Formula 1 drivers have expressed major reservations about the introduction of movable rear wings next season, suggesting it could make the racing false and, more seriously, lead to safety worries.
The FIA gave the green light on Wednesday to plans for an adjustable rear wing to be introduced in 2011, with drivers able to open up the slot gap in their rear wing for a straight-line speed boost to help overtake cars ahead of them. With the rules dictating that the leading car will not be able to respond if his pursuer has gotten within one second of him in the previous sector, current drivers worry that the move could detract from the purity of F1.
Mark Webber said: "It is good for the PlayStation, I think, but I don't know how well it is going to work in F1. We need to put some good research into it, understand it and make sure it is beneficial for everyone – the drivers, the show, the spectators and safety, which is a big thing."
He added: "Overtaking moves should be about pressuring, being skillful, and tactical. Yes we want to see more overtaking, of course we do, we know that, but we also need to keep the element of skill involved in overtaking and not just hitting buttons, like KERS, like adjustable rear wings. We need to get the balance right in having skillful races between each other, and not an IRL [IndyCar] race where you pass each other four times per lap and everyone gets bored with that."
Robert Kubica backed up Webber's views that the movable wing may not bring the added dimension to the spectacle that the teams hoped for in coming up with the plan.
"If the wings move a lot, we will see the cars overtake in a straight line and I don't think there is a lot of excitement to see that," said the Renault driver. "It still will be the same for everyone and we will see how it will be working. The [adjustable] front wing was introduced to help overtaking by following the other cars, and we have seen it didn't work out."
Lotus driver Jarno Trulli reckoned that there could be major safety concerns about the wing, and thought that it could be an idea for the FIA to introduce a standard unit.
"I've only read a little bit about the new regulations and the one I do not appreciate is the movable rear wing, just on the question of safety," said the Italian. "This may only be my stupid concern. I'm not reading into it too much and we will talk with the engineers but we have to make sure we can run it in a way that it is safe.
"I have the lost the rear wing a couple of times and it is one of the most dangerous things you can have happen to you, because you are no longer in control of your car. Normally it fails at very high speed and you're going to end up hitting the wall. I do not want to have the worry of my rear wing failing. The front wing is slightly different even though it is still a problem, the rear wing is worse.
"I've had rear wing failures with Renault and Toyota, in testing, at Monza with Jordan and I have always been very lucky, but if you are not lucky it is bad."
He added: "We are definitely all looking for a better show and more overtaking, that's clear, and if this can help then it's very welcome – but it's looking a bit too complicated with the conditions under which you can use it.
"My only concern is the rear wing. I will suggest to the FIA that they should design and give the same rear wing to everyone, because if any there is no standardized wing, this might result in a failure and we do not want this."
Force India's Adrian Sutil added: "It's again very good for the show. I think it's not so good from a driving point of view, because if you defend your position well it doesn't really matter.
"If there's a car behind you and he has the advantage of the slipstream anyway, and then he turns down the wing and he will gain another five or 10kph. I don't know. There are just too many things going on, really."