FIA plans to further tweak F1 rear flexi-wing tests despite all-clear

The FIA says it uncovered no 'monkey business' with its ramped-up rear wing flexibility tests in Formula 1 last year, but it wants to further improve its checks for 2022.

FIA plans to further tweak F1 rear flexi-wing tests despite all-clear
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The closing stages of the F1 campaign were marred by accusations from Red Bull that its title rival Mercedes was using flexi-wings to increase its straightline speed.

The suspicion was that Mercedes had found a clever way for its main plane to flex down at high speed to help reduce drag.

Red Bull even went as far as suggesting that marks seen on the Mercedes endplate were evidence of the wing moving, even though its rival was always adamant the marks were a red-herring.

In response to Red Bull's concerns about the situation, the FIA launched a fact-finding mission from the Qatar Grand Prix to better investigate the behaviour and characteristics of the rear wings of all the teams.

While the new tests had no regulatory value, so were not to check on the legality of cars, it was hoped that they would provide some answers about whether or not the regulations needed to be tightened up for the future.

Speaking about what the FIA found in those examinations, F1's head of single-seater matters Nikolas Tombazis explained that nothing out of the ordinary was uncovered.

However, he suggested that the governing body would be looking at ways to improve the manner in which wings can be checked going forward to help ensure teams were not finding clever ways to make wings flex.

"In Qatar, there was no monkey business identified, or anything like that," explained Tombazis. "We didn't find something that was concerning.

"It was not a bad test, but it can be improved. So we're thinking how to maybe make some improvements to it for next year [2022], potentially."

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Tombazis explained that one of the issues that needed looking at was the way in which the forces are applied to the main plane to help expose any clever aero elasticity characteristics that teams could be employing.

"The reason the test is not so good is technically the trailing edge of the main plane is going quite upwards," he added.

"If you load it in the downward direction, it's quite stiff, so we want to manage to load it in a direction that is normal.

"But then it's a bit more difficult because we can't use gravity. So we need to fine tune it, and it needs a bit more give to be prepared for it. It's not impossible, of course."

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