Formula 1

The innovative 'wings' can be seen either side of the rain light (©GettyImages)
The innovative 'wings' can be seen either side of the rain light (©GettyImages).

McLaren's wing suspension grabbing F1's attention

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In a year where mechanical innovation is taking preference over aerodynamic concepts, McLaren have proven there remains more to this year than just a new engine.

Running officially for the first time on Wednesday, the MP4-29 revealed its new ‘wing’ rear suspension which it is believed mimics the effect of the now outlawed beam wing.

In their report, Auto Sport und Motor declared the design “an ingenious trick” while adding: “It will be interesting to see if Charlie Whiting is responsive.

“If he does not object, the competition will have to catch up quickly.”

On the sport’s official website an article claims the governing body, the FIA, have given the layout the green light, however Red Bull’s top designer Adrian Newey is not so sure.

“I have not seen the photos,” he said, “but as it is described, it sounds as though there are eight suspension elements, where only six are allowed.

“Moreover, there are clear rules for the width of the suspension.”

Another of the sport’s well respected engineers, Ferrari’s James Allison, was also intrigued by the idea.

“All I’ve seen are some blurry pictures,” Ferrari’s Allison said, “but I would like to know more about it because it does interest me.”

Certainly any complaints would largely be based on the fact other teams would likely try and incorporate the concept into their own cars; however, that would mean a complete re-design of the whole suspension layout.

After topping Wednesday’s timings, McLaren’s Jenson Button was pleased with how his new car felt.

“The basic car itself is where we want it to be,” said the 2009 world champion.

Button, who is now the most experienced driver in F1, also enjoyed the new Mercedes V6 turbo power and in-particular the increased torque, which he claims reminded him of the old V10 days.

“I imagine that by the end of the year, we will not be much slower than at the end of 2013. Maybe two seconds,” he said.

The return to testing is a welcome one too for the 34-year-old who recently lost his father and has been struggling with a knee infection.

“I’m not as light as I will be at the first race, but I’m definitely going to lose another kilo by race one,” he said.

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