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Newey raises F-duct safety concerns

ESPNF1 Staff
April 5, 2010 « Ferrari working on F-duct system | »
Adrian Newey is worried about the F-duct safety aspect © Sutton Images

Adrian Newey says he is concerned with the safety issues of McLaren's innovative F-duct system.

The system works by the driver blocking and airflow vent to the rear wing by his knee in the cockpit, stalling the wing and giving as much as a 6mph advantage on the straights. And, whilst both Ferrari and Red Bull are looking at ways to introduce it to their cars, Newey fears that there could be a safety risk in the way drivers change the downforce dynamics of cars travelling at high speed.

"McLaren's F-duct is intelligent and opens new ways. However I'm worried about the safety aspect," Newey told The Gazzetta dello Sport. "The system works by stalling the rear wing and getting rid of the load. To force a driver to make a sudden movement to change normal load conditions has to do with safety.

"Many cars, including ours, have been re-designed around the double diffuser. The rhythm of development is high and the speed at which you bring new things remains fundamental. We are looking at the F-duct. We have understood how it works, but to get it to work properly is another thing. We don't know when we can take it to the track.

"The difficult thing is that McLaren has designed the chassis around that system, but the rules prevent you from modifying the chassis. Every new thing has to be included in the current structure."

Despite Newey's concerns, team boss Christian Horner said the team is working on incorporating the system onto the Red Bulls because of the straightline speed advantage the concept offers.

"It will be incorporated into an update at some point. The guys are looking at it," said Horner. "But it is a complicated piece of technology and it is important you get it right. We will introduce it when we are happy with the solution."