Air today, Gone tomorrow?


Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Valued Member
Well it's a case of here today, gone tomorrow for the much discussed "F-Duct" as according to Autosport a majority of Teams agreed during the Spanish GP weekend that the device should be banned from 2011.

The article states that the prime issue seems to be on safety grounds given the pictures this weekend of Alonso trying to drive at 200mph no handed due to his left hand being used to divert the Airflow through the duct and his right on the brake ballence switch.

Several teams have investigated fitting the device to their cars but most are finding it difficult due to the current rules with regards to their chassis and all the teams fear another costly chassis design war to produce more effective and complicated wing stalling devices for next year.

With the apparent return to KERs fitted cars next season I can't see a ban on F-ducts being a major problem for anyone however Mclaren who have invested a lot of time and energy into developing the idea were not in favour of a ban as you could understand.
They talk of innovation in F1 and yet every innovation gets banned. They talk of reintroducing KERs because it is relevant technology and yet they want it to be a standard unit having nothing innovative about it and therefore nothing to feedback into roadcar design. :givemestrength: A reintroduction of KERs will require all the teams to redesign their cars, with most teams very nearly completed the designs for their 2011 car.

Nick Fry stated that the F-Duct opened up a whole new precedent for interpreting the rules and would lead to even more creative designs and innovation. So what they are really intent on banning in F1 is innovation, and what they are intent on encouraging is recycling expensive old and redundant technologies.

Give them 20 litres of fuel and tell the teams they can design anything they want to complete a 300k race in the quickest time possible. Then we'd see some innovation and relevant technological developments.

So McLaren manage to successfully develop and integrate KERS and it gets banned the following season.

They then manage to integrate a concept like the F Duct better than any other team and it too gets banned for the following season.

Not that I'm suggesting anything you understand...

So because Ferrari's implementation of it involves the use of a hand rather than a knee it's banned on safety grounds.
Does that mean Ferrari won't be using it for the rest of the season on safety grounds?

Craziest quote from the article goes to Nick Fry:
"By the end of the year I know we, and I am sure most of the other teams, will have an F-Duct on their car and that neutralises the advantage of having it.

So because all teams will have it eventually it makes it pointless?
Isn't that the same for wings, engines, etc?

F1 really is a spec' series in all but name now.
Same old, same old unfortunately. Anything innovative one team has and the others don't they all want banned as it's "unfair". Well boys, that's why you spend millions on R&D so pop back to base and have a go at your engineers instead of bleating to the FIA.

I'm not going to comment on Nick Fry's quote as the bloke is just a complete pillock.
Well F1 is suppose to be the most technically innovative sport going, yet innovation naturally costs money. How many quirky designs that get around the rules have come out of the back of the grid over the last few years? Not a sausage.

So for the FIA to infer that the top teams can innovate without a budget is a joke, the FIA's strangulation of the what teams can do with the car is itself almost enough to stifle all innovation regardless of budget, but if caps eventually get put in place i think that will be the final nail in the coffin wrt F1's position as 'pinnacle of motor sport'.

And as much as I cant stand our governing body, i'm getting a bit fed up FOTA just deciding a subset of rules. I appreciate they should be involved in the process, but that should be as far as it goes, rather than teams using FOTA as a way of blackmailing each other just because someone cried about an F-duct.

I don't think there is an easy answer to saving innovation in the sport, personally I don't take any pity on the shoestring budget teams, especially when the sport is being destroyed to pander to them. A good start to get things back on track would be to give a few teams directions to a GP2 garage and tell them to close the door on their way out :thumbsup:
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