Date:Thursday February 24 2011
In recent years we’ve had refuelling in races and now no refuelling in races, we’ve had pit stops for tyres and a period of no pitting for tyres, we’ve had KERS, we’ve not had KERS and now we have KERS again.
The regulations in Formula One are forever changing, this season as well as the reintroduction of KERS to some teams; we also have the introduction of the driver-adjustable rear wing.
Without getting too technical, this has an off switch and an on switch, it isn’t designed to be adjustable to different settings, it merely increases the gap between the main plane and the flap of the rear wing from around 10mm to 50mm.
The purpose? Well it will significantly reduce drag down the straights, therefore increasing the cars speed.
The idea? Is to increase overtaking and to do this we have umpteen regulations for when it can and cannot be used.
In practice and qualifying it’s a free for all, you can push the button as often as you please, in the race however it gets complicated.
It cannot be used during the opening two laps of the race and after that it can only be used at certain parts of the track and only then when the driver is less than one second behind the car in front.
How does the driver know? Well a little light flashes on the dashboard and when that is on, he is free to use the adjustable rear wing and make an overtaking manoeuvre.
Will it work? We simply won’t know until Australia and if it doesn’t work, what then? More changes?
'I strongly believe that Formula 1 changes too often, My opinion is clear: there should be a discussion with all involved parties for one year, or even two if necessary, and then introduce a set of regulations that may well be revolutionary, but with many years of stability.” Jarno Trulli told Autosprint magazine.
'Each change is a cost for the teams, and if the top teams can afford investments in the short term too, for the other teams it's a financial drain. Another thing I want to highlight is that every change is a cost for the big audiences, the ones that watch on Sundays.
'A spectator can't always be chasing the changing regulations, like refuelling, number of pit stops, F-duct and KERS. Can a spectator get passionate about KERS? People at home want to understand, and if we carry on changing the regulations every year we are just creating confusion.'
If a combination of the re-introduction of KERS, the new Pirelli tyre compounds and the driver-adjustable rear wing makes overtaking easier, then it is likely to be a hit with spectators, despite it feeling a little bit artificial amongst the purists.
If it doesn’t work, then expect Formula One to make further changes in future regulations trying to chase ways to make the sport different.
In truth Formula One is forever changing, regulations are always changing to try and make the cars slower and safer, while the Formula One designers desperately test and simulate new ways to make the cars faster, it’s the constant evolution of the sport.
The difference this time is that the changes feel gimmicky, for all intents and purposes, F1 is attempting to introduce a Playstation style boost button and not everyone will be a fan.
Date:Thursday February 24 2011
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