McLaren F1 Director Fires a Warning to Red Bull & Mercedes After Ugly ‘Flexi-wings’ Saga

Published 01/02/2022, 1:31 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 9, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during qualifying REUTERS/Umit Bektas


The 2022 cars are expected to be a lot different from the 2021 cars. Formula One is bringing in new regulations to help promote better racing and induce more wheel-to-wheel action. The cars will also have bigger tires, as Pirelli will introduce 18-inch tires in place of the existing 13-inch tires.

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Interestingly, McLaren Technical Director James Key believes that there will be some tricks played by some teams.

Despite strict restrictions and checking, the F1 teams and engineers always manage to find some loopholes to gain performance. But Key believes the FIA will be stricter while checking the wings on the cars after the Flexi-wing controversy in the 2021 season.

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Testing for the rear wings will be tightened up: McLaren engineer James Key

The British engineer believes the FIA will closely monitor the regulations and also check the wings on the cars regularly. Both Mercedes and Red Bull have complained about each other’s wings in 2021. The Flexi-wing also brought Mercedes under fire during the early part of the season. FIA even penalized the German team for having an illegal rear wing at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

“Testing for the rear wings will be tightened up. The beam wing is coming back. You can certainly use that in some way. The front wing is a massive part. But there are also strict stiffness guidelines on that.” said Key.

Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 4, 2021, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“I think there will be some tricks that teams can play with, but nothing you can just exploit. The FIA will take a close look at that. The rules are written restrictively, but that tends to stimulate innovation. I expect to see different ideas. We will all look at what the others have been doing.” said the McLaren engineer.

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Hopefully, it would be McLaren that innovates something extraordinary that propels them to compete directly with the likes of Red Bull and Mercedes in the 2022 season. Key is looking forward to seeing where the new McLaren stands in the pecking order in the future.

How do you think the 2022 season will shape up?

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Devang Chauhan

726 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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