Formula 1 is about innovating, about thinking of something different that no one has ever thought of. This is limited, since that is what the FIA exists for, who defines what is allowed and what is not. However, teams are struggling to find gaps in that legal half. We saw in 2020 the DAS system, invented by the Mercedes team that undoubtedly attracted all eyes to its car. It was a great invention, something that no one had thought of, not even the FIA itself. Mercedes had managed to find a hole in the technical regulations for that season and took advantage of it to give its two cars a big advantage in the corners of each circuit.
Obviously, many teams did not agree with this invention, the main opponent was Red Bull. They protested and smartly Mercedes had everything figured out, DAS was indeed legal, however, the FIA decided to ban it for the 2021 Formula 1 season. This is the great opponent of innovation. Something similar has happened this season. We have seen great technological and mechanical advances in these new single-seaters, and one of them has Aston Martin.
The British team premiered a rear wing at the Hungaroring, where it showed endplates, these elements in that part of the car were prohibited by the FIA, this to eliminate the turbulent airflow that they caused, however, Aston Martin found a legal hole in the regulations, where they managed to create an endplate in the lower plane of the rear wing. The team used it at the Hungaroring and Zandvoort, circuits that require large amounts of downforce, while at Spa and Monza, the cars did not have the endplate. Aston Martin's technical director, Dan Fallows, commented that it is very possible that they will use it in Singapore. And just like with the DAS, Dan Fallows has confirmed, in an interview with The Race, that the design on their rear wing that includes an endplate will be banned for the 2023 Formula 1 season.
“We completely expect it to be banned for next year because it’s not a route the FIA want to take, and they’ve told us that. We’ve had discussions in the technical advisory committee, and everyone’s agreed that we will change the regulations slightly to not allow this design in the future," affirmed Andy Green, who serves as Aston Martin's chief technical officer.
“So the last you will see of it will be this year.”
When asked about the idea of the design, Andy Green commented: “It was just part of our normal development, trying to read the regulations free of prejudice, which often can be [difficult] when you’re given the model of a car and F1 says ‘this is what your car is going to look like.”
“It’s really difficult to read the regulations and come up with a solution that’s different. But you can do it, you just have to wipe your mind clean of the F1 solution and that’s what we came up with. It complies with everything that the regulations state the rear wing should be, it’s just no that they thought it should look like.”
In order to let people know what the FIA was going to do, they released an statement in which they way the status of Aston Martin’s rear wing design, and, as Andy Green said, the design they came up with, does comply with every single point of the 2022 regulations but does not comply with the intention of the invention of those rules made by the FIA, which is to race closer, as the turbulence from the endplate makes it very difficult to follow if there is a car behind the Aston Martin. This is what the statement says.
“The endplate design wasn’t one that was anticipated for the 2022 regulations and the FIA is currently discussing potential adjustments for 2023 with the teams.”