Mclaren’s controversial rear wing

Just like the opening round of the 2009 season with the Brawn’s double diffusers, the F1 paddock is abuzz with the subject of the new McLaren rear wing, which seems to go against some teams interpretations of the rules.

In simple terms, the Mclaren drivers can control the the amount of air follow to the rear win through a small vent in the cockpit.  The driver does this by covering the vent with his knee.  When the driver does this it, the amount of down force is reduced and the car can go faster, giving them, some estimate, as much as 6 kph down the straight.

Mclaren have had the wing approved by the FIA in scrutineering, after constant dialogue with FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting throughout the winter.  However RedBull and Renault are very angry with this decision, not just because they feel that a rear wing should not be able perform this feature know as “Stalling”.  and it is expected that at least one team will protest should the Mclaren team do well this weekend.

If the FIA uphold the ruling that the Mclaren wing is legal then all the other teams will have to go back to the drawing board and re-design their rear wing set ups, and with the first rounds of the season all far away races, it might be hard for some teams to get a similar design on their cars for a month or so.

One thing is for sure, that despite the tight rules and regulation, Mclaren have been innovative and aggressive in their design of the rear wing and have stolen an advantage on it’s rivals for now anyway.


2 Responses to Mclaren’s controversial rear wing

  1. It makes you wonder why the rules aren’t written in a way that prevents this kind of thing. I appreciate that whatever the exact wording of the rules is, an engineer can find a loophole, but everyone know the reasoning and spirit of the rules. Why cant the FIA include a clause about designs adhering to the spirit of the rules?

    I appreciate that F1 is all about innovation, but you have to feel sorry for the teams who now have to spend millions trying to copy it because they stuck to the spirit of the rules.

    • Scott Joslin says:

      Your are right in what you say. F1 is all about the balance between having a set formula and allowing creative innovation. Perhaps there isn’t a happy medium

      What would help the team is if the had recieved a ruling on this before they had left for Bahrain. The ban on in season testing also cripples the teams that are trying to catch up. Because at the moment some teams are being caught short by these very late calls by the FIA

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