McLaren looking to copy rival front wing

McLaren has vowed to get to the bottom of exactly what Ferrari and Red Bull Racing are doing with their front wings, after the FIA gave the designs the all-clear after the German Grand Prix

McLaren looking to copy rival front wing

The build-up to the race was hit by a fresh flexi-wings row, amid suspicions from a number of outfits that Red Bull Racing and Ferrari were cleverly flexing their wings and endplates lower to the ground to help produce more downforce.

Photographs of the cars that were distributed between teams and the FIA indicated that the front wings on the two cars in question were up to 25 mm lower than other machines.

AUTOSPORT understands that the FIA inspected closely the front wings of the Ferrari and Red Bull Racing cars after the event, as well as hearing explanations from the teams about why the pictures indicated the wings were running lower to the ground, and found nothing wrong.

With the FIA having given the teams the all-clear, McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh said it was now up to his outfit to work out if it too could get a benefit from adopting such a design.

"The pictures I was shown, neither myself nor our engineers can explain," said Whitmarsh. "But that may be because we are not clever enough, but it is unusual.

"I've spoken to Ferrari about it because they live next door [in the paddock] and I went to see them and said: 'This is what I've been shown because it looks odd.' I didn't ask them to account for it, and I didn't want them to do anything or talk behind their back about it, so I went to their team principal and said there are concerns you should be aware of. It is for others to take judgement.

"We would like to understand it, because if you can do what they are doing legally then we would like to do it.

"If you can get your endplates down by the ground they can get more efficiency. And if they are doing that in a clever and legitimate way then we need to do it in that clever and legitimate way."

Although there had been speculation that a protest could have been lodged after the German GP, Whitmarsh said his preferred route was to concentrate on making his own car's quicker rather than wasting time worrying about the opposition.

"We are not going to protest. I think our modus operandi is make our car as quick as we can, and concentrate on that.

"We've got good harmony in our team, possibly better harmony now than our neighbours on either side, and we are leading the championship. We have to accelerate the process of developing the car and I think we can do that.

"We've got some good developments coming and I want to win this year's world championship. The right thing is to concentrate on what we do and how we do it. We are doing what we think is the right way to win this championship.

"We are delighted to leave Hockenheim still leading both championships with our drivers first and second, and they are fighting. We can look silly and maybe there will be occasions where we lose a title or a race because we are pushing and racing."

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