SportF1McLaren thinks the flexible wing will be a problem...

McLaren thinks the flexible wing will be a problem in F1 2022

Flexing the wings is something that teams always look for in F1, but it took on even more prominence in 2021 when Mercedes and Red Bull began to see possible irregularities in their rival cars.

After the Spanish Grand Prix in May, Mercedes seemed unsatisfied with Red Bull ‘s “flexible” rear wing, prompting the FIA to run a much stricter test at the French Grand Prix, much to the dismay of rival teams that were also forced to change their designs to stay within the revised rules.

Near the end of a hotly contested season, the roles were reversed when Red Bull took issue with Mercedes ‘ rear wing design at several races, including in Brazil, where they spotted markings that reportedly pointed to excessive flexing to increase drag. straight line speed.

After carrying out further checks during the Qatar Grand Prix weekend, the FIA said it had not found any evidence of foul play but identified ways to improve its methods for carrying out flex tests, which will be changed in 2022.

According to McLaren chief technology officer Key , the new technical regulations for 2022, which radically overhaul front and rear wing design and put an emphasis on ground effect, will still give teams some leeway to play with the aeroelasticity of their cars. .

The British engineer also believes the flexible wings could become “some kind of problem” as strict regulations will make it difficult for teams to squeeze them in, especially after the attention the issue received last season.

“I think the sensitivity of aeroelastics has changed and I think that’s pretty well understood in the regulations that have had extensive discussion about how to better manage components that can flex,” said James Key .

“Some of the tests are tighter now, the rear wing tests for example will be a bit tougher.”

“The front wing in 2022 is huge, but it still has a very strict set of guidelines on stiffness, so I think there will always be some tricks to play there, but I don’t think it’s going to be an easy thing to exploit.

“There are a couple of different components in the car that can have a certain level of stiffness, it’s something that can be legally exploited, so there really are a number of new tools that you can try to play around with in 2022.

“It will probably become some kind of problem, I’m sure, but I’m sure it’s not something that the teams or the FIA are ignoring. It’s a pretty clear area that we have to be very careful about regulating it correctly to next year”, concluded the McLaren .

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