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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Flexi-wings tougher to use in F1 2022, however might develop into concern – Key

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Flexing wings are a perennial subject in F1, which got here up once more in 2021 when two separate aero rows between Mercedes and Crimson Bull took centre stage.

After Might’s Spanish Grand Prix Mercedes was sad about Crimson Bull’s “flexible” rear wing, which led to extra stringent check on the French Grand Prix, a lot to the dismay of rival groups who had been additionally pressured to alter their rear wing designs to remain throughout the revised guidelines.

Close to the top of a hotly-contested season roles had been reversed as Crimson Bull took concern with Mercedes’ rear wing design at varied races, together with Brazil, believing it had spotted “score marks” which allegedly pointed to extreme flexing to extend straightline velocity.

After conducting further, exploratory checks through the Qatar Grand Prix weekend, the FIA mentioned it had not discovered any proof of foul play, but it surely did establish methods to enhance its strategies for finishing up flex exams, that are set to be tweaked in 2022.

In keeping with McLaren tech chief Key, the 2022 technical laws, which radically overhaul each the entrance and rear wing design and put the emphasis on floor impact, will nonetheless present groups with some scope to play with the aero-elasticity of their automobiles.

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PLUS: Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022’s rules shakeup

However whereas he admits flexi-wings would possibly develop into “some type of concern”, he believes the stringent laws will make it tougher for groups to seek out exploits, particularly after the eye the subject acquired final yr.

“I feel the sensitivity of the aero-elastics has modified and I feel that’s nicely understood from the laws which were mentioned at size, easy methods to higher handle parts which might flex,” Key mentioned.

McLaren MCL35M rear wing element

Photograph by: Giorgio Piola

“Among the exams are extra stringent – rear wing exams, for instance, can be a bit of bit more durable – and a number of the issues that occurred [in 2021] with these areas have carried by to 2022 and I feel there’s a variety of consideration being paid to that.

“The entrance wing in 2022 is a large factor but it surely nonetheless has a really stringent set of tips on stiffness, so I feel there’ll at all times be a couple of methods to play however I don’t suppose there’s going to be one thing simple to use. 

“You’ve acquired a few completely different parts on the automobile which might have a sure degree of stiffness, which you can exploit legally, so there are numerous new instruments to play with in 2022.

“It is going to most likely develop into some type of concern I’m positive, however it isn’t one thing the groups or the FIA are ignoring. It’s a pretty clear space the place we’re very cautious to manage appropriately for subsequent yr.”

Extra reporting by Luke Smith and Jonathan Noble

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