Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Horner insists RB7 is legal

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In today’s round-up: Christian Horner insists the RB7 complies with the regulations after fresh questions over its front wing.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Christian Horner defends the legality of Red Bull’s car (BBC)

McLaren have developed a car that has a very low rear-ride height, and therefore a low front wing for them doesn’t work. We run quite a high rake angle in our car. So inevitably when the rear of the car is higher, the front of the car is going to be lower to the ground. It is obvious science, and therefore our wing complies fully with the regulations. It will look lower to the ground because the rake in the car is higher, but it is simple mathematics.”

Mark Webber says Kers are a ‘no-brainer’ for Red Bull in Malaysia (The Guardian)

“It’s a no-brainer. You need KERS. If it’s working reliably and well, you should have it on the car.”

Todt blames dull circuits for contributing to TV decline (ESPN)

“Races like Abu Dhabi in 2010, where you cannot overtake, are unacceptable. Recent data indicates a fall in the numbers of spectators. People have many choices in how to spend their leisure and every day we must ask ourselves how we can improve the entertainment.”

Sauber alters legality-check procedure (Autosport)

“We had to first understand what happened and how it happened, which we did. We then focused on basically looking at the legality-check procedure we had and see how it could happen there.”

HRT lands Mercedes windtunnel deal (Joe Saward)

HRT has concluded a deal to use one the spare Mercedes GP Petronas wind tunnel in Brackley, which is not being used by the German-owned team because of the Resources Restriction Agreement.”

Malaysian GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

With Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, Sebastien Buemi, Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg.

Exclusive Q&A with Renault?s Vitaly Petrov (

“The winter was not easy. We didn?t know where we were and tried some upgrades without really knowing if they would help us. To be fair the Melbourne performance was not such a surprise. But of course you always hope that something like this will be the result of all your winter efforts. When I landed P6 in qualifying – and everybody had been saying that the first qualifying session would give the first real hint of the pecking order – then we knew that we had done a lot of things right. That was a proud moment.”

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Comment of the day

Merk praises Speed’s commentary-free coverage:

The live stream from is amazing. Just Sights and Sounds. Closest you?ll ever come to actually feeling like you?re at the practice. I just hope the internet traffic doesn?t time it out again.

From the forum

Could the success of Sergio Perez lead to a return of the Mexican Grand Prix?

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  • 70 comments on “Horner insists RB7 is legal”

    1. I’m still confused by the Front wing, Horner says it’s due to them running a higher rear rake, fair enough but the wing flexes and touches the floor as you can clearly see on any many pictures. If the wing was lower but both sides didn’t bend like a banana nobody would have a problem.

      I thought there was an FIA rule that if any part of the bodywork flexes it is deemed illegal….

      1. I thought there was an FIA rule that if any part of the bodywork flexes it is deemed illegal….

        There is a rule for this. The FIA is just being it’s usual hypocritical, unclear, inconsistent self.

        Couple of links to prove my point..

        1. The rules are very clear. Rule 3.17 of the technical regulations defines precisely the kind of deflection that many defined spots of the car are allowed to show. If the RB7 is tested and does not break any of those rules its clear that Horner is right in saying their car is legal.
          Anyway, reading those rules it is also rather obvious that the ‘spirit of the rules’ here is clearly that anything on the car may only deflect in a controled and mostly linear fashion. Furthermore 3.17.8 states that to ensure the legality of the car, tests can and may be changed if illegality is suspected (as they did last year).

          But lets take a look, what do the rules say about the flexing of the front wing:

          Bodywork may deflect no more than 20mm vertically when a 1000N load is applied [to the front wing.]

          The distance to the reference plane at that point is 75mm if I’m not mistaken. Everyone is invited to do the math, it is virtually impossible to break that rule or am I missing something? Following the linearity logic, when applying 375kg to it, it can bend 75mm. That means it can touch the ground. I read that when at top speed, the equivalent of 2000kg is forcing the front wing down and yet, even RedBulls wing is still above the surface of the track, so I dare go out on a limb here: the car doesn’t break the rules.
          (There are other reference points that are measured and it may break those rules, but nobody complained about those yet.)

          But if what I just wrote were true, then why do the other teams wings not bend at all? Do they use more rigid materials because they are worried it could bend too much or even break? The question I’m asking for a while now is stil not being answered, why do RBs body parts flex and the other teams’ don’t? There must be a reason and I woudn’t mind if the reason was that I read the rules wrong. So correct me please.

          1. Or does the wing have to stay above the 75mm even when the 1000N are applied? In that case it would be easy to change the tests to ban the wings that flex too much.

            1. bananarama … From my understanding of the rules, nothing is supposed to be below the reference plane, or articulated below the reference plane except 1) the skid block, 2) that part of the four tires in contact with the ground, and 3) possibly anything that may have broken but does not pose a danger to the competitors, marshalls or spectators. The complaint – which has not been formally made by anyone – is that Red Bull’s wings are not “relatively stiff” as the rules specify. The test, however, allows Red Bull to deploy a flexible wing which displays a non-linear deflection capability.

              And as far as Horner is concerned – “yon Cassius protesteth too much”. To me, he knows they are bending the rules as well as the front wing.

          2. Red Bull is simply taking advantage of the following declaration:

            2.6 Measurements:

            All measurements must be made while the car is stationary on a flat horizontal surface.

            The relevant clauses:

            3.15 Aerodynamic influence:

            … any specific part of the car
            influencing its aerodynamic performance:

            – must comply with the rules relating to bodywork;

            – 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.

            3.17 Bodywork flexibility:

            3.17.1 Bodywork may deflect no more than 20mm vertically when a 1000N load is applied vertically to it 800mm
            forward of the front wheel centre line and 795mm from the car centre line. The load will be applied in a downward direction…

            This is the updated rule that is clearly not upto the job of enforcing 3.15. Further to this, the FIA state:

            3.17.8 In order to ensure that the requirements of Article 3.15 are respected, the FIA reserves the right to
            introduce further load/deflection tests on any part of the bodywork which appears to be (or is suspected of),
            moving whilst the car is in motion.

            There is another area that are affected by this wing issue, as mentioned in my previous post.

            Drawing 7 of the technical regulations outlines that the front wing must be no less than 85mm from the reference plane.

            If the FIA takes measurements whilst the car is in motion (using sensors) they could enforce this rule much more effectively.

          3. Bananarama … I had to read your post twice to make sure I understood the point you are making. Located immediately below and parallel to the reference plane is the “skid block”. This is what is measured for uniform wear to make sure no one is taking advantage of a low ride height. The reference plane is not the “ground”. There is no required dimension that defines the distance between the reference plane and the ground – therefore the skid block.

            1. My point is much more that the rule looks like everything is just fine as long as my front wing bends in a linear fashion that is 19.9mm per 1000N. And 19.9mm/1000N is quite a lot considering the pressure on a front wing while the car is moving.
              Lets assume the figures I read are near true (2000kg at topspeed) and the reference plane is 25mm from the ground and the distance from reference plane to wing is 85mm. Everything while not moving. In this example the wing could bend down almost 110mm without touching the ground. So that makes 110mm/20000N = 5,5mm/1000N < 20mm/1000N which would be the limit (always considering everything is linear). So how could RedBull break the rules in that case? Even if we change the figures dramaticly, halve the pressure and add another 50mm distance to the ground, it would still be hard to get to a point where the wing breaks the rules. Or not?!
              (maybe I'm just misunderstanding something)

            2. @bananarama:

              I think what people are taking issue with, is that there are rules stating very specifically that any body parts that affect aerodynamic performance, should at all times remain stationary in relation to the reference plane. In other words, no flexing is to occur at all.

              The rules you quoted aren’t the rules, they are the details of the tests conducted to check compliance with the rules. Horner has somehow managed to convince quite a large part of the world that the tests are what define the rules instead of the other way around. In other words, the Red Bull is compliant with the tests, but very, very obviously not with the rules and every time Horner comes out with this bull****, I lose more respect for the man.

              You know, I could get very worked up over this if I let myself ;)

            3. I can understand that. But where would we be if all engineers always just built cars by the spirit of the rules? And if the FIA really wanted to prohibit this, they’d ask a professor how much a carbon fibre of the rigidity to withstand the crashtests should bend vertically, add 5% to it and make that the new limit. Until that happens, other teams should have exploited that loophole aswell, not only the “fizzy drinks company” (which I admit is the thing that annoys me the most at this point).

      2. Would it be that hard to put a photo-detector and a high speed camera somewhere on the track, in a place where the cars travel at about 250km/h? Then we could measure the ride height and the front wing height right there on the track. The test could be conducted just prior to the qualifying.

        1. No, but the results would be virtually meaningless and wouldn’t stand up in court.

          Even the smoothest of tracks are bumpy and uneven, which means ride height and wing height changes quite radically while the car is in motion. This is especially the case during acceleration, braking and cornering, i.e. most of the lap. This is why the load tests (and others) are done on a flat patch. The plank is meant to stop teams going below a minimum ride height – and yet we see cars grounding fairly often, suggesting they’ve momentarily gone well below that minimum.

          Any team lawyer worth their salt will find more holes in the test than a Swiss cheese. If you can’t enforce the rule, i.e. by agreeing a undisputable way of measuring compliance, then it becomes largely worthless.

          1. I hear you, but such a test wouldn’t be performed during acceleration, breaking or cornering. I think it’s possible to find a bump-free place on the main straight, where cars go reasonably fast. Of course to establish the minimum allowed height, FIA should take vibrations into account, but I doubt they should be that dramatic.

            Maybe the test could be repeated two or three times, and the average measured value would be considered as a result.

            Maybe it wouldn’t be the best way, but it would be better than the static load tests in preventing dangerously low ride height.

            1. How many circuits can you think of where cars are not accelerating, braking or cornering at some point? And it would be completely impossible at, say, Monaco.

              Bump free does not mean flat – most circuits are cambered to help direct rain off the main surface. Unless the surface is entirely flat the measurements are subject to significant amounts of error.

              That’s the reason why the FIA takes its measurements on a highly engineered flat patch. The teams all spend large amounts of money on their own flat patchs for setting their cars up. Doing it on any old bit of ground – even one that looks flat to the naked eye – causes enormous problems.

            2. “How many circuits can you think of where cars are not accelerating, braking or cornering at some point?”

              At some point: yes.
              At the point designated for the test: no.

              It’s quite simple, actually. I don’t even see the point of this question. Equally I could ask: how many circuits can you think of where cars are accelerating, braking or cornering ALL the time?

              The obstacles you listed are not impossible to overcome. In fact most are trivial. Even at Monaco there are places where the track is reasonably flat and the cars go well over 250 km/h.

              Yes, the result of such a test wouldn’t be incredibly precise, but that’s NOT the purpose. It has to ensure that the teams are within a given ballpark, and that their bodywork does not flex excessively. That’s all. Current tests are definitely insufficient in that regard.

              Red Bull’s wing is practically touching the tarmac at high speed, and other teams will try to replicate that. If that’s not dangerous, then why do we bother with any rules regarding ride height?

            3. Using a test that you acknowledge to be imprecise would cause problems in enforcing the rules and making punishments stick.

              I agree you may be able to use your test to get a basic impression of which front wings get closest to the ground. But that doesn’t get you very far. To enforce the regulations you’d need to define what degree of flexing constitutes excessive flexing (“excessive” being a subjective term which people may interpret very differently). Any team which was punished because it was just over that defined limit could legitimately appeal and win on the grounds that the test is widely known to be imprecise and therefore fundamentally flawed. And if Red Bull have truly mastered carbon fibre layering technology they’ll be able to stay just within the limits anyway.

              If you can’t reliably demonstrate non-compliance with a regulation you can’t enforce it. Which is why the FIA is stuck with trying to enforce compliance with the regulations by using static measurements, which are accurate enough to stand up in court. Those tests may be imperfect, but such is life.

    2. I believe that they are still masterfully exploiting the difference between what’s written in the rules and the practical definition – i.e. passes the defined test – of “legal” .

    3. todt is right – most new tracks are terrible. so much for no confrontation!

      1. He’s doing what he can though in terms of restricting aero and reintroducing ground effects for 2013. Once drivers can slipstream more effeectively, even “dull” circuits could become incredibly exciting.


        1. Lets hope the FIA does get a word in this, its their championship after all! Todt did not want to go into media statement confrontational style, but he made clear there is enough to fight over.

          From what we have so far seen with the latest new tracks (Korea, India) it looks like Bernie and race promotors are now thinking of that aspect of having interesting racing as well.

          A case in point off course is Tavo Hellmund and the Austing GP, which looks like a fans dream for exiting stretches. I hope it works out.

          And off course the 2013 regulations for aero development should help, as US_Peter writes.

    4. If Red Bull have found a way around FIA scrutiny on the flexibility of their front wings again, then fair play to them. As Colin Chapman would have said; “rules are there for the interpretation of wise men and the obedience of fools”

      Everyone in F1 tries to bend the rules as far as possible to gain advantage. Its only because Red Bull are ahead that people complain about them.

      1. That’s a fantastic Chapman quote, and so true.

        1. Very true, but I do not like Horner being so aggressive on it. He perfectly knows there is reason to critisize as they are clearly getting away with something, why deny it?

          Cleverly done, good job, but please do not play innocent.

          1. Sush Meerkat
            8th April 2011, 8:31

            Very true, but I do not like Horner being so aggressive on it.

            You gotta admit that he has a point when he says the RB7 has to pass the FIA test not the McLaren test, remember last year at Monza?, when the FIA increased the load tests after protest from the McLaren garage… it was the MP4 that needed revisions to its floor to pass the test not the RB6.

            Thats when McLarens pace tailed off last year, if they had kept quiet they could have in theory won the championship with some solid drives.

            Its the cool fuel debacle of 2007 all over again, McLaren need to look inwards before getting desperate and pointing fingers.

            1. Sure, but its not like McLaren is actually making noise about it, are they?

              This is Horner speaking out after media have asked other drivers and team principals for their comments. They all said just about what everyone can see: those wings do flex very much on track.
              And maybe that piece about RBs fancy software that came out recently.

              The other teams all seem to be working either at copying it, or finding a way to uncover Red Bull. Whatever they manage first.
              For now, clever job RB.

            2. McLaren had been suffering for pace long before, at Germany and Hungary. Then they spent ages on the EBD and updated F-Duct. Even then they could have won had Hamilton had a crystal ball telling him two fourth places would have been enough to secure the championship.

        2. Actually that’s a terrible quote. It’s basically justification to exploit others’ obedience to the rules because somehow you’re smarter or better.

          1. It’s actually a justification to exploit others’ obedience to the spirit of the rules. The RB7 appears to comply with the letter of the rules, even if it subverts their intention.

    5. Horner is lying. there is something not right (or too right) with that Redbull

      1. I think the word “lying” is probably too strong to describe his comments. “Economical with The Truth” I believe to be a far more acceptable description.

        It’s typical F1 anyway. I can’t think of any team that hasn’t, at one stage, found an advantage in the rules and has enjoyed the superiority for a while until the others catch up. This is what keeps F1 fresh and unlike any One Make series..

        1. “Economical with The Truth”


      2. Horner is lying. there is something not right (or too right) with that Redbull

        If someone enjoys success, it does not mean they are cheating.

    6. It’s certainly in his job description to try and bamboozle the likes of us with plausible half-truths while not giving anything away to his rivals.
      Correct me if I’m wrong (and there’s plenty of fanatics here to do just that!) but wouldn’t more rake mean more rear end ground clearance, and thus compromise the effectiveness of the diffuser? I got the impression that the back end of the RB was pretty well glued to the track.

      1. Red Bull does seem to have more rake, but that doesn’t explain how their wing pivots down. I am sure it beats the tests, and is clever, but having seen how quick and creative the FIA have sometimes been in the past in banning things they didn’t like (the mass damper being an example), it still feels wrong. Of course, that was with Mosley still leading FIA and playing his games.

    7. Horner is missing the point – intentionally I suspect. It is an observable fact which can be confirmed via the cameras hardmounted to the monocoque – the front wing on RB7 (like it’s predecessor) is flexing.

      The issue is that for performance gains they are evidently exploiting this flex to lower the wing beyond the permitted ground clearance. This is a breach of the regulations.

      If the FIA were concerned enough to beef up the rules last year, they ought to be equally concerned now and should look at improving the tests.

      Putting sensors on the endplates would clear this up once and for all.

    8. weather update: only a 40% chance of rain on saturday now. Practice seems dry.

    9. Sooo … Red Bull (still) gives you (bendy) wings?

      Well, if they are still passing the required tests this season, then I’m afraid it’s time to catch up (technology-wise), or shut up :/

      1. Horner’s detractors should learn to be a bit more “flexible” in their thinking.

    10. ehh Horner is being to smell like a lying politician to me.. Kinda insulting the intelligence of everyone really…

      1. being = beginning *

      2. That’s what I dislike most of all, giving these fake explanations. If he just stuck to “we pass the test, change them if you have a problem” I could just about sympathise with them.

    11. It may be a bit rude but here is a repost of what I wrote yesterday, because someone asked for a link I added it now:
      On a german website I read an article that consisted of interviews with different people from Renault talking about Petrov. They seem to agree that he is better than percieved and last year was hard for him because he had virtually no testing and (now this one I didn’t know yet) because Kubica isn’t the person to easily share anything, which makes it difficult for a rookie (and that Heidfeld would be different).
      In a related article Renault engineers told some minor information about their exhaust system. The packaging of an exhaust of a perfect length (to avoid vibrations and therefore energy losses) to the front proved to be quite difficut, so their exhaust system seems to be rather long compared to a standard solution which would cost them about 15 to 20 bhp.

      1. It’s a bit of extra weight for the Renault as well to get the exhausts at that perfect length as well.

        To drop 15 to 25 horsepower and add a bit of weight really makes me think that Renault must have something really special going on there.

      2. did a renault engineer really say that they are 15-20bhp down , because of their exhaust????? hmmmmm ;)

    12. The wings are bending, the current tests can’t detect that, and the FIA isn’t willing to change the tests so the conditions replicate what is happening on the track. Sooner or later the other teams will find the way to replicate the bending. I just hope the FIA doesn’t ban then what is allowed now, so the teams have to start designing from scratch again, that would have been giving the Bulls an unfair advantage for all the time that the FIA decided not to change the way of testing to enforce the true spirit of the rule.

      1. That sounds to me like the likely scenario, unfortunately. Something like: if only one team does it, well, okay, but if everybody does it, we need to get a handle on it – missing that the one that does is going fastest through corners with it, and seems unstable close behind others due to it; ie. it is already an arguable safety risk.

    13. So at least some one from the FIA finally talked about improving circuit, I hope they now change the rule.

    14. I just noticed an opportunity that comes only once every .. long time: I can be the first to say that HRT seem to have done something good! In case they have something to actually put into the wind tunnel, its good for them to have the chance to use one now :-)
      And now off you go boys and qualify for the Malaysian GP so we have another positive thing to say about you :-P

    15. Is Horner calling his Redbull a seesaw? Because I can’t see how that car can pitch forward apart from under braking.
      Claiming the rear of the car is much higher than the Mclaren, when we all know that you lose rear end aerodynamic efficiency, which will reduce downforce generated by the diffuser, exhaust blown or not.

    16. Well Todt’s comments are interesting. But it is the FIA that approves the tracks and they are resposible for all the boring tracks.

      1. Yes. And compare, NASCAR is all passing all the time and that is no fix for their recent commercial anxieties. NASCAR is suffering, according to conventional wisdom, because it lacks drivers and storylines the fans care about as much as before. The product, if you are worried about revenues, has to have more than passing. F1 does a terrible job at marketing its personalities and storylines. Todt should focus on that, instead of figuring out how to butcher the racing and the cars so F1 it will appeal to someone who will only watch for 15 mintues before deciding if it is exciting enough.

        And his reference to Abu Dhabi is daft. Historically, Abu Dhabi has seen plenty of passing. And, as others point out, Abu Dhabi is like the crown jewel of theoritically passing-friendly Tilke tracks. How many mega-straights going into chicanes/hairpines do we need to foment passing? If the DRS fails, or doesnt’ have an affect on ratings, where does it stop then. Sprinkler systems? Painting white lines in braking zones like Indycar? FIA-switched nitrous tanks for the cars? This passing fixation is a road to ruin.

    17. I get the impression that Horner’s comments are a knee jerk reaction to the very public outing of their relationship with MSC Software; MSC have effectively told the world how the wing is able to flex whilst still being legal (

      I quote:

      “but multi-physics coupling of these effects allows us to legally enhance the performance of deformable components, for example to optimise down-force and drag characteristics for flexible wing components

      I think Horner sounds quite desperate to be honest, as both he and Newey know if the other teams manage to replicate their wing, their advantage is going to be slashed (elbeit it will take a lot of R&D before they perfect it like RBR).

      As a previous poster mentioned, frankly, if the FIA were to ban the flexy front wing now, I’d be hugely miffed – they’d effectively be saying RBR had an illegal advantage all of last year and whilst it was ok then, now it’s not.

      I just hope the other teams read F1Fanatic and Scarbs etc ;)

      1. That’s very interesting, thanks for linking that.

    18. kenneth Ntulume
      8th April 2011, 10:05


      t will look lower to the ground because the rake in the car is higher, but it is simple mathematics.

      Christian Horner simple mathamatics???????? yeah right!

    19. It’s quite refreshing to see that it is not only the case of Mc Laren and Ferrari fans saying how evil the opposite team is. Thanks to Horner, I can read Ferrari and McLaren fans saying how Red Bull is -insert negative comment here-. Yep, being a front runner definitively makes you evil.

    20. Funny, I didn’t know having a high rear rake made your front wing do this

      You can see clearly that when Vettel’s right endplate is outside of the slipstream (and thus under greater pressure than the left), it flexes down. When Vettel chops left and the right endplate comes into the slipstream, it bounces up again, whereas the left endplate, which is now outside of the slipstream, bends down.

      I’ll keep saying it: if it violates the letter of the rule but not the test, then it’s clear what’s wrong.

    21. All of the cars do not comply fully to rule 3.15 which states that there should be no movement in bodywork. All of the cars violate the letter of this rule (3.15).

      All cars must therefore comply with rule 3.17 (specifically 3.17.1 in the case of the front wing).

      Until such time as another test can be used to measure wing deflection, then the Red Bull wing remains legal.

      1. Would it still be legal if Adrian Newey were to come out and declare: “We designed our front wings to flex at high speeds while at the same time complying with regulation 3.17”?

        1. 1.Why would he do that? 2.Why wouldn’t it still be legal just because he says the wing is designed to do what it does? In order to be legal it is only required to pass the appropriate test. After that, Newey’s front wing can do what it wants as long as it passes the same test after the race as ended.

          No car would be legal if it were solely required to comply with article 3.15. Therefore more appropriate regulations have to be drawn up. 3.17 is such a regulation.

      2. Incorrect:

        3.15 Aerodynamic influence:
        With the exception of the cover described in Article 6.5.2 (when used in the pit lane), the driver adjustablebodywork described in Article 3.18 and the ducts described in Article 11.4, any specific part of the carinfluencing its aerodynamic performance:
        -must comply with the rules relating to bodywork
        -must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having anydegree of freedom)
        -must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car

        In any case, your argument is invalid. Let’s say no cars have fixed bodywork in relation to the sprung part of the car. That to me suggests it’s something unavoidable, or like the “only use the track rule” is glossed over or you’d have to disqualify every car, every time it moved, just as you would have to disqualify every driver who accidentally ran wide because you interpreted the rule too strictly. Red Bull’s wings, however, are the only ones who flex to a significant degree, which screams purpose.

        If that’s not enough:

        No part having an aerodynamic influence and no part of the bodywork, with the exception of the skid block in 3.13 above, may under any circumstances be located below the reference plane.

        1. The front wing is rigidly mounted to the nose of the car. This is also the place where the front wing is located. It passes the FIA rigidity test.

          The steering wheel is “located” on the steering column, but is still able to turn about that axis.

          In any case, all of these measurements and regulations apply when the car is stationary.

          I know I’m right because I know that the FIA knows that it’s right. And if all of the other teams are so hung up about it, why have not a single one of them protested?

          1. Red Bull’s wings, however, are the only ones who flex to a significant degree, which screams purpose.

            The “purpose” of front wings is to provide downforce. It is not a mandatory item. All the teams take advantage of having a front wing for the “purpose” of improving the cars performance.

            1. Euh?

              There are very, very specific parameters for the dimension of the front wings. By your logic – which says that the RBR front wing is legal because the test parameters say they are – that means they must be mandatory.

              Besides, they may not be mandatory, but that does not change the fact that no part of the car that influences aerodynamic performance is allowed to flex. The front wing is vital to aerodynamic performance, so it should not flex. Period. And it certainly should not flex to a point lower than 20-whatever cm above ground, because that’s what it says in the rules. And yet, RBR are getting away with a wing that literally destroyed itself by scraping the ground in Australia.

              Yes, it’s very clever and technologically very well implemented what RBR have done. But that doesn’t make it permissible within the rules. And if the FIA/FOTA are serious about cost cutting, they will ban this bloody wing before everyone pours 90% of their budget into attempting to replicate it.

    22. That will be the same wind tunnel that Brawn GP rented out back in 2009 – I remember their website had a dedicated ‘rent our tunnel’ page on it!!

      HRT windtunnel V Virgin CFD

      Who will win…

    23. @Ral

      Besides, they may not be mandatory, but that does not change the fact that no part of the car that influences aerodynamic performance is allowed to flex. The front wing is vital to aerodynamic performance, so it should not flex. Period. And it certainly should not flex to a point lower than 20-whatever cm above ground, because that’s what it says in the rules. And yet, RBR are getting away with a wing that literally destroyed itself by scraping the ground in Australia.

      Nowhere in the regulations does it say that the wing should flex no lower than any height above the ground.

      All F1 cars front wings flex and so all F1 cars front wings break the rule that says that aerodynamic components should not move.

      Rule 3.15 says that no flexing at all is allowed. That simply isn’t possible for items like front and rear wings. So rule 3.17 supersedes that and allows the wing to flex to a maximum of 20mm when a 1000N weight is placed upon it. The Red Bull wing passes the test.

      1. This

        No part having an aerodynamic influence and no part of the bodywork, with the exception of the skid block
        in 3.13 above, may under any circumstances be located below the reference plane.

        together with this

        Beneath the surface formed by all parts lying on the reference plane, a rectangular skid block, with a
        50mm radius (+/-2mm) on each front corner, must be fitted.

        means that it should not be possible for the front wing to be scraping along the asphalt. Because the skidblocks are attached underneath the reference plane.

        It may not be possible for the material that the wings are made of to not flex under the loads generated in F1. But none of the teams, including RBR, had any problems at all producing wings that came anywhere near bending enough to come below the reference plane.

        Also, that argument is totally irrelevant in a discussion about the legality of the RBR front wing. One wheel tether not enough to keep a wheel attached when the suspension fails? Attach another one. Wing too bendy? Make it thicker.

        1. No part having an aerodynamic influence and no part of the bodywork, with the exception of the skid block
          in 3.13 above, may under any circumstances be located below the reference plane.

          The front wing is not “located” beneath the reference plane when the measurements during scrutineering are taken. It is not “located” beneath the reference plane at any other time either. As was pointed out in another post, the steering wheel is “located” on the steering column, but has free movement about that axis. The Red Bull wing has 20mm of free movement during the wing test. It passes that test.

          Also, that argument is totally irrelevant in a discussion about the legality of the RBR front wing. One wheel tether not enough to keep a wheel attached when the suspension fails? Attach another one. Wing too bendy? Make it thicker.

          One is a safety issue, the other is not.

          The Red Bull wing passes the flex test. Other teams will have to deal with it.

    24. Hooray for me! (sorry, drunk)

    25. I was on a pretty boring day actually…

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