"We could also affirm that a wing could be used to massage a rider's back, but its effect is to generate a downforce." Romano Albesiano has no doubts about the "spoon" mounted on the Ducati and doesn't mince words in supporting it." During the party at Mugello, Aprilia's technical director talked about the complaint against the Borgo Panigale team and defended his theory.
"We did computer simulations on this type of appendage, and we saw that it generates drag, downforce, and cools the rear tire," he explained. "In other words, it's something that can make a difference in terms of performance."
How much of a difference?
"This is not the time nor the place to count numbers. The point is that, in the new guidelines, issued after the tests in Qatar, it's clearly written that no part in that area can be designed to create downforce. But that is a wing, and a wing generates it. We're not talking about a hectogram, and even a few kilos can make a difference."
You had also thought of creating something similar...
"And we were told that appendages placed in that area cannot have aerodynamic effects. So we stopped the development process. We were surprised that a wing - because that is a wing - had been approved."
Could a cooling effect for the tire have been achieved in other ways?
"The shape does it all. A real spoon, for example, would be less efficient from an aerodynamic viewpoint, or you could use diverters. Our calculations confirm that the Ducati solution generates a downforce."
What do you aim to achieve with this appeal?
"Not to take away Dovizioso's victory or merits. I want to be clear about that. The point is that the current regulation only lays down three points of principle, so to speak, then transfers the decision to only one person."
Isn't Technical Director Danny Aldridge capable?
"I think we should reinforce the structure, help this person, who is called upon to decide on the most disparate topics and may not be perfectly competent on all."
If that appendage were declared legal, would you be ready to present a similar one?
"We could be able to for the Austin Grand Prix. Let's say that, in recent times, we've studied that solution" (he laughs).
Do you think that the solution adopted in Valencia by Yamaha was legitimate?
"That was quite another thing. It was simply used to divert the vapor cloud from the rear tire. I don't expect it to generate such a great downforce."