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McLaren and Mercedes call for rule clarification

NEWS STORY
31/07/2010

While stopping short of protesting Red Bull and Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes have called on the FIA to officially clarify the legality of the wings the two teams are using.

Both teams are using front wings that visibly dip at high speed - in the case of the Red Bull the endplate virtually scrapes the track - and then rise again under braking.

Although the wings have passed the FIA's mandatory static tests, a number of other teams are unhappy, particularly given the significant speed advantage that Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be enjoying at present.

"We are asking for a clarification on what is permissible here," Whitmarsh told reporters at the end of today's qualifying session which saw Lewis Hamilton finish 1.7s off Sebastian Vettel's pace.

Earlier, Whitmarsh had sarcastically said that his driver was the "fastest of the fixed wing cars" a clear dig at his rivals. Asked about his comment, the Englishman said: "They passed scrutineering so they must be legal, mustn't they?

"It's well known that if you can get the front wing end-plates close to the ground, there's a substantial performance advantage," he added. "The FIA has got to take a view now of what is acceptable. Do I think that they are right in Formula One to be flexing to that extent? No, I don't. But I am not the rule maker or interpreter."

Further down the paddock, Ross Brawn was harbouring similar thoughts. "I think observation of video and stills shows that Red Bull, as the prime case but Ferrari partially, have managed to set their cars up to run the front wings a lot lower to the ground than perhaps ourselves or McLaren," he said, according to Reuters.

"What we are asking is, before we all go off and have a massive development programme, is Charlie Whiting going to change the rules before we all get there?" he continued. "When it is demonstrated, you start to think of all the ways you can achieve it and I think for the latter part of this year and for next year we will all be doing the same. So we just want to make sure Charlie is comfortable with it."

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