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    British GT News: FIA Deems Formula 1 Flexi-Wings Compliant Despite Concerns

    The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has determined that there is no need to intervene in the ongoing debate surrounding flexible front wings in Formula 1, Autosport has learned. This comes despite teams openly acknowledging the need to push the boundaries of the regulations to remain competitive.

    The Debate Around Flexible Front Wings

    The recent design shift of Mercedes’ front wing, which has exhibited a greater degree of flexibility to aid in aerodynamic balance, has reignited discussions about what is allowed under the current rules. This has even prompted speculation that some teams may lodge formal complaints about the tactics employed by rivals, including McLaren and Red Bull, who appear to be exploiting compliant yet flexible front wings.

    FIA’s Stance on Flexible Front Wings

    However, the FIA has indicated that it is comfortable with the designs teams have implemented and does not plan to investigate the matter further for now. This means the current front wing flexibility tests, where loads are applied to the wings in the pits to ensure they do not bend excessively, will remain at their existing levels.

    “There’s no question that you need to do it to be quick, if you see what I mean. Whatever’s available to you within the rules is what we explore.”

    • Ferrari’s performance engineer, Jock Clear

    The FIA’s acceptance of the teams’ approaches reflects the growing reality that a certain degree of flexibility is necessary to better manage the aerodynamic balance of the ground effect cars.

    Teams Pushing the Boundaries

    While much attention has been focused on Mercedes’ developments, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff acknowledged that all teams are pushing the boundaries within the regulations in their pursuit of improved performance.

    “Front wings play a big role today, it’s clear. Aero elasticity plays a big role, but so do the floors. I think it’s always the combination of these.”

    • Toto Wolff, Mercedes team boss

    Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Helmut Marko, dismissed claims that Red Bull had contacted the FIA regarding Mercedes’ flexi-wing behavior, stating that the issue of flexi-wings has been a recurring challenge in Formula 1, with teams regularly accusing one another of exploiting the regulations.

    Conclusion

    As the 2023 Formula 1 season continues, the FIA’s decision to maintain the current front wing flexibility tests suggests that the teams’ approaches are deemed compliant with the regulations. However, the ongoing debate surrounding flexi-wings is likely to persist as teams continue to push the boundaries in their pursuit of competitive advantage.

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