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Lowe: Adjustable rear wings will be a hit

Monday 17th January 2011



Lowe: Adjustable rear wings will be a hit

Lowe: Adjustable rear wings will be a hit

McLaren engineering director Paddy Lowe is confident the addition of moveable rear wings will improve the Formula One spectacle.

This season teams will see the introduction of moveable rear wings, which, when activated, will give the driver a better straightline speed over the car in front, making overtaking easier.

However, there are some concerns that the wings could lead to "artificial" racing.

"For sure it will help with overtaking and hopefully it won't be too artificial in that you'll be waiting until the last lap, wanting to be the car behind," said Red Bull Christian Horner.

Lowe, though, is adamant the adjustable rear wings will prove to be a better concept then front wing adjustments.

"Yes, I certainly do - it has a lot more leverage," he said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.

"On the front wing adjustment, that was introduced along with the OWG regulations in 2009, and it was really only intended as a mild adjustment in order for the driver to trim the balance of the car when in the wake and attempting to overtake another car.

"I was a member of the OWG and we actually put it in there as an insurance policy as we were all a bit worried that we'd got it wrong and the car would be very unbalanced in the wake and possibly have oversteer.

"As it turned out, nobody really used the front wing for that purpose at all. So we all agreed last year that we would get rid of it in the interests of simplicity and cost saving.

"It will add a bit more of a challenge in the race in terms of balance because now we will have to make any front wing adjustments in the pit stops."

But while most in F1 are eagerly anticipating the new rear wings, Lowe revealed that there is still work to be done as the FIA need to decide at what point on each track drivers may deploy the adjustments.

"The one control that the FIA have is that at each race circuit they can set the deployment point on the straight at which you're allowed to press the button - for instance you might be allowed to press it for the last 300 metres of the straight to the braking point," he said.

"The FIA have it in their power to limit the situation so that the authority of the system is making sense, and that may take one or two races to settle down.

"But they can lengthen or shorten that amount of straight on a race by race basis. So I think that will give some ability to make the thing work in the way that we intended."

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