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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Red Bull Wing Flex

We have now had collisions between, Vettel and Webber in Turkey, Webber and Kovalainen in Valencia and Vettel and Button at Spa.  Each involves Red Bull F1 cars of course.  Is that relevant?

The latest accident has caused many to write that a flexing, twisting wing caused or contributed to the accident at Spa, Belgium.

It is true that video footage shows the wing writhing like a surf board on a wave immediately prior to Vettel losing control.

The question is was this the cause of the accident?

Here are the events:-

Vettel's wing flexed as he tried to pull out of Button's slipstream.  

Vettel lost control as his wing twisted right then left.

Vettel hit Button's radiator, putting him out of the race.

A relatively small, soft front wing behind a large rear wing is going to create aerodynamic instability.  This is unavoidable.

What next then?:  When the new and revised (again) tests have been carried out at Spa, discuss and create rules with the specific object of facilitating safe and simple overtaking.  The debate over what caused the Spa accident will inevitably remain inconclusive.  All three accidents referred to above involved braking,  changes of direction and overtaking moves at very close quarters.

The rules should not be so obtuse that the entire field is unhappy about their interpretation.  Aerodynamics should not take the ascendancy of basic racing.

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