In the cases of a controversy such as the Mercedes rear wing affair in Brazil, we could look up the technical regulations of Formula 1 and then form our own opinion. It still stated quite clearly that the gap between the two rear wing elements was above 85 millimeters.

Admittedly, not all rule violations were so easy to understand. Even in the good old days, with some disputes, you had to leaf through several places in the rule book, and sometimes even consult the sports law. The homologation regulations, wind tunnel usage times, test bench restrictions or a list of the components of the drive units were in the appendix to the Sporting Regulations.

Tight Shackles for the Engineers

With the introduction of new cars in 2022 changes also the approach of the control concept. The technical part is no longer written for the average consumer, but for the people who construct these cars. The entire vehicle is divided into legality boxes, into so-called CAD grids. Within these, reference points are set in a coordinate system. Every one of it, no matter how it is designed, has to fit into this grid. This made it possible to put tight chains on the engineers.

The regulations basically differentiate between reference volumes (RV) and reference surfaces (RS). Each aerodynamic surface is described in a coordinate system. Five lines divide the car into sections. From AA at the front end of the survival cell to the center axis of the rear suspension. Between them is the centerline of the front axle, at least 1.810 millimeter behind AA the line CC and turn 875 millimeters in front of this point the plane BB.

The whole thing now gets new abbreviations. AA becomes XA, BB becomes XB, CC becomes XC, the axle lines become XF and XR. The distance specification “0” means that you are exactly on this line. Four so-called reference points are defined in relation to the Y and Z axes, which form the maximum playing field in all three directions.


A rear wing endplate in coordinates

A rear wing is no longer just a wing that 870 millimeters above the reference plane, depending on the height between 870 and 875 millimeters wide and not more than 810 millimeters beyond the center line of the rear axle. This is what it said in Articles 3.2.3 and 3.6.1 and 3.6.2 of the Technical Regulations of 2021.

With the 2022 cars it will read more complicated dimensions. Here is just one example of the strict rules the airfoils have to follow. In Paragraph 20.1, for example, a rear wing endplate is precisely defined. Your volume on the XR plane=85 must be within the following coordinates:

A line between , [430, 515].

A line between [430, 515], [480, 660].

A line between [480, 660], [555, 660].

A line between [555, 660], [490, 515].

A line between [490, 515], [460, 325].

A line between [460, 325], .

Not only the volume is strictly prescribed, but also the curvature of the surfaces in their respective legality box. For example, in the chapter on the nose of the car under Article 3.6.1, the shape is severely restricted. There must be no section on the nose that has a concave curvature.

Interpreter for rule violations

If there was an infraction, the normal Z viewers were completely overwhelmed. In the future, the FIA ​​must always provide a translator for rulings on technical disputes, who converts the CAD definition into everyday language.

If the association supports the Followers left alone without a corresponding explanation, he would lose credibility. If a car does not comply with the rules, the viewer wants to be able to understand the point at which the rules were violated.

Exact numbers for exact components are rarely read in the new rulebook. In most cases, it can only be determined by calculation over three corners. For example, the maximum wheelbase of 3555 millimeters is one of the few sizes mentioned directly. The requirement to simplify the rules was not met either. The technical regulations grow from 133 on 169 Pages.

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