Your View: Mercedes rear wing gets ‘ok’ from FIA
The innovative rear wing F-duct developed by Mercedes AMG Petronas will most likely be the season’s first, most copied design up and down the paddock now that they’ve received a green light for the system by governing body, the FIA.
FIA technical boss Charlie Whiting told reporters:
“Some teams are questioning it on the basis that they thought F-ducts were banned. Well, F-ducts are not banned.
“At the end of 2010 everyone was using driver operated F-ducts and the regulations that were changed specifically banned the use of driver movement to influence the aerodynamic performance of the car – that got rid of that generation of so-called F-ducts.
“At the beginning of last year, with engineers being unable to unlearn things, they wanted to try and get the effect via different means, and they talked about opening and closing a duct by having interaction with the suspension. We said no, you cannot do that because that is not the primary purpose of the suspension system – which is to insulate the car from undulations in the road.
“There was then a lengthy discussion in the TWG at the beginning of last year about that, to make sure everyone was clear about it. It seems a couple of teams went away from that meeting with the impression that F-ducts were banned in general. Whatever an F-duct is. But they are not.”
Whatever it is, it is allowed and it seems Mercedes have achieved it. The off-season testing was positive for Mercedes and many believe they could make a jump up the grid due to this performance. The rear wing effectively uses a F-duct element which is activated when DRS is deployed stalling the rear wing further and creating more more stall on the wing and increasing their speed.
The question is, how fast can other teams adopt this technology and have some already put the design in place? AUTOSPORT’s Jonathan Noble carried the comments from Whiting at teh press conference as he explained, in very generic terms, what the system was doing:
“What it appears some teams are doing is that when the DRS is operated, it will allow air to pass into a duct and do other things,” he explained.
“That is all I can say – you will probably have a pretty good idea of what it might be doing, and other teams will as well. But it is completely passive. There are no moving parts in it; it doesn’t interact with any suspension. No steering, nothing. Therefore I cannot see a rule that prohibits it.”
Is this 2012′s new dual-diffuser or blown diffuser? Time will see how much of an advantage the car will have but Mercedes were already looking for aggressive in testing and that’s a good sign as to the veracity of the system and today’s statement from the FIA is equally positive for the team.
So what do you think? is this beyond the letter of the law or spirit of the law or is there even such as thing? Have Mercedes gone too far? One side of me knows the issue the other teams are arguing and that’s natural for them to do so because they didn’t think of it. The other side of me thinks it is not fair to wring every part of innovation out of the series because that’s what it used to be known for. What do you think?