McLaren-Mercedes has confirmed that whilst it is 100 per cent 'confident' in the legality of the disputed rear wing on its F1 2010 MP4-25 contender, it is nonetheless taking an alternative package to the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir this weekend since 'you just never know what the stewards are going to do on the day'.
The point of contention is a slot above the driver's helmet that diverts air flow away from the rear wing in an effort to reduce drag and thereby increase downforce – and by extension add roughly 6mph to the car's straight-line speed figure. A number of rival teams have called the device into question, and whilst nowhere near as great an issue as the double-decker diffuser row that blighted the early stages of the 2009 season, still clarification from the governing body is required.
A planned inspection by FIA chief technical delegate Charlie Whiting at the team's Surrey headquarters at the end of last week was scuppered by a flight cancellation, meaning the wing will not be able to be examined until Bahrain.
McLaren Racing managing director Jonathan Neale yesterday insisted that the Woking-based outfit is 'quite relaxed' about the situation and happy that there is 'nothing untoward' about the wing [see separate story – click here
], but the Englishman has since conceded that the multiple F1 World Champions are leaving nothing to chance.
“We're not taking a radically different package, but you just never know what the stewards are going to do on the day,” he is quoted as having said by Planet-F1
. “We get the best advice we can from the FIA in the interests of transparency.
“If the stewards decide on a different course of action, though, it's still our duty to go racing. We have a contingency, but I wouldn't put much effort into it and I'm not expecting it to be used.”