Flexi-wing push motivated by weight saving - Alpine

The push for flexi-wings in Formula 1 was motivated more by saving weight than any straightline speed advantage, says Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski.

Flexi-wing push motivated by weight saving - Alpine

With new tougher pull back tests being introduced from the French Grand Prix later this month, F1 teams will have a final chance to run with their previous flexible designs for this weekend's race in Baku.

However, there remains the threat of a protest for those that do, and it is not impossible that the FIA could take unilateral action itself if it feels that teams are pushing the limits too much.

Alpine is one of many outfits that will have to make modifications to its rear wing for the French Grand Prix, and Budkowski says the push by teams in this area was not simply about the wings flexing back to reduce drag on the straights.

"The deflections of wings are mostly linked to weight saving really," Budkowski said. "I mean we are all fighting the weight limit and especially at the rear of the car.

"There is an incentive not only to have the car as light as possible and put as much ballast at the bottom as possible for centre of gravity, but also to run more ballast at the front of the car, and the front being in the front of the floor, for weight distribution purposes.

"The worst place on a car to have weight is in the rear wing because it's high up and it's at the back of the car.

"So it's one of the areas we're pushing the hardest for weight saving. And when you save weight you make a car that is a bit lighter and a bit less resistant to load."

Read Also:

While Aston Martin suggested recently that flexi-wings could be worth as much as half a second per lap of performance, other teams are not so convinced.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reckons that the wings only deliver a gain of around one tenth of a second.

"It's marginal because you compromise other aspects," he said. "I think in a simulated world, you're talking between half a tenth and three quarters of a tenth of a second here. So it's extremely marginal.

"I've heard numbers of half a second being quoted, but I think you can see here that our wings arguably are flexing less than a Mercedes rear wing. So it certainly wasn't half a second of lap time delta.

"I think it's all been a little bit overhyped in the media. Like all these things there is never a silver bullet.

"And I think that you need to have a car working well, you need everything: engine, chassis; vehicle dynamics, and aerodynamics all working in harmony. And it's never one single factor."

Budkowski concurred that the shift to stiffer wings for Paul Ricard would not serve to shake up the F1 order.

"We'll adapt to it," he said. "It will cost a bit of performance, it will cost us some weight for sure, and the centre of gravity, weight distribution. And potentially maybe a bit of aero performance if there was some drag-saving related to it. But that would be very small at the end of the day."

shares
comments

Related video

Pirelli pressure hike adds to Baku tyre challenge

Previous article

Pirelli pressure hike adds to Baku tyre challenge

Next article

Azerbaijan GP: Gasly tops FP3 as Verstappen crashes

Azerbaijan GP: Gasly tops FP3 as Verstappen crashes
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021
The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality Prime

The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality

OPINION: Formula 1 heads back to Silverstone this weekend for the 2021 British Grand Prix, where a full-capacity crowd will return after a painful absence in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Here’s how the pieces that permitted a part of returning ‘normal’ life were arranged.

Formula 1
Jul 14, 2021