News and views on motorsports

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Aero Developments

A good article appears on Pitpass explaining the various aspects of the current "moving floors" controversy. It provides a good explanation of the mechanics of these new aerodynamic developments without the need for the reader to have a degree in aeronautics.

Explained in this manner, what sounds like yet another infringement by the Ferrari team similar to the row over flexi wings, has been made to look, well, kinda cool. I'm actual a sucker for developments of this sort. Its a purely racing innovation, which is the one of the main points of Formula 1 in my opinion. That is to be the pinnacle of racing technology.

Rules of course are rules. And at the end of the day, we can all shout and swear at cheats but as we have seen in the past it really depends on what the FIA say. And we all know they tend to show favour towards Maranello. But also, as the article on Pitpass maintains, the FIA generally will not take any strong action unless new innovations result in a compromise of safety or results in an unacceptable competitive advantage.

I think we can discard the argument regarding unacceptable competitive advantage, for isn't that the job of the teams and the whole point of innovation? Besides, what is new today would have been copied by all teams tomorrow. That being the case, there is a question of whether innovations such as these compromise safety. It may not have a direct safety compromise (such as make the car dangerously unstable or put the driver at risk) but then the FIA are always trying to slow the cars down in the name of safety. Of course there is a risk that if and when these aero parts break (and some examples are given by the Pitpass article), the situation then becomes dangerous and poses a safety concern.

But don't you love it that despite increasingly oppressive regulations, the designers are still trying everything they can to innovate? Its a pity that most of these inventions are not visible to the naked eye. But far be it from being irrelevant to fans, as alleged by Max Mosley, they are actually a source of fascination of the sport.

A good article, with a better explanation than the one GrandPrix.com attempts to give and with less of GrandPrix.com's sweep this under the rug away from the public eye attitude. That belittles the public and assumes that they "can't handle the truth."

All in all, I hope the FIA does nothing and doesn't ban these types of innovations and long may it continue.

1 comment:

Clive said...

I agree with you but it would be great if the FIA did ban it and that messed with the Ferrari's performance about as much as banning mass dampers did with the Renault's last year. Apart from demonstrating fairness, it might put the cars on a more even footing and give us an interesting season.