McLaren is not yet ready to roll out a Mercedes-style ‘F-duct’ to complement its highly competitive 2012 car.
Despite Mercedes struggling with tyres in the actual races so far, the W03 is a standout qualifying performer, thanks in part to the so-nicknamed front and rear ‘super-DRS’ system. Red Bull, Lotus and perhaps even Ferrari are threatening to protest, but until now McLaren – with arguably the dominant package of the 2012 season so far – has stayed out of the argument.
“We don’t have a strong view one way or the other,” technical director Paddy Lowe confirmed during the regular Vodafone media teleconference on Tuesday.
The F-duct will remain a hot topic in China this weekend, with Lotus’ technical boss James Allison believed to be armed with two new arguments against its legality. It was thought McLaren was quite advanced with its own version of the system.
But Lowe revealed: “Until we’ve got clarity it’s difficult for us to commit a huge about of effort in that direction. So that’s where we are at the moment.”
He steered away from suggestions Mercedes, including boss Ross Brawn, have flouted the “spirit” of the recent F-duct ban.
“There’s no such thing as the spirit of the rules,” insisted Lowe, admitting that if there was a ‘spirit’ of the DRS rule, the Mercedes system is “definitely” in breach. “The debate around whether 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 can’t,” he explained.