Watch the adjustable rear wing at work here

The FIA’s race director Charlie Whiting has been forced to defend the new-for-2011 adjustable rear wing amid claims that the rules governing its use are too confusing for spectators.

It emerged this week that the sport’s governing body confirmed it would vary the zones at which the gap between battling cars would be measured from circuit to circuit, this prompted current World Champion Sebastian Vettel to comment that the new rules would prove difficult for most fans to understand.

But Whiting has countered this with claims that the rules are straightforward, and also stated that TV broadcasters will be able to indicate which drivers’ systems are armed for use.

“There is no reason to suppose spectators will be confused,” he is quoted in an official FIA interview.

“There will be marks on the track to show the area where proximity is being detected and a line across the track at the point where the drivers whose system is armed may deploy it,” he attempted to explain.

“Furthermore, the television broadcasters will be sent a signal each time a system is armed and this will be displayed to the viewers.”

But rather worryingly, Whiting admitted that drivers can override the automated arming system (with the function designed to support them if there is an electronic failure, for example), leaving it open to misuse, but he has explained that “heavy penalties” would be imposed if this were the case.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.