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McLaren suspend work on 'active' suspension system

We had things we were working on which we have now suspended, says McLaren engineering director, Paddy Lowe.
McLaren has confirmed that it has abandoned work on ride height adjustment system after the FIA, F1's governing body, warned recently that any such development would be considered illegal.

The Woking-based outfit began working on the mechanism in response to the belief that rivals Red Bull Racing had been using one in the opening grand's prix, hence the pace of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in qualifying.

Red Bull has always insisted that it has no such system – whereby it can alter the distance between the underbody of the chassis and the track from qualifying to the race depending on the fuel level - and team boss Christian Horner warned prior to the FIA's statement on the matter that the Milton Keynes-based outfit would protest any team that turned up with a form of 'active' suspension [see separate story - click here].

McLaren however, was not convinced and was pursuing its own solution for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, until the FIA's clarification [see separate story - click here].

"We had things we were working on which we have now suspended. These were things that haven't yet been raced," McLaren engineering director, Paddy Lowe revealed in a McLaren media phone-in.

"We were aware over the last few months of a different approach to [the suspension system]; an approach which historically we hadn't thought to be the typical interpretation of the regulations, and we were reacting to that.

"Now that the FIA has taken a fresh view of it and drawn a different line - and one we think is nearer the historical line - we are reacting to that too, so we've had to change some of the things we're doing."

Lowe added though, that he reckoned there work on the system wasn't as far advanced as other teams.

"We got the feeling we were rather late to the game - relative to perhaps some others," he continued. "We absolutely don't know who has been doing what and whether anyone has been racing anything in the nature of ride-height control systems. But we definitely got the hint that others were further advanced in development."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Paddy Lowe (GBR) Engineering Director McLaren, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
Paddy Lowe (GBR) Engineering Director McLaren, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
Saturday Practice, Jenson Button (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
McLaren Mercedes F1 Team

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DampMongoose - Unregistered

April 14, 2010 12:37 PM

I wonder whether it was all a bluff and Mclaren saying they were developing a system was purely to ensure that the FIA clarify the rules... FIA's new comments about any procedure having an effect on ride height is different to what had been accepted as the rule prior to all this, by making it public it also ensures a reprimand if the Red Bull is found to have any system, even the regassing hydraulics would contravene the ruling etc!


April 14, 2010 12:22 PM

I would not be surprised to see Mclaren file some sort of complaint/protest against Red Bull. They must have spent a boat load of cash on dvlpmnt and are possibly a "little" pissed off. If they see anything on the Red Bull that slightly resembles what they might have been developing then the fireworks "me thinks" will begin. No doubt they have some pictures/info but there is always that part you cant see. Horner is either a great poker player or is legit in his protest against anything illegal being used. Looking forward to watching how the Red Bulls qualify this weekend. If there is a differance then.....

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