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Mat Coch writes:
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has driven a stake through the heart of suggestions his team could be embroiled in controversy at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
Suggestions were made that both McLaren and Red Bull would face closer scrutiny by the FIA after it came to light both teams were using a type of flexible wing. Where previously this has seen the wing flex under load, typically at high speed, it's alleged both McLaren and Red Bull are using systems where the wing pivots on an axis.
"The regulations require the wings to be rigid," Whitmarsh explained. "Of course no wing, no aerodynamic surface is infinitely rigid. From time to time questions and disputes arise between teams who feel that other teams are too flexible or whatever. I don't envisage any particular problems for McLaren in that regard.
"I think the FIA's technical department have to remain vigilant and be testing the front wings, rear wings, attachment systems all the time and making sure that they comply with the testing requirements and the regulations, but that the teams don't find other ingenious or creative ways to circumvent the intention."
Red Bull has already twice fallen foul of the sport's governing body this year. After the Monaco Grand Prix it was forced to change its floor after clarifications to the regulations made its concept illegal and again in Germany where it was the centre of a race morning scuffle surrounding engine maps. No penalty was handed out for either incident though it has given Red Bull a 'bad boy' reputation within the paddock.
Whitmarsh meanwhile is confident that his team is safe and that it has not been spoken to by the FIA, and that there will be no repercussions for the team. "There have been no specific conversations to my knowledge," he contended. "That doesn't mean they haven't happened but I think I'd probably know.
"I think from time to time many teams get spoken to by the FIA and are expected to correct the situation," he continued. "We're not in such a situation ourselves.
"I'm not aware and don't believe it's going to be an issue that will affect the championship."
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