Flex clampdown could shake up F1 pecking order

Singapore could see a shift in the F1 standings as the FIA introduces a new technical directive about flex.

The sport’s governing body is concerned that some teams in 2023 might have identified a loophole in the regulations which ban aerodynamic ‘flex’, mainly related to front noses, rear wings, and floors.

The FIA’s clampdown, set to commence this Singapore weekend with new testing protocols, could be the reason behind Aston Martin’s recent performance dip.

“It will be interesting,” noted Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

“At Aston Martin you can already see that they have taken a step back now that their wing moves less, but I don’t know the details. Let’s wait and see.

“I don’t know who will benefit more than others, but who knows. Maybe Red Bull will suddenly be half a second slower. That would be nice, but I don’t think that will be the case.”

Moreover, Red Bull’s Christian Horner observed that he’s seen “a few rubbery nose boxes” on competitors this season but negated that the directive has implications for them.

“I honestly don’t know what will change in the rankings,” remarked top Williams engineer Dave Robson. “But I don’t think we will be affected.

“We may have to adjust our floors a bit, but we are good in terms of wings. So hopefully it will slow some people down, which would be good for us.”

Adding his perspective, McLaren team leader Andrea Stella stated, “If the FIA felt it was needed, it means there is something to clamp down and for us I think it’s good news.”