The new changes to the flexi wings on some teams’ F1 cars are met with astonishment from Aston Martin. The British team believes the changes are likely to cost the cars up to 0.5 seconds per lap.

Some teams, such as Red Bull or Ferrari, were among the first to implement flexi wings and now other teams like Alpine or Alfa Romeo are following suit.

These new changes affect the wings of the cars, which can now be bent at high speed to give them a boost on the straights.

This worries the FIA a bit, as they suspect that this might violate their rules. The rules state that these new aerodynamic devices could be banned. Therefore, starting with the French GP, will be some more stringent testing of the cars by the FIA.

However, Otmar Szafnauer, team principal of Aston Martin, believes that this new method could make the cars slower and that there could even be gaps of up to 0.5 seconds on some tracks.

For cars with higher rake, it is even of great value aerodynamically, as they have more drag than low-rake cars.

Szafnauer said: “It’s very track-specific. At some tracks, it doesn’t help much at all, and at others, to have a flexi rear-wing does help.”

“I think a little bit, it will come our way [low-rake] a little bit, maybe by on average a couple of tenths of a second per lap or something. But there are some tracks where you get zero benefit, and others it could be up to half a second.”           

Aston Martin will therefore not move to the new changes and supports the opinion of Mercedes and McLaren that the tests at the French GP were too late:

“To design something that flexes just the right amount and passes the test but still flexes, takes a big effort,” he said. “But to design something that is stiff doesn’t take effort at all. And it can be done very, very quickly.”

Szafnauer also confirms that talks with the FIA on implementing the aero rule changes for this year, which hurt the low-rake cars, have ended satisfactorily:

“I think that’s been put to bed. We’ve had good conversations and discussions, trying to understand the process and how it transpired. I think there won’t be anything going forward.”

I'm from Austria and I'm a motosport-fan for more than 10 years. I want to be a journalist after I finish school. I am currently working for ASN Motorsports