F1 To Introduce Rear Wing Tests After Lewis Hamilton’s “Red Bull” Comment

The Fédération Internationale de l’ Automobile, Formula 1’s governing body, will introduce new rear wing flexibility tests for the French Grand Prix after reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton claimed that “Red Bull” uses “bendy wings” to gain an unfair advantage on the track.

In an interview with Sky on Saturday evening, Hamilton said: “The Red Bulls are really fast on the straights. They have this bendy wing on the back of their car which they put on today, and they gained at least three tenths from this wing.”

The FIA announced that it would be introducing load-deflection tests from June 15, 2021,  onward, after “becoming aware” that some rear wings had “excessive deflections while cars are in motion” despite passing all standard tests.

Considering that “such deformations can have a significant influence on the car’s aerodynamic performance,” F1’s governing body plans to perform new targeted static tests and utilize onboard cameras to monitor wing behaviour while cars are in motion. Teams will have to put special markings on their vehicles to make the process easier.

Responding to potential concerns coming from F1 teams, the FIA reminded them that an existing clause in F1’s technical regulations allows for new tests to be introduced. The article in question states that “the FIA reserves the right to introduce further load/deflection tests on any part of the bodywork which appears to be (or is suspected of) moving whilst the car is in motion.”

The FIA’s single-seater technical head Nikolas Tombazis said that the organization “will be looking out for any anomalous behaviour of the deformation of the rear wing.” “In particular, we will not tolerate any persistent out-of-plane deformation that may be contrived to circumvent the symmetrical loading applied in the load-deflection tests,” he added.

Should the FIA notice any abnormalities, it will introduce further load-deflection tests. Teams will have a month to modify vehicle wings if necessary to comply with the new tests.

Since even a fraction of a second can make a difference in Formula 1, it will be interesting to see how these modifications will affect F1 betting odds and how sports betting sites will react.