F1’s new rear wing……
So, new rules come into play in 2011 as usual with the aim of making overtaking easier or increasing the spectacle over the already amazing 2010. They’ve been doing this, or rather attempting to do this for as many years as I care to remember but I wonder if next years rules are going to go too far? The new rear wing for those not following the rules allows a driver following a car less than a second in front to reduce drag through the rear ring via a button on the wheel, much like this years F Duct. However, during a race at least you can only use it on the ONE straight chosen by Charlie Whiting, Race Director. (Monaco should be interesting!). The effect this will have is currently considered to be greater than the benefit of KERS, which the cars will also be running. What you could end up with is several scenarios as the statisticians all work out how to get from lights out to chequered flag first.
I can see teams running cars together, ie collaboratively passing each other lap on lap towing each other away from the other cars. This is something thats been done in Caterham racing for many years. Now they obviously have the drag co-efficient of a brick but the principal is you break the pack and fight it out the last few laps rather than slowing each other down trying to defend. Now whilst that is fine in clubman racing, even at a high standard, its not something I would want to see the pinnacle of Motorsport turned into. Where overtaking in F1 is considered extremely hard and a few more overtakes would be good, I certainly don’t want to see what happened in Indy CART a few seasons ago where you were changing positions every few seconds. Instead of overtaking being an art it becomes a given that places change every lap.
Other scenarios I can foresee, the race is coming to an end…you sit in 2nd place until the last lap and then just drive right by the car in front. Or how about this….the rear wing tow problem is so bad you to win you cannot afford to give people a tail, so you run your strategy so you are ideally never surrounded by another car to give them the tow therefore each driver racing in isolation through pitstop strategy? I don’t know, but it doesn’t feel like its a good rule but I like the concept of it if they potentially tweak it a bit.
How about Formula Palmer Audi where you got so many boosts per race? To go a stage further if you activate your boost when you are a second either ahead or behind a car the others cannot activate it. This negates the KERS problems that once everyone has it they all activate it at the same time reducing the benefit. Lastly let the drivers use the benefit wherever they want on the lap. This is something they are allowed to do in practice and qualification, but not the race. I can’t see why that is yet but presumably safety? It can’t be as dangerous as driving an F1 car through 3-4G bends with one hand on the wheel which we had this year.
Ultimately though, the critics I am sure will be proven wrong and any tweaking to the rules will be made for the good of the sport. I just hope we don’t get cars working in tandem because that means more so than ever you will have to have a first and a second driver.
Roll on Bahrain….lets hope you deliver a better GP than you did this year.