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McLaren have 'contingency' plan over rear wing dispute

Whilst insisting that it remains fully 'confident' in the legality of the controversy-provoking rear wing on its MP4-25, McLaren-Mercedes will have an alternative package in Bahrain should the need arise, Jonathan Neale admits
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.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
19.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-25 - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain
19.02.2010 Jerez, Spain, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-25, detail - Formula 1 Testing, Jerez, Spain -
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GreenEnvy 22

March 10, 2010 12:58 PM

Crash, come on. Ferrari came out when this was first brought up by Red Bull, and said they have no issue with it. It's fun to stir up controversy, especially with Ferrari involved, but in this case they have nothing to do with it.

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