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McLaren not tempted by Mercedes wing

NEWS STORY
26/10/2011

Mat Coch writes:

Following on from Lewis Hamilton's first pole of the season in Korea, McLaren's hopes are high heading in to this weekend's Indian Grand Prix. Similarities between the circuits should suit the team during qualifying, while Technical Director Paddy Lowe believes the race is likely to be the most open for a while.

"How we will fare relative to our competition I see being reasonably similar actually to how we were in Korea," said Lowe during the latest Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-In. "It looks like a very exciting circuit.

"It's got many similarities to Korea, where we've just been, in the sense that you have the first section with long straights and slow-ish corners, and then the second half of the circuit is dominated by a lot of high speed sequences."

This weekend will see the Woking squad feature a new front wing set to be the team's final evolution for the 2011 season. "We are winding towards a close to what we will bring in terms of updates this year, but things like front wing knowledge carries forward to next year," he explained.

Lowe's comments reinforce those made by the team's Managing Director Jonathan Neale earlier this month. "Yes we are shifting towards 2012 but what we're trying to do because like everything in Formula One you want your cake and eat it," Neale said, hinting that a new front wing was in the works. "We're shifting the development on this year's car to areas that give us benefit and learning for next year as well."

"Anything that we do around wings; front and rear wings, and floor development are all carry over learning's," Neale continued. Anything that we can invest on the MP4-27, next year's car, that looks exciting we're trying to bring forward and bring in to this season if we possibly can. So we're trying to find those areas where it suits both this year and next year, but not work on stuff that's going to be obsolete."

However while recent attention has focussed on Mercedes 'blown' front wing, McLaren hasn't felt compelled to follow the trend. By routing air through an opening in the nose cone, Mercedes has tested a system whereby the airflow is redirected under the front wing. It's suggested that this provides a similar affect to the F-Duct, however, as the system relies on air pressure rather than driver movement it's been deemed legal by the FIA. McLaren has looked at the concept, Lowe confessed, though remains unconvinced. "We're constantly reviewing what people are coming up with, that's in the nature of the sport. You need to work on your own ideas but not have your head in the sand relative to what other people are doing.

"We're aware of (the Mercedes wing), there's been quite a lot of coverage on that," he added. "We're not feeling desperately excited about it - we're not singling it out."

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