FIA tell Mercedes, Red Bull to change illegal wings

Date published: April 12 2019

The FIA have flagged up Mercedes and Red Bull for illegal front wing designs.

Mercedes and Red Bull have fallen foul of the new 2019 regulations after the FIA ordered them to change their front-wing designs for the Chinese GP.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport first reported that a cut-out at the top of the endplate on the new Mercedes concept doesn’t adhere to the rule that all main elements of the front wing must not be visible when viewed from the side.

However, RaceFans.net called this claim wide of the mark, instead stating that at the FIA’s request both teams changed the front edges of their endplates to prevent puncturing other cars’ tyres.

Either way, both Mercedes and Red Bull will now be forced to adapt or switch back to an old spec for qualifying on Saturday. Williams it is believed have also had similar designs prohibited by the FIA.

The new rules on simpler front wings for 2019 were brought in to reduce the so-called “outwash” effect, blamed for causing most of the turbulent air which has made it difficult for cars to follow each other in recent seasons.

It’s well documented that both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo have gone with a different approach to their design for the 2019 season.

They have tried to re-create the effect through the outer part of the upper elements – making it swoop back thus making them in compliance with the new regulation.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel set the pace in FP1 ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, before Valtteri Bottas finished fastest for Mercedes in FP2.

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