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Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 14:52 UK

McLaren insist ride-height rules will not slow them

Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren car
McLaren will not have to make any suspension changes to the car for China

McLaren's performance in China will not be affected by the clarification of the ride-height adjustment rules, according to engineering director Paddy Lowe.

Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, reaffirmed that any system to adjust a car's suspension and height between qualifying and races was illegal.

Lowe said the McLaren needs no altering after the clarification and that competitiveness would be unaffected.

Red Bull deny they have controlled ride height, despite claims to the contrary.

Ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix which will take place on Sunday, Lowe admitted McLaren had been looking into ride-height technology but had lagged behind many of their rivals.

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"In terms of taking a fresh look at this we got the feeling we were rather late to the game - relative to perhaps some others," said Lowe.

"We absolutely don't know who has been doing what and whether anyone has been racing anything in the nature of ride-height control systems.

"But we definitely got the hint that others were further advanced in development."

Being able to control ride height would give a significant advantage during qualifying.

In theory it enables cars to be low to the ground while they are going through qualifying with a light fuel load, before adjusting to allow sufficient ground clearance when the tank is filled for the race.

The official ruling states that teams are not permitted to adjust cars while they are held under parc fermé (the period after qualifying and before a race).

Lowe also confirmed that, following the FIA's clarification, McLaren would halt their development in the area.

"We had things we were working on which we have now suspended. These were things that haven't yet been raced," said Lowe.

"We were aware over the last few months of a different approach to [the suspension system]; an approach which historically we hadn't thought to be the typical interpretation of the regulations, and we were reacting to that.

"Now that the FIA has taken a fresh view of it and drawn a different line - and one we think is nearer the historical line - we are reacting to that too, so we've had to change some of the things we're doing."

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see also
FIA clarifies ride-height rules
07 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull face fight to stay ahead
06 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren query Red Bull legality
27 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull sign up McLaren expert
27 Jan 06 |  Formula 1

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