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Questions Mercedes W15 Wing

F1’s Symonds Questions Mercedes W15 Wing Spirit

21/02/2024

F1 Director Pat Symonds critiques the Mercedes W15’s front wing, questioning its alignment with F1 regulations’ spirit despite FIA approval. He highlights the importance of close racing for the sport’s integrity.

F1 Director Pat Symonds commented on the Mercedes W15’s front wing. Surprising at the car’s unveiling, it was approved by the FIA. However, the engineer believes it may contradict the regulation’s spirit by fulfilling an unintended role.

“In Article 3, dictating how aerodynamic shapes are produced, the opening statement clearly states the rules aim to ensure cars closely follow each other,” Symonds remarked.

“What we’re seeing here is an attempt to generate a strong vortex to deflect the turbulent air from the front wheels, raising questions about its adherence to the regulation’s spirit.”

“It’s compliant with the regulations, it meets the letter of the law, there’s no doubt about that. Whether this is something we want is another matter. It’s arguably more debatable. But we need to understand the effect’s magnitude.”

“The FIA now has a very competent aerodynamics group, the team that worked for me, capable of assessing these matters and determining whether ‘there’s nothing wrong with this’ or ‘wait, this is the start of a trend we don’t really want to see’. They will have noticed it.”

Symonds does not want a team to create significant gaps: “It’s more about what’s good for the sport than what’s good for Mercedes or Red Bull. Having switched sides a few years ago, I now try to see what’s best for the sport.”

“There’s no doubt that close racing is good for the sport. Therefore, anything that promotes good racing is beneficial, while anything that detracts from the ability to race closely is, in my opinion, bad.”

Questions Mercedes W15 Wing. Questions Mercedes W15 Wing

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