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Adjustable wing to aid passing in 2011


Lewis Hamilton lines up a pass on Mark Webber in CanadaFormula 1 is set to introduce an adjustable rear wing system to aid overtaking next year as part of the rules overhaul that will bring the end of double diffusers and F-ducts.

McLaren engineering director Paddy Lowe confirmed that the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) has proposed a system whereby rear wings can be adjusted to reduce drag - in the style currently controlled by F-ducts - when drivers are closely following a car in front, as outlined in Gary Anderson's AUTOSPORT technical column.

The device would increase the straightline speed of the car behind by approximately 15km/h to help overtaking, but could not be used on the opening laps of a race. The car in front would not be able to deploy the system in defence, but would be able to retaliate using the wing once it was following the rival car.

"The flap will be adjustable by the driver," Lowe explained during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes teleconference. "He can run it however he likes in qualifying, so what we'll actually do is make the flap so it has very low drag, and in qualifying that will allow you to get a better laptime by using it wherever you can.

"In the race, you can't use it for the first two laps at all, but after that if you're within a second of the car in front then you will be able to deploy it.

"So that will be very interesting. That's a FOTA initiative to improve the show and I think it's very exciting."

The FOTA proposal could be ratified at today's meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

In a further bid to improve overtaking, the teams have also agreed to end their voluntary ban on the use of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) in 2011 and to return the power boost-generating devices to their cars after a one-year absence.

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