Why Mercedes F1’s New Front Wing Might Be Illegal

Why Mercedes F1's New Front Wing Might Be Illegal
Why Mercedes F1's New Front Wing Might Be Illegal

Mercedes F1’s new front wing may be illegal, as George explains…

Video Transcription

Hey guys, George here from the F1 Chronicle, and Mercedes might be in a bit of hot water. Well, let’s see what the FIA does with this anyway, because Red Bull has I don’t know if they’ve put an official protest in, but they have said to the FIA, Guys, can you take a look at that Mercedes front wing? Looks to be flexing a bit too much for my liking.

Let me just explain the situation and if the FIA is likely to do anything about it. So Mercedes obviously have been had a bit of an uptake in form. They did very well in Canada and I expect them to do well in Spain as well this week and given their, you know, given their history and everything there.

It’s a circuit that traditionally does benefit them quite a bit. They’ve done very well there in the past. I think they got double podium there last year as well. So. You never know they could be in for the win this time guys. It could be a real surprise with that But they’ve really been on the back foot since 2022, you know They they reacted to these new ground effect regulations really poorly and they’ve been very open in admitting that too So it’s not a surprise but the red bull have put a bit of a protest in or at least have told the FIA Guys, look at the front wing what’s going on here?

Because Mercedes have brought a lot of upgrades to the car and you know, it’s, it’s done this job. It’s, it’s really improved their performance. They’ve absolutely streaked away from Aston Martin in terms of their overall performance. But Red Bull have seen something wrong with Mercedes’s wing and they claim that it’s flexing too much at high speeds.

So what does this mean? Well, basically, so the way the front wings work, the way that any aerofoil area, any aerodynamic device works. I know this because I did my dissertation on it at university. Basically the way it works is that it’s the opposite to an airplane wing where air rushes over the top of it.

And then that produces a force downwards, downforce, and that helps stick the car to the ground. It pushes the tires into the tarmac, gives you more grip. That’s why you have to go really quick in a Formula 1 car to go around corners, because if you go slowly, there’s not enough air rushing over the aerofoil, and you don’t have enough grip, and you fly off the road, and you’re humiliated.

It happens to the best of you. In the F1 game, anyway. But, because of the always, you know, the always So they have a present goal in Formula One of trying to get as much grip as possible, trying to be as light as possible, to be as fast as possible. We always hear about fuel loads at F1. The heavier a car is, the slower it is.

And the same can be applied to any part of the car. If your car is overweight, your car is going to be slower. It’s got an inherent disadvantage. And one of the ways to make it lighter is to make things lighter. Thinner and narrower. That’s why these F1 cars don’t have a lot of paint on them. For example, that’s how far the weight shedding has gone.

And there are regulations about how much these front wings can flex when they’re going at high speed, when they have the most amount of pressure on them. What happens if you, especially if you go with a slow motion camera, you can see it live too. But if you go with a slow motion camera, you can see the front wings vibrating like that.

That’s what happens. And if it goes, if it does it too much, it’s unsafe in the FIA’s eyes, because it could, it leads to the car being unstable at high speed, and that could lead to an accident, particularly when there’s an overtaking move, so it’s a totally legitimate thing to do that. Now there are flex tests where they put a certain amount of weight at either end of the wing, and see how far it bends.

And if it passes that, it’s great, but if it’s not, it’s illegal. So the Red Bull team are basically, they’re saying, It might be illegal. It might not be. They’re going to have to look at it, the FIA. But if it is proved to be illegal, they could, you know, potentially if it’s proved to be illegal after the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes could get thrown out of the race, could get disqualified.

And we have seen this before. We saw this with Ferrari back in 1999 in Malaysia. They were reinstated, of course. But this did happen they got disqualified So it has happened before and Mercedes are going to be in for it again potentially, but we’ll have to see what happens But the main thing I think is that Red Bull rattled they’re scared they’re scared at Mercedes pace because Then the McLaren they’ve both caught up really in terms of their overall pace Ferrari too looking quick at times as well and basically Red Bull are going to try and look to get any advantage they can get now to try and keep those guys behind because every team does it every team does it if you’re not using the rule book to your advantage You’re not using it properly simple as that.

That’s Formula One. But yeah, so that’s why Mercedes’s front wing might get them in some serious trouble in F1. What do you think guys? Is it going to get them in trouble? Is it not let us know in the comments below and of course for more build ups to the Spanish Grand Pri keep it here on the f1chronicle.com

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