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Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

FIA chief Charlie Whiting defends rear wing system

Charlie Whiting
Whiting will choose the straight on each circuit where the system can be used

Race director Charlie Whiting has denied that the new moveable rear wings in Formula 1 will give race control any more influence over races.

The system allow drivers to reduce drag, aiding overtaking in straights.

It can only be deployed if a driver is within a second of the car in front, as measured by race control, and from a specific point on the track.

"Race control has no influence over the outcome of a race. The system will be armed automatically," said Whiting.

The introduction of the moveable rear wings, along with the return of the Kers system which reapplies kinetic energy that would otherwise have been lost as heat, has been designed to make the sport more exciting in 2011.

The system will be tuned with with the intention of assisting the following driver, not guaranteeing him an overtaking manoeuvre

Charlie Whiting

However, some have suggested that a device that can only be used with approval from the FIA's race control could be a source of controversy.

Whiting stated that the rules are clear and allow no room for subjectivity.

"Cars will simply have to get within one second of the one in front, the system will be armed automatically and the driver can use it at the predetermined point," added Whiting.

"There is no question of race control being able to intervene."

Whiting said the benefit of the moveable wing system is "likely to be in the region of 10-12km/h difference at the end of the straight", but he is also keen to ensure that it does not become decisive in battles between drivers.

"It should be remembered though that the distance over which the system may be used is going to be tuned with the intention of assisting the following driver, not guaranteeing him an overtaking manoeuvre," he commented.

In the event of a malfunction in the FIA's timings systems, drivers will be able to activate the system without being notified by the on-board electronics, but they will still need permission from race control.

Heavy penalties will be imposed for its unauthorised use.

Whiting added that there will be lines painted on the track to indicate where proximity between two cars is detected and again on the following straight to show where the driver can use the system.

It is thought that the latter line will come around 600 metres before the braking zone.

Television broadcasters will be sent a signal when the system is armed to enable them to inform their viewers.

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see also
How new rules could change F1
22 Dec 10 |  Formula 1
F1 cars to undergo major changes
21 Dec 10 |  Formula 1
Was 2010 the best F1 season ever?
16 Nov 10 |  Formula 1

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