Red Bull and Mercedes drama with flexible wings in 2022 a thing of the past

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In 2022, flexible rear wings will no longer be a problem. At least, that’s what James Key, technical director at McLaren thinks. The Briton is aware of the regulations for the upcoming Formula 1 season and states that it is no longer possible to drive with flexible wings. Red Bull Racing and Mercedes still did this in the 2021 title battle.

Key, who worked for Toro Rosso for years and then made the switch to the Woking stable, explains why flexible wings are a thing of the past: “Some tests are tougher, especially with regard to the rear wing,” he told Motorsport-Total. At the end of the 2021 season, the rear wing of the Mercedes W12 appeared to be sagging under high pressure on the straight. This will not be possible next year.

Key: ‘There are very strict guidelines for how stiff the part should be. I think there will always be tricks, but there will be no way to easily take advantage of loopholes.” At McLaren, they therefore assume that none of the direct competitors around the rear wing will find much speed compared to 2021.

Teams focus on the floor

With the return of the ground effect, the floor of the new generation of Formula 1 cars will become very important. That is exactly where Key expects to see a lot of difference between the participants: ‘There will be other areas in which one can play with the regulations.’ It is therefore important that Key does not see such an area in the rear wing.

Key expects the FIA ​​to have a busy year. The teams are looking for the limits of the regulations and that will undoubtedly result in participants exceeding these limits with their design. ‘I’m sure it will lead to problems again at some point. It’s a clear area that will be properly regulated in the coming year.’

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