• Bahrain Grand Prix

McLaren legality 'a complete joke' - Renault

ESPNF1 Staff
March 12, 2010 « No regrets from sidelined Heidfeld | »
The controversial vent on the McLaren MP4-25 © Sutton Images

Renault technical director Bob Bell has slammed the FIA's decision to allow McLaren's innovative rear wing.

The McLaren design allows the driver to close a vent in the cockpit which helps to stall the rear wing and create less drag. The result is a higher top speed on the straights but still maximum downforce through the corners. Although most teams, including Ferrari and Red Bull who lodged the initial protest, have accepted the FIA decision, Bell believes it is not in the spirit of the rules.

"It is a complete joke," he told BBC Sport. "It has driven a horse and cart straight through the rule that teams cannot use moveable aerodynamic devices on their cars. It is fundamentally illegally. At a time when we are trying to cut costs, this will just start a new arms race. The FIA have acted irresponsibly. It's going to cost everybody a lot of money. The governing body needs to be a lot stronger with these things.

"I think that it is ridiculous in this era where we are all trying to save money. We are restricted by the number of people that we can bring to the track, with mechanics working ridiculous hours at night to prepare the car."

He did not confirm whether Renault would lodge a protest.

Movable aerodynamic devices are banned with the exception of an adjustable flap on the front wing. However, beyond that they have been strictly forbidden in F1 ever since they caused some spectacular accidents in the late 1960s.