Ferrari are one of a handful of teams that must redesign their rear wing to comply with a technical directive issued by the FIA last week, as it clamps down on bendy, or flexible wings.
Whilst Red Bull’s RB16B has been at the centre of the discussion surrounding flexi-wings, following video footage from the Spanish Grand Prix which showed their rear wing rolling back at high speed – therefore cutting drag and boosting top speed – they are not the only team playing with the rules.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto confirmed on Thursday in Monaco that his team would also need to make changes to comply with the updated load tests the FIA are set to carry out from the French GP.
“Yes we are exploiting [the rule],” said Binotto. “I think all the teams are exploiting somehow what’s possible and what we believe is right.
“We will need to slightly adapt. I don’t think it’s impacting Ferrari much, certainly on the lap time, from what we’ve seen, very, very little. But there is some redesign needed to comply fully to the technical directive. But again, I think as Ferrari, it’s not impacting us much but the redesign is required.”
Red Bull’s Christian Horner estimated that redesigning their rear wing would cost around $500,000 and this would come at the expense of other developments due to the budget cap.
“I think for a team like us running up against the cap then strategically you have to make choices. The impact of something like this is probably about half a million dollars. That will prevent something else from happening, but that’s the juggling act we are now having to make with the budget cap and financial regs.”
Whilst Ferrari and Red Bull will need to make changes, both McLaren and Williams have confirmed their wings would pass the stricter load tests, whilst Mercedes’ Toto Wolff joked they would redesign their wing to be more flexible.
“For us it doesn’t have any influence because we don’t have to change anything on the car,” said McLaren’s Andreas Seidl. “Our car was compliant with the regulations for the first races and it is compliant now.”
Wolff added: “Yes we will need to modify our wing. We need to soften it, our wing is extremely rigid, complying to the famous Article 3.8 that it must remain immobile. The new test that has been introduced is a half-baked solution which is giving us opportunity; the whole thing can soften and bend more in the future.”