Mosley does U-turn to enable overtaking

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Having once said that too much overtaking would be tedious and confusing for spectators and television viewers, Mosley changed his tune in July.

A survey conducted by the FIA in conjunction with the computer chip company AMD, revealed what fans of the sport had long known: that the majority (94 per cent) want to see more of it.

The present cars' aerodynamic turbulence militates against overtaking by robbing following cars of their vital frontal down-force.

Designers have focused on making their cars as aerodynamically efficient as possible while creating maximum turbulence in their wake.

Since July, however, the FIA has initiated a programme of research into improving the aerodynamic performance of a car when it is trying to overtake. The objective was to produce regulations for a car shape which would create a wake in which a following car would generate more down-force with reduced drag.

The FIA's research team, with the help of its technology partner AMD, has reached a preliminary conclusion which Mosley will present to the Formula One Commission for further consideration today.

The Centreline Downwash Generating (CDG) wing effectively comprises two narrower conventional rear wings, one mounted aft of each rear wheel, with a clear gap between them.

The airflow between the two wings is much cleaner, and therefore following cars are able to retain their own aerodynamic efficiency and will thus have a better chance of passing.

Mosley intends that the CDG wing will form part of the 2008 FIA Formula One technical regulations, but hopes that it could be adopted as early as 2007 if the teams are in favour.

The other key change, which represents another U-turn by the man who introduced less grippy grooved tyres in 1998, is a return to slick tyres with full-width treads to give drivers greater mechanical grip, which could also assist overtaking.

"This new research is important for the future of Formula One," Mosley said. "By introducing the CDG wing we can give motor sport fans exactly what they have asked for, wheel-to-wheel racing with much more overtaking.

"It is our hope that the teams will collaborate with us in the optimisation of this radical new idea so that the aerodynamic benefits can be introduced into Formula One in 2007 rather than having to wait until 2008," he added.