Formula 1 Racing

Mercedes and Aston Martin tech innovations banned for F1 2023

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing detail

The innovative concepts, involving the Mercedes front wing endplate and the Aston Martin rear wing, have been made illegal through changes in F1’s technical regulations.

Both concepts raised eyebrows when they were introduced because, while fully complying with the wording of the rules and being deemed legal by the FIA, they appeared to go against a broad concept that car designs to increase performance did not make it harder for cars to follow each other.

Mercedes’ radical front wing endplate first appeared at the Miami Grand Prix and featured a unique design in the intersection between the flapped section and the endplate.

This was done in order to try to recoup some of the outwash that was lost with the new regulations.

The flaps had been swept forward very aggressively in the outer section, so the rear lower edge of the endplate was completely detached from the flaps.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin came under the spotlight at the Hungarian Grand Prix when it introduced a rear-wing design that appeared to break one of the key intentions of the 2022 rules.

Its design featured a unique arrangement on the front portion of the endplate that allowed the main plane to butt up to it in a more traditional way, thus increasing its span and the downforce that can be generated.

The new regulations had hoped to bid farewell to the traditional endplate and wing interaction of the past, with a curved transition between the elements.

This was designed to reduce the strength of the tip vortex, thereby limiting airflow disruption and helping in the overall goal of making it easier for cars to follow one another.

While the FIA was happy with both concepts to allow them to be used this year, formal tweaks have been made to the 2023 technical regulations to ensure that the grey areas that allowed them have been tidied up.

The FIA’s single-seater technical director Nikolas Tombazis said: “Obviously this year they were both legal. The regulations have changed on both the front and the rear in different ways to stop those solutions.”

This has been done through alteration of the rules that are now stricter regarding the sweeping back of front wing flaps, as well as being more specific about rear wing tip definitions.

Performance advantage

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Despite the Aston Martin idea now being banned, its performance director Tom McCullough said he was still proud of the fact that his team had created something…

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