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McLaren query 'flexible' Red Bull front wing

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh

McLaren query Red Bull's 'flexible' wings

By Ted Kravitz and Andrew Benson

McLaren are seeking clarification from Formula 1's governing body on the legality of a controversial front wing on the pace-setting Red Bull car.

The ends of the wing appear to flex down towards the track at speed, which has caught rivals' eyes because movable aerodynamic devices are banned.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said it was "difficult for us to imagine" how some cars' wings could be legal.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said their car complied with the rules.

Horner insisted the Red Bull's wing "meets all the regulations" and had been passed by race officials.

McLaren are among the teams who have queried the new wing on the Red Bull, which appeared for the first time at the British Grand Prix earlier this month.

The new front wing is behaving in the way the guys have been clever enough to design it and it meets all the regulations. A lot of the other teams are running similar concepts

Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal

The latest version of Ferrari's front wing - which also made its debut at Silverstone - has attracted attention for the same reason, although it appears not to move as much as the Red Bull's.

Both wings have passed all the deflection tests that are carried out by governing body the FIA to check car parts do not flex too much.

The closer a wing's endplates are to the track, the more downforce the wing will create.

Whitmarsh said McLaren believed the wings contravened a rule that says the front wing has to stay 85mm above the lowest part of the body of the car, the underbody 'plank'.

"At the moment if you look at the front wing endplates they have to be 85mm above the bottom of the plank," Whitmarsh said.

"It's difficult for us to imagine how with any form of linear deflection you can be in any danger of those [endplates] hitting the ground.

"Obviously there are [cars with] endplates that have skids, which would suggest they are making contact with the ground.

"We are trying to clarify that with the FIA because it seems unusual to us."

He said McLaren would be forced to build their own version of the wings if the FIA said they were legal.

"If, ultimately, devices and systems are allowed [on parts] which in theory are meant to be rigid which allow devices to touch the ground, I guess we'll have to do it," Whitmarsh said.

Horner said: "The new front wing is behaving in the way the guys have been clever enough to design it and it meets all the regulations, but there is no silver bullet. A lot of the other teams are running similar concepts."

Fernando Alonso

Highlights - Hungarian GP second practice



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see also
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30 Jul 10 |  Formula 1


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