Does the new rear wing on the Aston Martin AMR22 with the prominent bulges on the sides comply with the so-called spirit of Formula 1 regulations, yes or no? Those involved in the Formula 1 paddock are arguing about this at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix near Budapest.
Because the regulations for 2022 were actually designed in such a way that the vehicles ensure as little turbulent air as possible in order to make it easier for other cars to keep up and overtake. Therefore, the 2022 rear wing design actually dispenses with side end plates with free-standing upper edges.
But Aston Martin is bringing something like that back into play, possibly with negative consequences for aerodynamics and racing. At least that is the fear. The technical managers of the other Formula 1 teams, however, see this as an interesting approach that could soon set a precedent.
Sportchefs: If it’s faster, then…
Alpine Sport Director Alan Permane says: “If the concept is faster, you will see nine more versions of it. I don’t see why that shouldn’t happen if it’s perfectly legal. I get the point about the spirit of the regulations, but for us it’s all about being fast and reliable on the road.”
Whether something corresponds to the spirit of the regulations or not is “a matter for the FIA and Formula 1,” says Permane. “I also have my doubts that anything can be done about it this year. And I’m very sure we’ll see more of that very soon if it proves faster.”
Ferrari sports director Laurent Mekies thinks similarly: “If Aston Martin has reinsured itself with the FIA and the FIA [den Flügel] thinks it’s legal, then everyone will try it. If he’s faster, he lands on all the cars.”
Aston Martin assures: FIA was always in the know
And Aston Martin has reinsured itself with the World Automobile Federation (FIA), as team boss Mike Krack explains when asked: “When you develop ideas like this, you usually don’t wait until the last second to show it.”
“We were in contact with the FIA throughout the development so that we could understand whether that was something that would be accepted. In the end we got the green light, so we decided: Okay, then let’s do it.”
Krack downplays the importance of the new rear wing, saying the design is “bottom line is nothing special,” just “one [andere] Interpretation of the rules”. Then he emphasizes again: “We have the wing on base [dieser Regeln] and developed in interaction with the FIA.”
What could theoretically happen next
He therefore calmly awaits all further developments in this matter. Original sound: “I’m not worried about that, not even about [potenzielle] Rule changes that could ban such designs. We’ll deal with it.”
But what can happen? Theoretically, the Formula 1 Commission, consisting of representatives from Formula 1, the world association and teams, could also issue a short-term ban. However, only if there is a majority of 28 of the 30 votes.
But Red Bull is one of the teams that already seems to be dealing with a replica. Team boss Christian Horner says: “We have another interesting possibility. Who knows? So maybe we’ll copy something from Aston Martin instead of the other way around!”