Sauber insist new duct is not McLaren copy

Sauber have denied that their new airflow system, which allows air to pass straight to the rear wing and increases downforce, is a copy of the revolutionary McLaren system.

The device, which is fitted above the left sidepod, could be seen on the Sauber car today in Melbourne. McLaren refugee Pedro de la Rosa, who now drives for the Swiss team, was keen to point out that his outfit’s “F-duct” (as it is now being called) bore little similarity to that of McLaren. He did acknowledge that he had known about McLaren’s plans, however.

“I knew a little bit about what McLaren was trying,” he told Autosport. “But this is a Sauber system. It is a different system.”

The Spaniard added that he had little idea of how the system was supposed to work, or even if they would race it this weekend.

“Honestly, it is so new the system that I have to get in the car and check – where it is, how we do it! So we are in that phase now. I will know more later on today.

“It is a prototype. We are not sure if we will race it or not. We have to develop it, that is the main thing. The earlier you start the earlier you will have it. And definitely it is a system that if you make it work, it makes the car quicker. Full stop.”