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FIA to introduce stricter front-wing testsin 2013
Friday 16th November 2012, 00:43 by Ryan Wood
© Red Bull Racing, Getty Images
The FIA will introduce more rigorous tests from 2013 onwards in a bid to combat the current exploitation of flexible bodywork in the area ahead of the front tyres.
In particular, the governing body will introduce stricter front-wing load tests in response to the increasing claims that some teams are skirting the rules.
The current test sees a 1,000N force applied to the wing 790mm ahead of the forward centre line - this test has been revised on two occasions already to catch teams out, but the FIA believes some teams are managing to design their wings specifically to pass the test without flexing, whilst still benefitting on track.
FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting, speaking in Austin, explained the reasons behind the new tests which will come into force in 2013.
"I think rigidity, or lack of it, on some front wings has been the subject of a lot of discussion," he said. "We've attempted to introduce some new tests, which not only tests its vertical deflection but also torsional stiffness of the front wing as well. And we're going to take a step further next year as well.
"At the moment we apply the load at 790mm forward of the front axle. We are going to move that forward 15cm and back 15cm – so we will do two tests [rather than one]."
Whiting also responded to speculation over Red Bull's 'soft' nosecone which could be seen twisting in a video taken during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as an engineer removed it for a replacement during a pit-stop.
"What you saw on the Red Bull at the last race was extreme, as they had cameras on that part and the guy was actually twisting those cameras to try and get the nose off," he explained.
"I think if other cars had cameras mounted in those places and they did the same thing to get the nose off then they would do something very similar.
"We are satisfied that the Red Bull car is no more flexible than anybody else in that area so it was a rather strange phenomenon which I don't think anyone was expecting to see – but there was a perfectly logical explanation for it."