• Jun 24, 2010
The Formula One tweaking continues, even though we think this year's championship has been the most consistently rewarding since 2006, and maybe even back to the last millennium. The FIA's World Motor Sports Council has approved a slate of changes for 2011 to help make even more things happen on track, and the biggest could be banning the F-duct (this year's double diffuser) and instead allowing a movable rear wing. Adjusting the wing can't be done during the first two laps, but afterward, if any time a car trails another by less than a second the wing can be made to stall and allow higher speeds.

Additionally, the minimum weight has been raised from 620 kilograms (1,367 pounds) to 640 kg (1,411 pounds) to make way for the return of KERS, and the safety car rules have been clarified to disallow passing on the last lap of the race even if the safety car comes in. The 107% rule, not seen since 2002, has been reintroduced to remedy the backmarker situation. However, if it were in force during the Canadian GP only Karun Chandhok would have been disallowed. And, the rule allows for a special dispensation if a driver sets a fast practice time, but can't match it in qualifying.

A development certain to be as big as the rest: Pirelli has been named the official tire supplier for F1 for three years. Bridgestone is stepping out this year even after Bernie and the teams asked the company to stay. Other makers like Hankook and Cooper got in the race, but didn't get very far. Michelin also considered joining, but wasn't interested in being sole supplier and wanted a tire war. After a 19-year absence from F1, Pirelli and its new family have a lot of work to do.

[Source: F1 Live, BBC]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      ??? so it'll be like most racing games? where when you are the leader? you get screwed and the people behind you can go faster? YA OK that will fix things...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm guessing Ferrari will have something to say about this.

      Oh wait, I forgot that this year they actually need all the help they can get! Long gone is the smugness, now replaced by complaining and whining.

      And one of their drivers is slower than an 11 year old kid.


      That makes me all sorts of happy inside.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Of course, you're right.

        But anyone who remembers their all-encompassing dominance in the 90s/early 00s knows what a dull sport it makes for - something we were risking this season with Red Bull had the McLarens not got their act together.

        And seeing that whining oaf Alonso with such a pained look on his visage has made me happy for a week.

        Considering your name, I thought you'd be in full support of the wünderkind....
        • 4 Years Ago
        ya not due to weight advantage he had. i'm not saying the kid isn't great. but there is no way he could drive an f1 car right now at the same level, even in a simulator.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like the idea of an adjustable rear wing and KERS. Seems efficient. People say "ooh but F1 is hella inefficient anyway", but that's completely missing the point. F1 is maybe 20 cars, and therefore the amount of resources it actually uses is pretty negligible. However, it can still be used to develop technologies relevant to the other millions of cars. With that said, variable wings is only really relevant to sports cars, but it's still cool.

      Having complicated rules about following within a second seems overcomplicated though.

      I look forward to seeing the variable wing on the Millen car at Pikes Peak this weekend.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dang even in F1 every new generation get's heavier. I just thought it was a auto manufacturer thing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's the Formula. They can run much lighter cars with all the same tech if they were allowed to. I don't expect you to get F1though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Me, I would like to see F1 go back to the days of "anything goes" with regard to aerodynamic components on the cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am glad to hear about the adjustable wing. However, the rules are overly complex.

      They should just allow the wing to be flattened on all straights to reduce drag and thus increase speeds with reduced fuel consumption.

      The system listed will be difficult to police. Was he really less than a second back when he did that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me, that these changes won't change much. No F-duct means that the cars that are now running F-ducts will just run KERS again and the cars that don't have the F-duct probably won't be employing KERS either, so nothing changes there. 107% rule will just mean that there will be less cars running in some of the races, which will just make it more boring. And as far as I'm concerned any advantage will only be entertaining if they don't all have it, so the adjustable rear wing is pointless. The only big change is Bridgestone to Pirelli, which I would love to see.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry Paul, but you're wrong.

        The physical movement of a wing flap is not stalling the airflow.

        Got it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Majarvis, above, is an ar/roga/nt tool who knows nothing of which he speaks:

        Adjusting a wing allows it to stall. The F-duct just manages airflow, another way of making the wing stall. By dropping a wing down with adjustability (like lowering flaps on an airplane before landing) you are stalling it, reducing downforce and drag, increasing speed.

        Got it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        No Arkz,

        Them all having the same rear wing isn't pointless. The point is that the car BEHIND can use it, but not the car in front - therefore promoting overtaking. Checking that is legal to use i.e. within a second is easy given the electronics on board. The car will be able to inhibit the use automatically (and leave it to driver command to activate).
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm fairly sure the F-Duct and the double diffuser are two different things.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't he was implying they were the same thing. I think he was referring to the fact that both are innovative and contoversial aerodynamic pieces that gave a distinct advantage to the team that came up with it.
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