The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has announced that they will be implementing new rules at the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix, aiming to deter teams from exploiting the flexible-wing gimmick.
The impact of these changes has yet to be determined and will differ across individual teams. However, prominent figures in the field have minimized the possibility of a significant upheaval in team rankings.
Speculations have been floating around that Aston Martin, earlier this season, had to tone down its assertive wing flexibility. Toto Wolff, the team’s principal, is curious to see what the new rules will bring.
Wolff stated, “It’s going to be interesting. I think with the Aston Martin, you’ve seen that they made a step backwards with their wing moving less, but I don’t know the details. Let’s wait and see.” He added that it’s uncertain as to who has been making the most of these flexibility allowances, but speculated, “it’s maybe Red Bull [if it] is half a second slower suddenly.” He concluded, “That would be nice, but I don’t think that will be the case.”
Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA‘s single-seater director, predicts that the changes will not dramatically impact the competitive order, stating, “I don’t think we’ll see huge changes. Compared to other interventions done in the past, I don’t expect revolutions.”
Tombazis further explained, “These are medium-low level interventions and, for this reason, the teams are not shouting and have taken the changes quite well.”
Dave Robson, Williams head of vehicle performance, believes the demands of the FIA will likely prompt all teams to make some modifications. He said, “I think the way the TDs are written, they’re clearly aimed at quite specific things that the FIA have seen, so they must be affecting some people.” Robson then noted that although they have some adaptations to make regarding their floors, the wing conditions do not pose a significant issue. He added, “So yeah, hopefully it will slow some people down.”