The FIA formally bans Mercedes’ innovative front wing design for 2023

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

The FIA has formally banned Mercedes’ 2022 front wing innovation, with a technical regulations tweak for 2023.

World Motor Sport Council has approved changes to the 2023 technical regulations which essentially banned Mercedes’ innovative front wing concept, first seen at the 2022 United States Grand Prix.

The front wing featured new slot-gap generators, which the FIA determined provided a secondary aero benefit, and were therefore not in line with the ‘spirit of the regulations’.

However, the team was allowed to be use the solution with some modifications. While it was never intended to be used in the US, Mercedes did use the modified wing at the Mexican Grand Prix.

At the time, Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin explained the situation.

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“I think there’s a fuss about it, because in the regulations, it talks about the primary use being for mechanical or measurement purposes, and clearly, there’s a secondary benefit of an aerodynamic design that’s in there as well,” the Briton said.

Shovlin added that the team had been in contact with the FIA during the design process, and was aware that it could ultimately be banned.

“We go through a CAD review process with the FIA before we come to the circuit, that happens all the time,” he said.

“And so it was something that was seen there. And then they came back and said, ‘We’re not so sure about this,’” Shovlin concluded.

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