• 2010 Season

Legality of McLaren rear wing questioned

ESPNF1 Staff
March 4, 2010 « Stefan GP denied entry | »
The legality of a slot in the McLaren rear wing is being investigated by the FIA © Getty Images

The FIA has been asked to rule on the legality of McLaren's rear wing after Red Bull and Ferrari deemed the design to be pushing the limits of the regulations.

McLaren's competitors believe a slot on the wing is designed to alter its behaviour at high speeds in order to reduce drag and add an extra six mph to the car's top speed. Red Bull boss Christian Horner admitted that his team was already looking into developing a similar part in case the McLaren is ruled legal.

"There's a bit of a fuss over McLaren's rear wing," Horner told the Daily Telegraph. "They have a slot on it and they can pick up a lot of straight-line speed. I think it will get resolved before the first race. We've asked the FIA for clarification although I think Ferrari is probably more excited than we are to be honest."

Horner said the issue is not as serious as the double diffuser controversy of 2009 but is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying McLaren's wing is, "certainly a different device from all of the other teams".

"They must be very confident that it's legal, I would think it will be legal," he admitted. "Basically, if you stall the wing you take all the drag off it and pick up straight-line speed. It's something that's been done quite a lot over the years, but with the wing separators you're not supposed to do that. Our question ultimately will be: is it clever design or is it in breach of the regulations?"

McLaren set the fastest time during the final week of pre-season testing in Barcelona and heads into the opening round as a favourite alongside Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes.