McLaren predict F1 new rule ‘trickery’
Sam Hall & Ewan Gale
McLaren technical director James Key has predicted F1 engineers will perform “trickery” to exploit the sport’s new regulations this year.
F1 has introduced radically altered regulations that have changed the aerodynamic composition of the cars, creating a new-look formula aimed at increasing the overall racing spectacle.
Simplified front and rear wings are included to ensure minimal turbulent air is created, allowing cars to follow through technical sections of any track.
Rear wings were at the centre of debate during periods of last year as accusations of flexing led to more stringent FIA tests.
Asked in a media briefing, including GPFans, at the end of last season whether flexi-wings would be a topic in F1’s new era, Key replied: “I think the sensitivities around elastics certainly have changed.
“It’s well understood that from the regulations that have been discussed of late with how to better manage flexible…I shouldn’t say flexible components but components that can flex and make a difference is probably more accurate.
“Some of the tests are more stringent I think so the rear wing tests, for example, will be a little bit tougher. Some of the things that have happened earlier in the year have carried through into ’22 and I think there is a lot of attention being paid to that.
“Front wings similarly, and the front wing in ’22 is a massive thing but it has still got a stringent set of guidelines on stiffnesses.
“So I think there will always be a few tricks to play but I don’t think there’s going to be something easy to exploit there.”
Pointing to other new aspects of the regulations that could be investigated, Key added: “You’ve got a couple of different components on the car though, obviously, the big ground-effect floor and you’ve got the big wings back again now which can have a certain level of stiffness which you could exploit legally.
“So there are various new tools to play with in 2022. It will probably become some sort of issue I’m sure, but it’s not something that the teams or the FIA are ignoring.
“It’s a fairly clear area where we need to be careful to regulate correctly.”
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January 11, 2022 at 10:35AM