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Testing Times and BMW Sauber

These periods in between Grand Prix are always filled with news of rumors of driver changes for next year and bullish press releases from the teams. Apart from these, there’s nothing much to do except watch the cars test at various circuits. And, in the latest round of tests, the team to watch has been BMW Sauber.

It’s all about wings, it seems. Apart from the flexi wing saga (which is over, now that the FIA have told them to stiffen the rear wing), BMW Sauber have been doing some pretty weird things with wings. On their first day of testing, the car appeared with two vertical wings sprouting from the bodywork above the front suspension.

BMW Sauber wings

The BMW Sauber wings

Naturally, everyone wanted to know what they do but the team were being pretty cagy about the whole thing. “Just testing a theory” was the general answer. Robert Kubica, the BMW Sauber test driver said, “I do not really know what they do. I have not noticed a great difference and I do not believe that we are going to use them in a race.”

The wings disappeared on the second day of testing and, from then on, the test went pretty much as normal with Schumacher fastest in the Ferrari and the BMW Saubers next up. So what is the idea behind these odd new wings? Well, I have a theory about that…

I think BMW have found an aerodynamic tweak with real potential to improve the performance of the cars. But it’s not the silly vertical wings. I can’t see how they would have any effect on downforce and would only make it a fraction more difficult to turn into corners. No, I think they’re camouflage for what is really going on.

Being so noticeable, everyone was going to wonder at the function of the wings and the result would be that the rest of the car gets hardly any attention at all. Bingo! BMW Sauber sneak their latest tweak past the press and the other teams and can go to Magny-Cours with a secret in their pocket.

Of course, it’s only a theory. But nothing else makes any sense to me – those crazy upright wings can’t do anything useful, can they?

2 Responses to “Testing Times and BMW Sauber”

  1. That makes perfect sense to me. I met a young lieutenant once who had been assigned to act as a defense lawyer for a low-ranking Marine. He had been charged with damage to military property. The officer had little or no training in law, but he won his case with an empty beer can. He had placed it in plain view on his courtroom table, so naturally the can caught the jury’s attention. But it was never once mentioned or offered as evidence, so the baffled jurors were more or less forced to acquit the poor man, after they realized they had failed to really pay close attention to testimonies given.

  2. Ah, ’tis a wonderful thing, camouflage! :D

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