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BMW and its rear wing

NEWS STORY
06/07/2006

In response to an article on Pitpass in which we were critical of the ongoing claims that at least one team, namely BMW, is still flouting the rules and running an illegal wing, an FIA source contacted us to say that the sport's governing body is in "constant dialogue" with all the teams, and that contrary to the general opinion that it is not acting, is "carefully motoring the situation".

"The teams are constantly pushing to the limit, and it is up to us to ensure that they work within the rules," said the source.

With Honda's Nick Fry threatening to protest BMW's rear wing in Canada, one has to wonder why he didn't, for if the wing was illegal, as he claimed, he would have been well within his rights, indeed he would have been doing the sport a favour, since none of us wants cheating in Formula One.

On reflection, one could not help but feel that there was something odd about Fry's claims, since Honda, like its ten rivals is not in F1 for altruistic reasons, and therefore if it feels it is losing out because another team is cheating it has every right to protest.

The rear wing on the BMW was either legal or illegal, nothing in between. Therefore one has to say; 'put up or shut up'. If the rear wing is illegal protest it, if not can we please move on.

Although things were relatively quiet over the Indianapolis weekend, the story is back in the news, after claims that BMW was told to modify its wing before the French Grand Prix.

To clarify the situation, Pitpass contacted BMW, where a source said: "After it was suggested in the press that our rear wings do not conform to the regulations, we approached the FIA for clarification in Montreal. The FIA checked the rear wing once again on Sunday morning in Montreal and found it to be according to the rules.

"In the meantime," the source added, "the FIA contacted us and asked us to make a small modification, which has already been done."

Previously, BMW had said: "This discussion is as disturbing for us as it is unnecessary. On the other hand the discussions also show our competitors have noticed the improvements to the car and the team."

The last line, combined with the underperformance of some rival teams, not to mention the media's love of a bit of sensationalism, possibly gives a clue to what is really behind all this.

It is highly unlikely, if BMW were running an illegal wing, that it would attempt to draw further attention to itself by running the rather odd aerodynamic appendage that it is currently using at Jerez.

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