Formula One: Adjustable Front Wings

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Formula One: Adjustable Front Wings

Not a great deal other than "uh...what?!" and "eww, gross" has been said about the new front wings for the 2009 Formula One season.

They feature an adjustable flap, which the drivers can control from the cockpit twice per lap, enabling them to follow closer behind their competitors promoting more passing for the 2009 season.

The six degree difference between the two available positions may not seem like much, but reports from the drivers have proven their efficacy. 

The questions that I still have about these wings are the following, and maybe some of you educated fans can help me out on this one.

1. Due to them being electronically connected to the driver's steering wheel, does their replacement increase the time it usually takes to change a front wing during a pit stop?

Does anyone have any info on what connections are used?

2. The drivers can tell the difference after adjusting the wings when following another car closely, but should functionality of the adjustable flap be lost, will they be able to sense that something is wrong when they are not following another car closely? Or will they need to compare lap times to come to this conclusion?

I say this because the McLaren drivers both agree that their car feels fine when driving, but it obviously has some major issues when comparing their lap times with the other teams. An unnoticed flaw in the functionality could cost a lot during a crucial qualifying lap.

3. The functionality seems quite simple, but have any teams experienced reliability issues with the front wing flap?

With the front wings being so large compared to last year, and the fact that drivers cannot see the full wing from the cockpit because they hide in front of the tires, there will undoubtedly be some damaged wings this season, at which point some of these questions may be answered.

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