FIA defend Formula One overtaking innovation

FIA race director Charlie Whiting has rejected suggestions the governing body could influence the outcome of grands prix this season.

The latest innovation to be introduced into Formula One this season is the adjustable rear wing designed to aid overtaking.



A driver must be within one second of the car in front prior to the straight on which the wing may be activated.



On-board electronics will notify the driver he can use the device, but only when he reaches the designated point on the straight, likely to be around 600 metres before the braking zone.



Given the system is controlled by the FIA, questions have been raised about fairness and in particular what would happen if it should break down.



However, Whiting said: "Race control has no influence over the outcome of a race.



"Cars will simply have to get within one second of the one in front, the system will be armed automatically and the driver can use it at the predetermined point.



"There is no question of race control being able to intervene."



As for factoring in unreliability, Whiting added: "We have written the software to allow a driver to override the system, if, for example, the proximity detection failed for any reason.



"This would only be permitted if the team had been given a specific instruction to do so from the race director.



"Heavy penalties will be imposed for unauthorised use."



It is a device that could prove difficult for the viewing public to follow, in particular as they would be unable to fathom whether an overtaking manoeuvre was assisted or not.



But Whiting said: "There is no reason to suppose spectators will be confused.



"There will be lines on the track to show the area where proximity is being detected, and a line across the track at the point where the drivers whose system is armed may deploy it.



"Furthermore, the television broadcasters will be sent a signal each time a system is armed, and this will be displayed to the viewers."



It is believed it will take two, potentially three grands prix for the system to be fine tuned as it has yet to be fully deployed.



Given it is still in the teething stage, Whiting concedes there is scope for using part of a free practice session next Friday ahead of the season-opening race in Australia to test it out.



"We will discuss the possibility with the teams on the day before first practice," said Whiting.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...