With teams spending so much time to locate the sweet spot with all the brand new aero rules for 2019, paddock speculation surfaced following Australia that several drapes had found a smart way to better balance the compromise between qualifying and race trim.
It was suggested that some competitions were playing around with moving the location of their front wing Gurney flaps — the tiny vertical flip that is mounted on the trailing edge — under parc ferme conditions between qualifying and the race.
This could help them in a lot of ways by being able to perform with more downforce in qualifying, or by helping with aerodynamic balance at the race for improved tyre administration.
Even though teams aren’t permitted to change the specification of car portions between Saturday and Sunday, the argument was that the current regulations did not specifically outlaw moving around components that was run in qualifying.
Article 34.2 n) of Formula 1’s sporting regulations claims:”The aerodynamic set from the front wing could be adjusted using the existent parts. No parts may be added, replaced or removed .”
In the event the team wished to eliminate the Gurney flap it’d found in qualifying and relocate elsewhere on your vehicle, it might in theory not violation the wording of this rule.
However, with all the FIA aware of team concerns about the key, it looked into the matter ahead of this Bahrain weekend.
And even though it is understood that the FIA does not feel any teams did go their Gurney flaps at the Australian Grand Prix to exploit the rules, it has transferred to ditch the action from now on with a pre emptive strike.
Back in Bahrain, teams were issued using an Technical Directive rendering it clear that the removal of parts such as Gurney flaps to relocate them to another region of the car would be regarded as a violation of F1’s parc ferme rules.
Any team which did create this kind of change would be deemed to be running with a new specification of front wing so would have to start the race from the pit ane.