2019's Bigger Front Wings Mean Teams May Have To Bring More Spares To Races

2019's Bigger Front Wings Mean Teams May Have To Bring More Spares To Races

Racing Point technical director Andy Green reckons that Formula 1 teams could be coaxed into bringing almost double the number of front wings to a race weekend this year than they did in 2018

Among the host of aerodynamic changes for 2019, the front wings have been subjected to the heaviest revision. In order to decrease their fragility and temperamental nature in turbulence, the number of vanes and appendages flicking off of the front wing structure has been decreased.

The dimensions of the wings have changed too. The width of the assembly has increased to 2000mm from 1800m, mirroring the overall breadth of the cars, therefore leaving them more exposed to contact - particularly in the immediate aftermath of a race start.

Green believes that the danger posed by this will see teams dramatically increase the number of spare assemblies they bring to a race weekend. He told Motorsport.com:

“Normally we would look at bringing five wings to a race. I think we are going to be up to seven to nine. We’ll see how it goes, obviously if we start going through them quite quick we might have to have more than that.”

“Budget-wise it’s probably the same because they are definitely easier and cheaper to manufacture. So we’re going to end up carrying a lot more wings in spares, a lot more.”

Those endplates do look mighty vulnerable... (c) Pirelli
Those endplates do look mighty vulnerable... (c) Pirelli

“They are a lot wider [and] a lot more susceptible to damage. We are already taking the bottoms off over kerbs and we’re not really pushing them very hard. The drivers are going to have to be pretty wary of them going into Turn 1 on the first lap.”

If we take a trip back to 2009, you may remember that a number of pundits - Martin Brundle, most pertinently - were certain that the wider wings would cause havoc and leave half the field needing to stop for first lap repairs.

It didn’t happen. Will it be more of the same a decade on?