Making it Easy

While it should never be too difficult to overtake, it should not be too easy either; however measures to avoid repeats of the dire events at Bahrain and Abu Dhabi has seen the FIA introduce a rather drastic measure with the introduction of a flexible rear wing at the latest World Motorsports Council meeting yesterday. 

This new ruling would see a car behind get a boost by changing the angle of a section of the rear wing plane when within one second of the driver ahead, thereby creating extra straight-line speed and an overtaking possibility.
Yet the driver ahead will not have the same measures at their disposal and it is this raises my ire somewhat. Overtaking is primary skill in motorsport and the flexible rear wing rule negates that skill to a degree. This is supposed to be the top level of motorsport and elements like the flexible rear wing rules simply cheapen the art of overtaking, potentially reducing its significance as happened with the reintroduction of refuelling in 1994.

It feels like a cheap option. When refuelling returned to help “spice up the show”, it in one foul swoop removed what little on track overtaking was left. Rather than fix the cars and circuits, a gimmick was brought into play and the flexible rear wing is just another gimmick.
Soon, the talk was of strategy and chess moves, but that is not interesting if no one can still overtake through daring and skill. The KERS units will also return from next season.

On the subject of easy overtaking, the ban on team orders has been lifted… at last. As much as it would be delightful that team orders would go away, the truth is they never did and never will. If there is not arranged passing on track, then positions are most likely to be changed in the pits.
There are other forms of team orders and favouritism too – Red Bull’s pre-qualifying actions at Silverstone this year were technically a form of team favouritism. Advising drivers to hold position is also another form of team orders – it still rules out the possibility of good racing. For the most part, team orders may not be as blatant as displayed at Hockenheimring this year, but they do exist and it would be dreadfully naïve to assume otherwise.
I still don’t understand why Ferrari didn’t swap them during the pitstops though…

Other technical rules discussed revolved around the engine regulations for the 2013 season. The engines will change from their current 2.4-litre V8 format to 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo’s, with power output to be around 750bhp – similar to current machinery; however, it is thought to lead to 35% increase in fuel efficiency.
The power output of KERS will also increase for the 2013 season – the new power of the new units will increase from 60kw to 120kw in 2013.

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