Several of Formula 1’s Team Principals have had their say on the FIA’s tightening of flexi-wing regulations ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
The F1 governing body has issued a new technical directive that will come into effect this weekend, meaning teams will face stricter scrutiny regarding Article 3.2.2 of the Technical Regulations, which relates to the illegal use of flexible wing components to aid aerodynamic performance.
The new directive calls teams to submit assembly drawings and cross-sections to scrutineering as part of stricter surveillance on the wing, wing endplates, assemblies and nose attachments.
It comes amid rumours some teams are manoeuvring a way around the regulation to incorporate flexi-wings into their respective packages, with several team bosses asked for their opinion during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
“The FIA, they have a lot of information, they can see things that other teams can’t see in terms of respecting cars,” said McLaren Team Principal Andrea Stella.
“We 100% trust their judgement and their approach and if they thought that it was the time to release a Technical Directive then it means that there is a reason for that.
“We are not very concerned about that, to be honest, so we take the positive that if the FIA felt it was needed, it means that there is something to clamp down and for us I think is good news.”
Ferrari chief Frederic Vasseur pointed to the meaning of a technical directive within the F1 regulations and joined Stella in supporting the measure.
“By definition, a TD is a clarification of the regulation,” he explained.
“We have to trust the FIA that if they consider that they have to do the TD it’s probably that the regulation was not clear enough and we trust the FIA in this direction to do that.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner supported Vasseur’s statement and hinted that Singapore will allow the FIA to uncover any flexi-wing conspirators.
“Yeah, I think Fred’s summed it up there,” he added. “It’s not something that affects us.
“We’ve seen a few rubbery nose boxes, shall we say, so we’ll see those get addressed, I guess, in Singapore.”
Horner’s comments slightly contradict those of rival Team Principal Toto Wolff of Mercedes, who said: “If maybe a Red Bull is half a second slower or something, that would be nice, but I don’t think it will be the case.”
Given Horner is confident that Red Bull won’t be hurt by the clampdown, Wolff and Mercedes, along with the rest of the F1 paddock, will have to continue working hard at closing down the gap to the runaway F1 leaders.
Red Bull remains the only team to win so far in the 2023 F1 season, with Max Verstappen having secured a record 10th consecutive win last time out at Monza.