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DATE News (chronologically)
02/01/11
f1
Moveable rear wing can be made to work - Newey  UPDATE Here is a video of how the movable rear wing can work:

02/01/11 Red Bull technical director Adrian Newey is confident the new moveable rear wing concept can be made to improve racing in Formula One, but has warned it might require some fine tuning.

There have been some concerns that the device, which cuts drag on the straight and boosts top speed, will make overtaking too easy. If true, that could result in drivers opting to be in second place at the start of the final lap in order to overtake and not be challenged again.

However, Newey is confident that even if that is the case, the FIA will be able to tweak the regulations by limiting the zone in which the wing can be deployed.

"The thing with the moveable rear wing, of course, is that we're allowed to deploy it all the time in qualifying but only in close proximity in the race, so that will no doubt have a big effect on how a race unfolds. Potentially overtaking, depending on how the rear wing is tuned, will certainly be easier. But whether it almost becomes like the old Monza slipstreamers, where there was an advantage to being second into the last lap remains to be seen.

"I don't think that's a problem because it's very easy to tune it, tune where it's applied. So that is something where I expect the FIA will be developing their learning and adjusting how it is allowed to be used through the season."

However, Red Bull driver Mark Webber could not understand why the wing will be free to use in qualifying.

"I haven't met a driver yet who understands why we are using it in qualifying," he said. "I don't know why we do that because we don't race each other in qualifying, so it just adds more stuff for us to do for no particular reason."

When asked if he will be allowed to use it against team-mate Sebastian Vettel, Webber said: "Well I hope we can use it against each other at the front, running one-two - that will be a nice problem to have. I think it's still such early days for how this wing will be used. The FIA I think will monitor how the wing situation is going. But in racing, of course, that is where it comes in, as a tool to help us overtake, so that's going to need fine tuning as the season goes on potentially. If we use it on each other then it should be fine."

Another major regulation change for the 2011 season is the return of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS). When KERS was first introduced in 2009, McLaren and Ferrari were the only teams to stick with it for the duration of the season and therefore develop it the most. Newey admits Red Bull's system is slightly bulkier than the very best units, but revealed the team had gone to considerable expense to get it to work with the new chassis.

"I think most people, including myself, learnt some lessons from 2009," he said. "We are again running a Renault-based system in partnership with Magneti Marelli. It's a little bit on the heavy side compared to the weight we believe other systems to be, but that's what we have available. It's where we've spent a lot of money and it's nice to be in a position to do that. But I don't think it will be a big performance differentiator apart from the struggle to keep the car under weight."

There has been some speculation that McLaren is launching later than its rivals because it will have an innovative addition to its car that it does not want others to copy. Newey believes that is all part of the fun of F1, but appeared confident with Red Bull's package.

"I think one of the beauties and great things about Formula One, is that there's always the possibility that someone else will come out with a great idea that the rest of us haven't thought of and gain an advantage through that. It's essential that the teams should be hard to perform against and that's one of the things that makes it so great. So from that sense there is some nervousness for us but also some excitement."  ESPNF1

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