Key: Sauber wing “not performance enhancing”

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In today’s round-up: Sauber say they will conduct a detailed investigation before deciding whether to submit an appeal and the FIA reject Force India’s complaint against Sebastien Buemi’s move on Adrian Sutil.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Sauber seeks answers on wing design (Autosport)

"Sauber will conduct a detailed investigation at its factory into how its rear wing failed to comply with the technical regulations at the Australian Grand Prix, before it decides whether to keep pressing ahead with its appeal."

Steve Matchett via Twitter

"The FIA legality bay and all the tools to check conformity are always there for the teams to use. They can *always* check anything with CW [Charlie Whiting?].

"After the race, the FIA will weigh the cars and may or may not decide to check any aspect of the car’s engineering to confirm that it’s ok."

Adam Cooper via Twitter

"The FIA had a look at Force India’s complaint about Buemi’s pass of Sutil but decided it was ok."

Jimmie Johnson via Twitter

"@NASCAR I’m so glad we have great racing and don’t need movable wings and buttons to push for more power like F1."

Mark Gallagher via Twitter

"I don’t normally bet but I have money on our first podium since @CosworthF1 returned as an engine supplier last season"

Red Bull pay gap will only serve to motivate ‘number 2’ Webber (

"Alan Jones, the 1980 Formula One world champion, says his Australian compatriot Mark Webber will be spurred to outperform teammate Sebastian Vettel this season by reports that the German is getting paid twice as much."

Sebastian Vettel: Smiling assassin whose sights are on world domination (The Independent)

"Sebastian Vettel’s boyish face breaks into its habitual grin as you ask him whether he is an emotional sort who cries at sappy movies, before being clouded by uncertainty. ‘There is one movie where I can’t hold my tears: ‘Life is Beautiful’. But usually I don’t cry, happy or sad. So Abu Dhabi, when my engineer came on the radio… listening to that is a bit embarrassing because I’m crying and sound like a little girl…’"

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Both Saubers have been disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix due to a technical infringement. slr says:

Rules are rules and they must be followed, even if the stewards aren’t always consistent with penalties. It’s still a real shame that this happened, Kobayashi and Perez drove really well today.

From the forum

Petrov as barometer for Heidfeld?

Happy birthday!

Once again it’s a four-way birthday logjam! Happy birthday to LazerFX, Macca, The Genuine Jim and Casanova!

On this day in F1

Clay Regazzoni won the first F1 race at Long Beach 35 years ago today. He led a Ferrari one-two with Niki Lauda in second place.

Sadly Regazzoni was paralysed in a crash at the same circuit four years later.

Here’s some footage from the 1976 race:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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66 comments on “Key: Sauber wing “not performance enhancing””

  1. It would be nice if Sauber prove the FIA wrong and reinstate their places for the race. Doesn’t seem likely though.

    1. That was exactly my thought. I think they’ll probably ultimately drop their appeal, like Merc did after Schumi’s penalty in Monaco last year. Utterly depressed for Checo and Kobi though…

      1. Here is a bit more on what was wrong with what part of the wings.

        And I was thinking its about the moveable flap! Turns out its the upper edge of the end plates of the rear wing!

        1. Now I’m confused – ScarbsF1 says it’s the flap also, which makes more sense than the end plates to me…

          1. It would make more sense, apart from the “minimum 100 mm radius curve”, the chord of the wing and flap are a lot more than that I think, and so I was rather puzzled what Key and the FIA were talking about. That link from Bas to gpupdate makes a lot more sense in that respect.

          2. I just read that as well. ScrabsF1 is usually very well informed. I asked Haynes and Scarborough to get in touch and shed more light on this by twitter. Hope they do.

          3. ScrabsF1 just cleared that – by tweet from Craig Scarborough:

            @Logist_BCB The parts (endplates) he is talking about are further than 355mm from the cars centreline and thus not affected by the regs that Sauber are reported to in contravention of.

          4. Interesting discussion going on now. I hope we get more on this matter.

  2. Sush Meerkat
    28th March 2011, 0:13

    Should the wing be too curved, as the Sauber design used in the race appeared to be, then the ball will have a gap between it and the wing.

    My girlfriend does that, its the malteaser test, when I put up a shelf and the malteaser’s fall off… well its quite clear I have failed as a boyfriend.

    What I’m getting at James Key, you’ve failed the mailteaser test.

    And I bet you leave the toilet seat up too.

    1. Hahahah. COTD!!!!!!!!

      1. And I bet you leave the toilet seat up too.

        Toilet? It looks like he’s pi**ing into the wind from what I can see.

        Though it must be said when dealing with the Federation d’Inconsistent Action the eventual outcome is anyone’s guess.

    2. Haha :) Very good…

  3. I’m sitting in Melbourne’s Avalon airport waiting for my flight back home after another superb weekend at the Australian Grand Prix. Would’ve preferred the result to have been a bit different and to have had a bit more action into Turn 1, but oh well, F1’s back!

    Had a great time meeting up with some fellow true blue, fair dinkum Fanatics on the Saturday as well, however brief it was. I hope you all enjoyed the weekend as much as I did!

    1. Sush Meerkat
      28th March 2011, 0:31

      I’m totally jealous, I hope my f1fanatics peers have all had a good time though… still.. jealous rage

      1. Yep, great weekend, and nice to meet up with fellow fans! Cheers

  4. regarding Buemi’s move on Sutil, I really don’t see how it can’t be punished. As I said about Vettel move on Button; would he have got past if there was a gravel trap or grass there? No, so he’s clearly gained an advantage from running of the circuit.

    1. Indeed – I watched both moves yesterday and can’t see any difference between them. DC commented that Vettel had two wheels on the line however you can clearly see Vettel is well over the line.

      1. DC later corrected himself on the forum. But that overtaking spot has long been used, although up until now, not so successfully. Drivers are using it because everyone does it, even though it is wrong.

        Next year the FIA will need to inform the drivers that over taking there is not allowed, in order to put an end to the trend. Alternatively, they can increase the area of the corner, to promote legal overtaking there.

  5. Urgh, NASCAR. Please don’t mention it and F1 in the same sentence, even if it means breaking all the rules of grammar.

    1. NASCAR is the most boring and laziest type of motorsport out there (IMO)

      They should fit the cars with satnav, surely you can only tolerate hearing ‘in 100yrds, turn left’ for so long before retaliating and purposely turning right and crashing. Then maybe it would become slightly interesting just because nobody would finish a race

    2. Someone should mention to Jimmy Johnson that in F-1 we don’t need gimmicks to create great championships, unlike certain series that create artificial “post-seasons” to create excitement towards the end of the championship (aka. the chase for the cup)… In F-1 the fastest, most consistent driver through the WHOLE year is called champion… In NASCAR, not so much.

  6. Mark Webber will be spurred to outperform teammate Sebastian Vettel this season by reports that the German is getting paid twice as much

    You’d have to say based on what we’ve seen over the last couple of seasons, and particularly the first race of 2011, he can’t really have any complaints about that. Webber’s a decent driver and all that, but he’s not in Vettel’s league.

    And I’m especially disinclined to feel sympathetic for him saying as Flavio Briatore will take a (presumably quite substantial) cut from whatever he earns…

  7. what a colossally ignorant statement from jimmie johnson. the “great racing” he speaks of is the coma-inducing result of spec cars, oval tracks and rules designed around keeping cars close for the length of the race. nascar is the pro wrestling of motorsport (in many ways) and when i’m king it’ll be put back in its place.

    1. Whohoo! F1Yankee for kIng!

      The other thing that always cracks me up about NASCAR is that it’s called “stock car” racing. There’s nothing stock about it. Touring cars, LeMans, GT racing, and even WRC at least use real cars that you can buy at s dealership as their foundation, albeit with lots of fancy parts on them that you or I couldn’t buy, but they’re far more stock than a tubular steel chassis wilth a fiberglass generic car shape stuck over the top and painted to look like a crap American sedan complete with fake painted on headlights and tail lights. God those things are ugly and useless. And don’t get me started on the NASCAR trucks.

      1. Thankyou guys, you pretty much summed up all my feelings on Nascar, this coming from someone who lives a half hour away from Texas Motor Speedway. I’ve been to a few Indycar races there, they were good. My Dad’s friend took him to one Nascar race and my Dad said it was the most boring thing he’s ever seen.

        What a stupid statement indeed by Jimmie Johnson, when Nascar needed McLaren to supply the cars with fuel injection for the first time in their history this season.
        F1 isn’t perfect, but Nascar is a joke.

        1. One thing I dislike intensely about NASCAR is how difficult it makes it to lure other Americans into F1. The fact that it’s what most people here think of when they think of motor racing is…really unfortunate.

      2. they are stock cars, as in “here is your stock nascar spec car.” they were based on genuine street cars until the mid 80’s. today, they are much more closely regulated than even f1. the correct term for them is “silhouette” sedans or saloons. innovation? look elsewhere, friend.

        fans say there is lots of action and no clear winner until the end. i say the race is manipulated past the point of illegitimacy. i also find it boring and tasteless.

        1. The culture that goes along with it is a pretty big turnoff to me as well.

        2. F1Yankee I agree with your statement

          i say the race is manipulated past the point of illegitimacy

          , that is the only thing that bugs me about NASCAR. I don’t care that they aren’t actual stock cars, or that they mostly only do ovals, but I do care that they have so many “rules” that only exist to try and boost the entertainment value.

      3. LOL, maybe the “stock” part refers to the basic frame of the cars being the same for years and being able to buy it off stock if you want to get a car?

    2. Bashing on NASCAR is easy to do on an F1 site…

      I’ve seen NASCAR races a few times now, It’s not as good as F1, but i quite enjoy it. Yeah it’s got it’s problems, but what doesn’t?

      1. well, he’s taking shots at gimmicks, while his own sport is overloaded with more of the same.

        1. So he knows what he is talking about, right? :-p

    3. Eh, so when you think of it, NASCAR really does not need the “gimmicks” but only because its cars and rules and race management is thoroughly tweaked to do more or less the same as them.

    4. On the bright side, it is the first time I have ever heard a NASCAR driver complete and entire sentence without mentioning or thanking their sponsors.

      1. LOL + 1

  8. Didnt Regazzoni win the 1970 Italian GP. Seem to remember Ferrari dominating that race

    1. I see where’s the confusion from but I think what Keith meant is that it was the first F1 race on the circuit of Long Beach that Regazzoni won, not that it was Clay’s first win(btw apart from Monza 1970 I believe he won 2-3 more races in 1974-75 as well)

  9. Have a happy Bday LazerFX, Macca, The Genuine Jim and Casanova!

    1. Yes, Happy B-day all!

    2. Exactly, have a great day to all of you. Happy Birthday

    3. Thank you! :)

  10. O.K., lets get it over with, NASCAR is a joke. I’ve watched it since the first race at Michigan in 1969 and the rules are a joke, the cars are a joke, and half of the drivers are a joke because they have no credentials other than who they know or what their last name is.

    But, an even bigger joke is someone saying that any contour of a wing is inconsequential or insignificant. However, I don’t think that whatever that difference was is why Kobayashi and Perez finished where they did and I think it’s a kick in the face to two fine drivers.

    Then there’s the farce with the bottom of Hamilton’s car grinding along the track lap after lap and he gets to keep 2nd place? If all that didn’t take 1mm off of the legality plank then they need to revise that rule. That’s the biggest joke of the race.

    1. I don’t think the part that was touching the ground was actually part of the legality plank…not sure though.

      1. Yeah, I think the legality plank starts behind the tea tray, but I could be wrong.

        1. i thought for sure he was going to get the boot for that. i was actually pretty surprised they threw out the saubers, since that kind of thing is usually given a pass and ironed out after a race or two.

          1. Yeah especially since they claim no performance advantage from it.

    2. The front section of the plank and floor could have suffered damage, but the thickness of the plank could still be consistent. So you must be the joke for taking Coulthars word as fact, or not knowing what the regulations say about the plank.

    3. I thought I read somewhere that the scrutineers decide themselves what they do and do not check on various cars, given that it isn’t possible to check every aspect of every car, and that Hamilton’s plank wasn’t checked, and that only Sauber’s wing end plates were checked. If that is indeed the case, then they should be at least checking the same parts on every car, rather than picking and choosing to only look at certain parts on certain cars.

      1. The fount wear would have been due to damage, the rest wouldn’t have been worn so the steward would have judged that the ride hight was high enough.

  11. Michael Griffin
    28th March 2011, 2:42

    NASCAR – turning left, competition yellows, boring.

    F1 – Turning left AND right, great racing, exciting.

    Think I’ll stick to F1 for now Mr. Johnson…

  12. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
    28th March 2011, 4:02

    I agree that NASCAR on the whole is boring as anything, however one thing that I do like is the rolling starts, I think if that was implemented in F1 on certain tracks, (Malaysia, China etc…) ones with long pit straights it would add a certain something to the start of the race

    1. Murrican Brandon
      28th March 2011, 5:08

      Good lord, no. The standing start is one of the most exciting moments in motorsport. Take a look at today’s IndyCar start to see the problems associated with rolling open-wheel starts. Champ car used to have these same incidents until they went to a standing start. Plus, if nothing goes wrong, it makes for an incredibly uneventful first few turns.

      1. To be fair, that accident could just as easily have happened from a standing start. Andretti just went too deep into the corner, it wasn’t a result of a rolling start as such.

  13. We may need movable wings and buttons for more power JJ, but at least F1 cars aren’t confused by right hand turns…

  14. Well Nascar & F1 are two different racing as like two different planets,both have drivers, teams, engine etc but the formation is different.

  15. The flap rule was put in place to prevent teams from running an F-duct like device. But since F-duct itself has been banned, it is obvious there was no performance gain to be derived from the small radius flap. Since no one knows of any tolerance level allowed, if you try to fit a 200mm diameter ball in a 199.5mm diameter hole it will fail.

  16. I would be interested to see a comparison between Sauber’s rear-wing and one that conforms.

  17. If the Sauber rear wing spec that was used in the race was the same as all the other wings they had available, why would it suddenly change shape to the point of not being legal (unless the wing was very thin)?

    Hopefully they have got it wrong and Sauber get reinstated.

  18. I have said before that it is ludicrous that the sort of scrutineering that got Sauber chucked out is done after the race. What if it had been something truely dangerous and someone got injured. The cats are in parc ferme after quali, the stewards have plenty of time to check them then.

    1. That twitter about the FIA legality bay sort of addresses this: the teams have means and responsibility to make sure their cars conform. Not entirely satisfying to be thrown out of the race for what could be a very small and relatively unimportant bit of rear wing endplate, but there you have it.

  19. While I was gutted to say the least after great drives by the Sauber boys yesterday when they got disqualified, rules are rules I guess.

    The majority of commentary on sites I’ve read say there would be no performance gain.

    Ironic then, that the Redbull front wings that clearly do provide a movable aero device and gain, and are against the principle of the rules are being ignored.

    I have a simple test for the wings. Fit sensors on the wings, and measure the distance from the track surface to the wing end plates (specifying a minimum ride height) at the fastest part of the circuit.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think James Key is proving he knows how to design a good car. This one is likely to be a small oversight.

    But hey, its not a mass damper, or a split chassis is it ;-)

  20. I’m sorry but rules are rules. They knew the wind dimensions before the season and they failed to adhere to them so it’s not the FIAs fault if they have to be disqualified.

    Imagine the chaos if it was opened up to the ‘it didn’t provide a performance gain’ line of defence. All the teams would be producing illegal parts which they would then try to mitigate by saying they don’t improve performance.

    This was the correct decision by the scrutineers and a decision that had to be made.

  21. Wow, comment of the day! Thanks Keith :)

  22. Rather than take up space on the forum, I came across this cracker today:

    I am so excited!!

Comments are closed.