Several F1 drivers have raised concerns about the rule-makers’ proposal to introduce an adjustable rear wing into the 2011 technical regulations, and have raised concerns on two points: that the racing will become artificial; and on safety grounds.
The sport’s governing body gave the thumbs up to the concept, which will see drivers being able to open up a slot gap in the rear wing to improve their straight-line speed and allow them to overtake cars running ahead of them.
With the leading car not allowed to enjoy such an advantage, drivers have argued that the purity of the racing could be tarnished.
Indeed, Mark Webber went on to describe the new rule as being more appropriate “for Playstation”.
In stating a very convincing case, Webber went on to say: “Overtaking moves should be about pressurising, being skillful, and tactical. Yes we want to see more overtaking, of course we do, we know that, but we also need to keep the element of skill involved in overtaking and not just hitting buttons, like KERS, like adjustable rear wings.
"We need to get the balance right in having skillful races between each other, and not an [IndyCar racing] where you pass each other four times per lap and everyone gets bored of that.
Renault’s Robert Kubica has mirrored Webber’s thoughts, and additionally argued that the failure of the adjustable front wing currently in the regulations would probably translate to the same outcome for the adjustable rear wing, if it were implemented.
“It still will be the same for everyone and we will see how it will be working,” Kubica said. “The [adjustable] front wing was introduced to help overtaking by following the other cars, and we have seen it didn’t work out.”
Lotus’ Jarno Trulli has also waded into the debate, but with a sensible argument very much centred around driver and spectator safety.
“I’ve only read a little bit about the new regulations and the one I do not appreciate is the movable rear wing, just on the question of safety,” he said. “We have to make sure we can run it in a way that it is safe.
“I have the lost the rear wing a couple of time and it is one of the most dangerous things you can have happen to you because you are no longer in control of your car. Normally it fails at very high speed and you’re going to end up hitting the wall. I do not want to have the worry of my rear wing failing. The front wing is slightly different even though it is still a problem, the rear wing is worse.
“I’ve had rear wing failures with Renault, Toyota [and] Jordan and I have always been very lucky [not to be injured]…”