By: Berthold Bouman, F1 Correspondent
Sauber drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez have been disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix after FIA Stewards discovered the rear wing of the Sauber C30 was not conform the regulations. According to the officials the upper rear wing element was not within the specifications of Articles 3.10.1 and 3.10.2 of the Technical Regulations.
Sauber has been excluded from the results, which means Mexican rookie Pérez loses the points he scored for finishing in seventh position, and Kobayashi loses the points he scored for finishing in eighth position. Sauber has stated they have the intention to appeal the decision of the FIA Stewards but will first launch an investigation in their factory whether they will indeed appeal the decision. The stewards’ decision is especially tough for Pérez, who now loses the points he scored in his first Formula One race ever.
Sauber has published the following statement: “After having shown a great performance at the season’s opening race in Melbourne with Sergio Pérez finishing seventh and Kamui Kobayashi coming eighth, the Sauber F1 Team got excluded from the race results with both cars (Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi). The FIA stewards of the meeting have found the team in breach of article 3.10.1 and 3.10.2 of the technical regulations.
It appears that there is a question over the top surface of the uppermost rear wing element
James Key, the Sauber F1 Team’s Technical Director said: “This is a very surprising and disappointing result. It appears that there is a question over the top surface of the uppermost rear wing element, this area is not the working surface of the component and therefore relatively unimportant to its function. Certainly this has not lead to any performance advantage. We are checking the design of the parts now to better understand the situation and we intend to appeal the decision made by the stewards.”
From the FIA 2011 Technical Regulations:
3.10 Bodywork behind the rear wheel centre line:
3.10.1 Any bodywork more than 150mm behind the rear wheel centre line which is between 150mm and 730mm above the reference plane, and between 75mm and 355mm from the car centre line, must lie in an area when viewed from the side of the car that is situated between 150mm and 350mm behind the rear wheel centre line and between 300mm and 400mm above the reference plane. When viewed from the side of the car no longitudinal cross section may have more than one section in this area.
Furthermore, no part of this section in contact with the external air stream may have a local concave radius of curvature smaller than 100mm.
Once this section is defined, ‘gurney’ type trim tabs may be fitted to the trailing edge. When measured in any longitudinal cross section no dimension of any such trim tab may exceed 20mm.
3.10.2 Other than the bodywork defined in Article 3.10.9, any bodywork behind a point lying 50mm forward of the rear wheel centre line which is more than 730mm above the reference plane, and less than 355mm from the car centre line, must lie in an area when viewed from the side of the car that is situated between the rear wheel centre line and a point 350mm behind it.