McLaren 'stuck' on whether to pursue a Mercedes-style DRS system until the rules are clarified

McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe says his team is 'stuck' over whether to pursue a Mercedes-style front wing stalling system until the rules regarding the device are properly clarified

McLaren 'stuck' on whether to pursue a Mercedes-style DRS system until the rules are clarified

The 2012 Mercedes features a slot in its rear wing that is exposed by the movement of the DRS flap, and channels the airflow on the front wing in a manner that 'stalls' it for an additional straightline speed boost.

McLaren has stayed out of the row over the system - which looks set to continue into this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix - but Lowe says he is frustrated that the situation remains unclear.

Asked during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in whether his team felt Mercedes' device was illegal, Lowe replied: "We don't have a strong view one way or the other. At this point, what we really need to have is clarity. I would say actually it would have been better if we could have had clarity before now. We'll see what events in China bring us in that sense.

"Until we've got clarity, it's difficult for us to make a huge amount of effort in that direction. That's really where we're stuck at the moment."

Lowe said the issue was not whether using the DRS flap movement in this manner was morally correct given that the flap was specifically designed as a mandatory overtaking aid, but whether the wording of the regulations specifically precluded it.

"There's no such thing as the spirit of the rules. It's a term often used, but the rulebook is text that has a meaning - you decide what that means and how you work to it. There's no headline regulation that says 'above all else, you've got to remain within the spirit of what was intended,'" he argued.

"If you look at the system on the Mercedes, you could get into arguments there about whether it's in the spirit of what was intended with DRS. Well, it definitely wasn't. DRS was created as a rear-wing flap, it wasn't anything else.

"The debate around whether or not they can keep that system on the car is not about whether it is in that spirit or not, it's about whether the text of the regulations means they cannot."

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Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren , Mercedes
Author Matt Beer
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