Mercedes’ controversial rear wing passes FIA tests

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes’ controversial rear wing is deemed legal again by the FIA.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Mercedes’s innovative rear wing declared legal by F1 chief (The Guardian)

“The FIA’s technical director, Charlie Whiting, has again passed Mercedes’s innovative rear wing as legal.”

Felipe Massa ignoring speculation Ferrari are to replace him (The Independent)

“I really don’t care. I don’t drive thinking about what others are thinking or saying about me.”

Ferrari via Twitter

“This year we can beat a world record: how many names of drivers/engineers/managers will be associated to Ferrari? At the moment we have: Sergio Perez, Jarno Trulli, Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, Christian Horner. And we’re just at the beginning of the 2nd round of the Championship. Maybe we will have already forgotten many others… Oh, yes! Kubica, Briatore…”

Malaysian GP Conference 1 (FIA)

Michael Schumacher “We certainly understood in Melbourne that we have to do a better job in terms of race pace. I don’t think we would have been able to achieve a podium in Melbourne, despite going all the way through. Probably a fifth place would have been the [maximum] that we could have had.”

Vettel: RB8 just needs more track time (Autosport)

“I think we need track time to really understand what is going on in the car. I don’t think we have a problem in the car as in we don’t understand what is going on, or the front end is weak or the rear is a disaster.”

Lewis Hamilton Q&A: Red Bull will be stronger here (F1)

“Of course I would say that we are doing extremely well compared to last year, but I think that the Red Bulls will do better here than they did back in Melbourne. If this is the case, then we will just have to push even harder to stay ahead of them.”

Whose side are you on? (GrandPrix)

“Just one race in, the Sky organisation has discovered the very fine line between one department reporting news and the other trying not to generate it while tip-toeing through a political minefield separating a glorious vision from hard-nosed reality. Welcome to Formula 1.”

Comment of the day

Dizzy on why this year’s IndyCar calendar has so many street tracks:

They go to street courses because that’s where the fans are, ChampCar did the same thing.

The attendance on most of the proper road circuits was/is dire (even at classic tracks like Laguna Seca and Road America). You can turn up at a street circuit and draw huge crowds because as ChampCar used to say, you’re taking the race to the people.

ChampCar ran on a street circuit at San Jose and even though the track was horrendously bad and the racing dreadful, it still drew a sell out crowd each year.

Outside of Indy it’s only really the street circuits, Iowa and Texas that draw crowds. The main reason they still race at Texas is because it’s very well promoted by the track owners and because it draws a fairly big crowd every year.

Ovals that were seen as been better tracks that produced better racing (New Hampshire is one example) were not promoted by track owners & thus drew abysmal crowds.

Most oval tracks are owned by ISC (International Speedway Corporation) and they’re a part of NASCAR. NASCAR turns up and you know about it for months beforehand as ISC promote the hell out of it. IndyCar turns up and you pretty much only know about it if you follow IndyCar because ISC do zero promotion.

With the split over and the rebuilding of IndyCar racing beginning they have to go where they can draw crowds and gain exposure. Right now that’s street circuits.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cacarella, James Newnham and TommyC!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari turns 22 today. It seems a very young age for a driver with two-and-a-half seasons of F1 behind him. Will be make a return to the sport in the future?

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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38 comments on “Mercedes’ controversial rear wing passes FIA tests”

  1. I’m happy to see the FIA pass it, i was worried that they would shut it down. It seems to me most innovations are declared illegal these days.

    1. Completely agree. It seems the only innovation allowed now days is ideas come up with in the TWG.

    2. but it’ll no doubt be banned for next year…

      1. Banning Mercedes’ duct stalling device will be like tell a team you can’t have this internal tubing inyour car.
        It could be a duct for wiring or sensors. If you had Rosberg or Schumacher, sticking a finger into a hole to influence the the flow of air, then it will be a different thing.
        The only way to prevent it is to ban the DRS or remove that section of the body work.

    3. I just don’t understand how mercedes’ F-DRS could be deemed illegal in the first place. It’s obviously passive, it’s basically a duct that’s always there and always open it’s just that it’s partially blocked when the upper rear wing flap is down and DRS is not engaged. It’s no coincidence that it happens when DRS is activated, they needed it to do that to give the car better balance, in the end the it’s simple, clever positioning. Other teams are complaining only coz they didn’t think of it first. Well done mercedes.

      1. I think it was deemed illegal cause the rules state that moving parts should not in any way aid aerodynamics ( the exact reason why EBD was banned, because it was said that the engine was a moving part). The only exception to that rule was DRS. And Merc used the loophole. Good they didn’t ban it though. Would’ve been sad to see another bright idea gone in the dust.

        1. @Hatebreeder…I don’t think it ever was deemed illegal…Whiting deemed it legal and so some teams asked for a clarification as to his reasoning. I’m not surprised that it was ‘declared legal again’ because it was only a clarification that was being asked for…I’m sure the teams who were questioning it had some thoughts as to why they thought perhaps it could be illegal based on their interpretation of the rule, so since it was deemed legal the teams just wanted to know Whiting’s thinking so they can go ahead and pursue their own version of it for their cars with a better understanding of the limits they can go to.

      2. Exactly. How can the other teams be upset when the Mercedes drag reduction system has a clever way of reducing drag. It’s doing exactly what is says it’s going to do.

    4. And the copy&paste begins, maybe?

  2. Former Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari turns 22 today. It seems a very young age for a driver with two-and-a-half seasons of F1 behind him. Will be make a return to the sport in the future?


    1. That’s another name which could very well be linked to Ferrari this year… although it’s unlikely for a team to be running two Spaniards at the same time.

    2. @fer-no65 It’s not right is it? I wonder what his options are for next year?

      1. @fer-no65 especially when he came in at age 19 halfway thru the season with no testing allowed

  3. I thought it was their front wing that was under the microscope

    1. i think the front wing is activated when the DRS opens.

  4. “Probably a fifth place would have been the [maximum] that we could have had.”

    Wow, that doesn’t bode well for Mercedes at all.

    1. Perhaps Mercedes were a bit overrated? i rated them very highly myself.

    2. @pamphlet Lucky their F-duct system was approved in te first place, otherwise it could’ve been worse!

    3. It was Melbourne though, which isn’t the most representative track. I would think they’re yet to get the best out of it anyway.

    4. Fifth would’ve been first of the non-RBRs/McLarens. So 3rd-fastest car (albeit not close enough to challenge the fastest 2). Given where they were last year, it sounds logical and just about right.

    5. Think they have decent pace but can’t maintain it due to tyre drop off. It’s whether they can sort this out that will determine how they progress, no doubt they’ve had to focus on this, which will take some of their focus off other areas that could make them faster

      1. And Mac and Red Bull and Ferrari will be tweeking their cars too, and perhaps introducing F-ducts akin to Merc, so it should be a really interesting race of car development, not just of actually racing on the track.

  5. keith what happened to the grey bar above the articles list on the main page. it only appeared on race weekends. I liked it! it had quick access to weather, times, results etc.

    1. Yeah I liked that too. With the flag and everything.

    2. @sato113 @electrolite – WHat about the ‘Malaysian GP’ drop down menu on the main menu up top, I imagine it will be updated after each session?

  6. re comment of the day
    martin whitmarsh nailed it when he said the cleveland airport had great races. that was always 1 of the best on the indy calendar. post-indy cleveland is a bit like post-olympics sarajevo :(

    1. I thought it was really interesting analaysis from Dizzy. But are street circuits a sell out because they can accommodate less paying spectators in smaller stands? And do the same road v oval v street course characteristics hold true for the TV audience?
      Also, thinking back to the BBC/Syky audience figure debate yesterday, does anyone know how the BBC iPlayer figures are recorded by JICTAR?

    2. post-indy cleveland is a bit like post-olympics sarajevo :(

      @f1yankee – Thanks for the laugh!

  7. I really don’t care. I don’t drive thinking about what others are thinking or saying about me

    A little to comfortable in that Ferrari? What kind of attitude is that? Look’s like he doesn’t really care about driving since that’s not motivating him. I know if I were in Massa’s position, you bet I would care.

    1. I have no issue with what FM is saying and I would expect any driver to say the same about similar rumours after only one race of a new season. It is well documented now that Ferrari needs more time with this car. FA didn’t set the world on fire with it either, even if he took the car where it doesn’t belong, helped with some attrition of others last Sunday.

      For now I think FM’s only option is to do as he has said…ignore the rumours and speculation because that goes on all the time and he can’t and won’t let that affect him nor can he control that, and put his nose to the grindstone and prove everyone wrong, on the track, if the car allows it, which is something he CAN somewhat control.

      I think after only one race, and given that he wasn’t far from FA in testing as MS points out, and he has said the car just simply felt wrong for him last Sunday compared to any other time he drove it, lets for now give him the benefit of the doubt and see with this new chassis and hopefully a few new ideas from the team, what they can do this weekend before we write FM off.

      1. @robbie

        Fair enough. My comment does seem pretty harsh, on Felipe so I guess you’re right in this aspect. I just hope he either performs, or gets replaced as there is no sense in Ferrari keeping and under performing driver. Especially one who hasn’t impressed for a long while. I guess he’ll need a bit more time, but he does need to improve quick to avoid further criticisms.

  8. Happy birthday to all of you to @cacarella, @newnhamlea1 and @TommyC

  9. I was not expecting any different reaction from Massa but it doesn’t mean I buy it. Massa is driving under extreme pressure not only because he fails to land respectful results consistently but also because people can’t help but compare him to (1) Fernando Alonso and (2) Sergio Perez, who, actually, the latter is the driver Massa is ‘racing’ this season.

    1. Can’t disagree entirely, in spite of what I said about FM above…all I can add is FM probably felt extreme pressure the minute he heard FA was going to be his teammate.

  10. looks like a Mercedes one-two in Monza this year..

    1. But would that be just on Saturday…ie. does their F-duct system only really help them when they can use it at will…on Sundays when they can only use it when the DRS can be employed their advantage disappears, and if they continue to have tire wear issues I’m not convinced yet that they can translate great Saturdays into the same for Sundays. Sure can’t hurt though to start at the pointy end of the grid either way.

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