For some time now one of the most intriguing stories unfolding in Formula 1 is the Red Bull Flexi Wing saga. What is the case? In Formula 1 both front and rear wings have to adhere to specific requirements to be compliant with the rules. One of these requirements is that the wings should not flex too much. Flexing wings are deemed dangerous as they could break off, changing the characteristics of the car radically and thereby bringing the driver in immediate danger of loosing control of the car.
For some time now this season Red Bull is suspected to be using flexible wings - read more here - and of course they deny it. Some pictures however are looking to be very compelling evidence that they do flex.
So the question is, what is going on. Today I read an eye-opener. How do they test the wings on flexing? They put 100kg on each side of the front wing, 200kg in total! Now to put this in perspective, a Formula 1 car’s wings generate several times their own weight in down-force. At >190km/h the down-force is already 2x it’s weight 2×650kg=1300kg! (read here). The front wing bears about 25% of this amount, being in total 325kg at 190km/h. So at higher speeds it is even more!
So to really test Red Bulls Front Wings (and others for that matter) more than 325kg is needed and not 200kg! Let’s see whether more people find this fact (especially within F1!).