with the rule as far as is possible giving physical limitations of materials. That is exactly what the FIA did now.

      • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 17:09

        @bascb

        You can’t have a rule that permits “any degree of freedom”, while at the same time allow a tolerance in movement. That’s a contradiction, no matter what the wording of the rules say.

        So in fact, there’s a certain degree of movement allowed, if only for the fact that it’s not possible to build it in any other way.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 17:26

          Its not a contradiction. Its the same as you have in many laws saying that something is illegal, and then goes on to define the limits of how it is applicated, just like it is here.

          In 3.15 its clearly defined that no movement is allowed:

          Any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic
          performance
          - Must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).
          - Must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.

          Because all bodywork does have a small amount of flex the FIA defined 3.17 to give the limits of what is actually tested AND the provision mentioned under 3.17.2, that should a test prove not to be sufficient.

          That means that because its visibly clear that the wings move when the car is in motion, those wings do not compy with 3.15. But until the FIA did their job properly and improved the test to show them as such, they were not illegal either.

  5. David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th March 2013, 11:16

    I’m not exactly sure that the title says the right thing as the quote actually reads:

    I think most of the changes to the front wing came in trying to stop us

    Or perhaps by that he was referring to the test?

  6. MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 14th March 2013, 11:32

    It’s kind of obvious that RBR just loop holed the test for the past few years. Buidling a wing that beats the test and still has a flexing trait doesn’t make it fully legal. Just like other things they have done that were created via “loop-hole” in the regulations. However, the FIA should know that teams especially in formula 1 will find a way to get around them without obviously being illegal. Thus the FIA should have figured something out after day 1 when they were being duped by teams like RBR. So I can’t fully blame RBR or anyone else for having clever engineering, but still doesn’t fully make it right.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 14th March 2013, 11:56

      The case is F1 is always run to the letter, not to the spirit of the rules.

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 14th March 2013, 14:00

        @optimaximal Newey did say last year that there was no such thing as the spirit of the regulations. What he failed to realise is that Horner was banging on about the spirit of the regulations when the double diffuser row reared its head in early 2009. So the spirit is there, it just choses its moments to make an appearance!

    • @magillagorilla

      Buidling a wing that beats the test and still has a flexing trait doesn’t make it fully legal.

      Yes it does. It doesn’t break the wording of the rules, hence it is entirely legal by definition.

      Thus the FIA should have figured something out after day 1 when they were being duped by teams like RBR.

      If the FIA had such foresight, the members would be working with the teams. Besides, the regulations are intentionally written with some ambiguity as otherwise there would be no clever circumventions, which is what makes the engineering side of formula 1 so fascinating.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 16:52

        @vettel1 -

        Yes it does. It doesn’t break the wording of the rules, hence it is entirely legal by definition.

        is not true.

        These wings DID break the wording of the rule as mentioned in a post above, only the tests used to discern between a legal win and a not legal wing were not sufficient for the FIA to prove those wings illegal. The rules also state that tests can be changed by the FIA exactly for these kind of cases.

        So that wing certainly was not within the scope of the rules (it clearly was not rigid, nor immobile vs. the sprung part of the car), but it could not be deemed illegal either for lack of sufficient means to prove that.

        • @bascb – I’m not quite understanding what your criticism is here – if the wing passed the test it is legal, if it didn’t it is illegal and will have to be removed. It’s a black and white case.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 17:34

            Not failing the test does not make the wing legal, even if it cannot be deemed illegal because the tests are not sufficient (yet) @vettel1.

            Now I do certainly not intend to say that Red Bull are doing anything illegal, or bad or even unusual here. Its part of F1 to find the loopholes, the new potentials. Or find illegal things the FIA cannot prove are illegal (as was the case with Ferrari flexing their rear wings – after which the up to now existing tests were introduced when teams proved they were flexing them by using analyses of engine sound and speed traps showing the Ferrari was faster than should be possible).

            But I will not be ok with Red Bull now complaining about the FIA finally doing their job, because its not the same as banning something that was perfectly legal up to then (as the FIA did with the exhaust blown diffusers last year. That was a clear move to ban something to cut down on Red Bull’s downforce, as they were doing the best job with them).

          • @bascb

            But I will not be ok with Red Bull now complaining about the FIA finally doing their job, because its not the same as banning something that was perfectly legal up to then

            I am with you in that respect, but I still don’t accept the fact the wings were illegal. By definition, they were – they passed the tests and so were allowed to race. That’s all that matters in the end.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 17:46

            I am glad we agree on the more important thing @vettel1.

          • @bascb – not that I am an advocate of the FIA trying to level the field, but they should just shut up and get on with it essentially.

        • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 14th March 2013, 22:42

          @vettel1 Not sure what you don’t get or what isn’t coming together in your mind. It is quite simple, RBR built the wing they wanted and at the same time ensured that they passed the FIA wing structure test, while still flexing. It isn’t hard, you ignoring it and acting like it isn’t so through rhetoric such as

          not that I am an advocate of the FIA trying to level the field, but they should just shut up and get on with it essentially.

          There is video evidence that proves the flexing of the RBR wing, also it is part of the rules. The FIA are doing their due diligence to the job (more or less, finally), yet you like your favorite driver are complaining because someone is actually doing the job and upholding rules like they should be…my goodness how dare they. The FIA aren’t leveling the field they are following the rules set in place and making sure people don’t exploit loop holes by mandating and making sure the rules achieve what they are meant to in the first place. If that means that tighter rules on front wing test must be done to uphold the original rule, then so be it, because it is THE RULES. As I said RBR can’t fully be blamed, but to sit their and act as if they aren’t finding ways around rules is naive and daft. They’re no angels and neither are any other teams on the grid. Thus it is ironic that you respect @bascb on what he said, then say what I quoted you saying. So you are fine with the idea that RBR shouldn’t complain about FIA doing their job, but yet you have the idea that the FIA’s job is to level the F1 grid and thus need to shut up on how they do thier job…okay…

          @bascb I’m with you on this, and I’m glad you understand where I’m coming from on this. Teams shouldn’t complain when the FIA tries to do their job in a more precise manner, to uphold rules that the teams already know they should be following and not trying to purposely get around or loop hole.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 15th March 2013, 1:54

            @magillagorilla – “shut up and get on with it” is a message regarding Red Bull Racing. In any case I’m not a fan of the FIA stifling creativity to “level the field” which is what is meant from the first part of that statement you have quoted.

            That is a simple misunderstanding on your part. To the point now though, the FIA of course are trying to close of loopholes as they allow for legal performance gains to be had. But these loopholes are closing faster and faster, to the point where I foresee the FIA almost wishing to make a spec series of F1, which is not the way forward. In fact I feel it’s quite the opposite, but that’s another discussion entirely.

      • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 14th March 2013, 17:05

        First off I want to mention that I don’t care what RedBull does or doesn’t, I just mind the other teams seemingly unable to replicate an apparently well-working system (otherwise Vettel wouldn’t care about it so much, but on the other hand maybe the other teams don’t think its as big an advantage as its an effort to build..).
        Yet, as an analogy (that of course isn’t accurate but what analogy ever is), if I steal from people but am smart enough to do it in a way so it can’t be proven I’m still stealing and stealing is still illegal. Executive organs being unable to prove my illegal actions doesn’t make them legal, it just makes me beat the system.
        (just to make sure I’m not being misunderstood: I’m not saying RB is stealing or doing any other illegal things)

  7. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th March 2013, 11:54

    The F-Duct ban was to made to stop Mclaren and the DDRS ban was made also to stop Mercedes AMG.
    Surprised that Helmut Marko didn’t speak instead of Vettel

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 12:07

      The F-duct was copied by basically everyone else during the 2010 season and was banned because drivers were driving one-handed through some of the more dangerous corners. And the double DRS of Mercedes was not giving an advantage big enough to grant rebuilding a whole car, so nobody really made use of it, apart from similar solutions like Red Bull.

      Nobody got the front wing working within the regulations like Red Bull did. The best example was Ferrari in Monza 2011, when they made complete klotzes out of themselves with the borderline dangerous flapping wings they came up with.

      I think a better example would have been the active suspension ban in 1993, which was definitely aimed at stopping Williams and coincidentally Newey as well. Still I don’t get your point. What’s so wrong about saying it the way it is?

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th March 2013, 13:07

        Still I don’t get your point. What’s so wrong about saying it the way it is?

        Because this is not the first time that the FIA bans a device or whatever that gives an advantage to a team,there are many teams that where hurt in the history of this sport by regulations like Williams,Ferrari,Mclaren,Renault…….,
        In this case it sounds like “Conspiracy Theory ” for me.

        • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 14:20

          But as I mentioned in my previous post, what he said is true. In this case it’s entirely aimed at Red Bull. Yes, it has happened before. But you’re interpreting stuff into his words, whereas he simply states something that everyone knows. And for once he’s not even complaining about it. He simply said it’s not even a new situation…

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 14th March 2013, 12:15

      The F-Duct ban was on the grounds of driver-activated aerodynamic aids. The rule was just clarified. DDRS as a concept was banned because it was considered exploiting a secondary effect of DRS.

      Both also had safety implications.

    • the DDRS ban was made also to stop Mercedes AMG

      To stop Mercedes from what? Finishing fifth in the constructors standings? If the only team to use DDRS was Mercedes it would not have been banned. The FIA is perfectly happy with technical innovation as long as it leads to certain desired outcomes. DDRS only became a problem which needed to be removed when Red Bull had success with it. The same is true with the exhaust blown diffuser – RB opposed its introduction initially, then when it was approved they made better use of it than any other team, and then it was banned.

      I’m not even saying that the FIA ought not do what they are doing. Arguably it is in the best interest of the sport if things are kept as close as possible. But I don’t see how anybody can fail to notice that what the FIA are doing is using rule changes to level the playing field by slowing down the faster teams.

      At present that means slowing down Red Bull. But I’ sure that if McLaren had won the last three years they’d be trying to slow down McLaren. In which case you’d see people at Mclaren grumbling (or “whining” to use the word of choice around here) that the rules changes were aimed at them. Like RB at present, they’d be correct.

  8. nickfrog (@nickfrog) said on 14th March 2013, 12:28

    Am I right in thinking that if the front wing didn’t flex at all it would be too brittle and/or too strong and therefore dangerous in case of failure or contact?

    • mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 14th March 2013, 12:49

      you are correct

    • John H (@john-h) said on 14th March 2013, 12:52

      Yes you are right. That’s also why plane wings flex, so that there are no stress concentrations during turbulence.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th March 2013, 12:56

      That’s with a minimum of flex is allowed in the rules. Abusing flex is not allowed though. Although for some reason Red Bull were allowed to use it for 2 or 3 seasons now.

      • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 14:24

        That is entirely your own interpretation and has nothing to do with the actual rules.
        A certain amount of flexing is allowed because it is virtually impossible to build a wing that will never move under any circumstances. The amount is being tested by the FIA. And as long as the wing does not flex according to the test, it is legal. Hence why Red Bull didn’t abuse anything. They built a wing according to the rules.

        Making the tests stricter does not mean that the test before was “faulty” and the wings before were “illegal.”

        • Misteryoso said on 14th March 2013, 16:07

          For example, if someone is carrying cocaine to an airport and passed all the screening tests before boarding the plane, does it mean the cocaine is legal because it passed all the tests?

          • That’s a terrible analogy. A better one would would be whether an athlete found to have testosterone in their system ought to be banned. The answer is “It depends”. Testosterone is a substance which occurs naturally (and necessarily) in all men and women. And flex is the natural and inevitable byproduct of placing pressure on materials. We use tests to determine whether too much testosterone (or flex) is present.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 16:54

      Its also neigh impossible to make anything that does not flex at all, for physical abilities of material @nickfrog

    • I think a more appropriate analogy would be to businesses avoiding large tax payments through loopholes: they are abiding by the rules to their benefit – it may not be popular but they’ve done nothing wrong and it isn’t criminal.

  9. geekracer2000 (@geekracer2000) said on 14th March 2013, 12:41

    God bless him for talking openly about this. Vettel rules!

  10. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th March 2013, 12:53

    It’s ridiculous that they allowed flexing to go on for so long. Especially when on other occasions the FIA had set out to get rid of flexing right at the nest race already. For Red Bull’s flexing there was only this half baked attempt to pretend that the tests were made tougher when in reality they weren’t tougher at all. Then everybody starts to copy the flexing and finally FIA steps in. Pathetic.

    • @patrickl – I suppose then you would prefer a spec series where all the cars were the same and engineering prowess matters not? Come on, loophole exploitation has always been a part of the technical side of Formula one – just look at Gordon Murray’s hydropmneumatic suspension Brabham BT49C, specifically designed to circumvent the rules which attempted to curtail the use of ground effects.

  11. Nomore (@nomore) said on 14th March 2013, 13:18

    So vettel thinks that front wings ban are made on purpose to “trying to stop them” from winning.

    Mr. Vettel the ban of the testing during the season on “what purpose” was made?

    “Save Money”?…well also banning the front wings was made to “save money”
    “All the teams agree to tests ban except Ferrari”?…well “all the teams agree to ban the front wings except Red Bull”

    “trying to stop Ferrari from winning”…hmmmm

    When regulation change occurs it will always affect someone, it will always “stop someone from winning”…always.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th March 2013, 13:37

      FIA should have amended the tests to weed out the illegal front wing flexing right from the start. Now all teams have developed their own version and finally it gets banned. That’s not the way to save money.

      • Benson Jutton said on 14th March 2013, 16:04

        Like the FIA have done for the past 2 years now?

        It sounds to me like the FIA / Haters should provide Red Bull with a wing, maybe then the whining would stop.

        Successful Formula 1 teams who have won a championship did so by pressing the envelope of the rules. It is the nature of the beast…

  12. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 14th March 2013, 13:52

    Oh Seb, that’s what the FIA do to leading teams, they ban things to try keep the sport competitive! Want evidence? Banning electronic driver aids in 1994 to reign in Williams, banning exotic materials in engines and banning the second brake pedal to try reign in McLaren in the late 90′s; banning tuned mass dampers to reign in Renault in the 2000′s….there are millions of examples, Red Bull aren’t in a unique position here. Deal with it…that’s what campions do.

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 14th March 2013, 14:28

      @geemac

      Seriously? But that’s just what he said. It’s not even a new situation. And he’s right. He’s for once not even complaining, just answering a question about the new tests. He just states what everyone in their right mind knew all the time.

  13. DuncF1 (@duncf1) said on 14th March 2013, 13:57

    Mark Webber: “We’ve had a lot of different front wing regulations in the last few years.”

    Like the ‘Number 2 Driver “swapsies” Rule?’ ;)

  14. brny666 said on 14th March 2013, 14:13

    Oooh the evil that is RB exploiting the rules to get every ounce of advantage they can. Stop whining and realize F1 is what it always has been , teams working to the letter and not the spirit if the regulations and citing the “spirit of the regulations” BS when other teams do something they did not think of. All the teams do this, always have always will. (now come at me with “its not that they do it its the way in which they do it that bothers me…”, every other team does exactly the same thing)

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 14th March 2013, 15:33

      Oooh the evil that is RB exploiting the rules to get every ounce of advantage they can.

      Yeah, and then they went crying and whining to the stewarts when Mercedes revealed their DDRS, on multiple occasions even after it was declared legal twice. Funniest part of all? They installed a DDRS on their car themselves later in the year to gain an advantage in qualifying!

      Red Bull are the biggest hypocrites of them all. It’s OK to stretch rules, as long as we’re the only ones that do it.

      • @kingshark – yes I don’t like that attitude, but it’s all part of the competition. Many other teams complained about Red Bull’s hole for example, so I don’t see how they are unique in this. Singling out RBR is wrong.

      • Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 14th March 2013, 16:50

        Don’t be a hypocrite yourself, @Kingshark. The point brny666 was making is that every team does what Red Bull does – that is, stretching the rules, complaining about something some other team develops and, should it be considered legal, proceed to copy it. Just look at the double diffuser saga in 2009.

        Yes, they opposed the DDRS at first, and when they finally got over it, they developed one of their own. What else did you expect?! That they would ignore it on moral grounds? Every team would pursue that if they felt there was enough to be gained, and Red Bull did. That’s not really hypocrisy, they were just using what was legal (protesting is legal too you know) to help them win the championship.

  15. Sounds like a topic for a poll to me!

    Should (a) there be more technical regulations and they to be enforced more strictly so as to reduce the technical differences between different teams cars, (b) the technical regulations should be greatly relaxed so as to be more the way things were in the Old Days of Formula One, or (c) the current regulations are about right.

Add your comment

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

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.