Flex clampdown could shake up F1 pecking order

Tue, 12 September 2023, 10:00

Sep.12 (GMM) F1’s pecking order could be shaken up in Singapore as a new FIA technical directive takes effect.

The sport’s governing body is concerned that some teams in 2023 had found a loophole in the rules prohibiting aerodynamic ‘flex’ – especially with regards to front noses, rear wings and floors.

Some think the FIA’s clampdown, which will involve new testing measures as of this weekend in Singapore, explains Aston Martin’s recent performance slump.

“It will be interesting,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

“At Aston Martin you can already see that they have taken a step back now that their wing moves less, but I don’t know the details. Let’s wait and see.

“I don’t know who will benefit more than others, but who knows. Maybe Red Bull will suddenly be half a second slower. That would be nice, but I don’t think that will be the case.”

Indeed, Red Bull’s Christian Horner says he has seen “a few rubbery nose boxes” on rival cars this season, but denies the directive is “something that affects us”.

“I honestly don’t know what will change in the rankings,” top Williams engineer Dave Robson said. “But I don’t think we will be affected.

“We may have to adjust our floors a bit, but we are good in terms of wings. So hopefully it will slow some people down, which would be good for us.”

McLaren team boss Andrea Stella, meanwhile, said: “If the FIA felt it was needed, it means there is something to clamp down and for us I think it’s good news.”

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