Adjustable rear wings for 2011 – but only for overtaking
June 23, 2010
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It has been announced by the World Motor Sport Council today that adjustable rear wings will be introduced into Formula 1 for the 2011 season, but can only be deployed when a car is following another, and cannot be used by the leader. This has been implemented to assist overtaking.
The adjustable rear wings would not be allowed to be used in the first 2 laps. Also, it can only be activated when a driver is less than 1 second behind the car in front. The driver is notified by his electronics (a light probably) when the system can be used. When the driver hits the brakes after using the rear wing, the system is disabled.
The World motor Sport Council explained this system in more detail:
"From 2011, adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at
any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose
of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the
driver has completed two laps.
The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race
when he has been notified via the control electronics that it is
enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one
second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions
around each circuit. The system will be disabled the first
time the driver uses the brakes after the system has been activated.
The FIA may, after consulting all the competitors, adjust the time
proximity in order to ensure the purpose of the adjustable
bodywork is met."
I’m not sure about this one. This system gives about 15 km/h extra speed in a straight line, and that is plenty to pass the car in front. However, it may be making it too easy to pass another car, and then when a driver has been overtaken, they can just repass them the following lap.
The F-duct was banned (a good thing in my book) to make way for this innovation, and coupled with KERS (I will write on this later), this could well make overtaking too complicated for the fans, and for the driver.