McLaren MP4-25 Rear Wing

In the first technical query lodged to the FIA this season, both Red Bull and Ferrari have questioned the legality of McLaren’s rear wing design.

The unusual rear wing design of the MP4-25 – where the ‘shark fin’ engine cover connects direct with the plane of the rear wing (pictured above) – was the subject of much muttering among several teams present at the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

These teams have suggested that the layout of the engine cover and its connection to the rear wing was creating a ‘stalling’ effect on the wing at high speed, which could deliver additional straight-line speed.

Red Bull’s Team Principal Christian Horner has now confirmed that both his team and Ferrari have lodged queries with the FIA to determine the wing design’s legality.

"There’s a bit of a fuss over McLaren’s rear wing," Horner told British newspaper journalists.

"They have a slot on it and they can pick up a lot of straight-line speed. I think it will get resolved before the first race. We’ve asked the FIA for clarification although I think Ferrari are probably more excited than we are to be honest."

The introduction of wing slot-gap separators several seasons ago was designed to stop attempts to stall wings – but Horner believes the McLaren design could be being used as a way of circumventing the regulations.

"Basically, if you stall the wing you take all the drag off it and pick up straight-line speed," he said. "It’s something that’s been done quite a lot over the years but with the wing separators you’re not supposed to do that.

"Our question ultimately will be: ‘Is it clever design or is it in breach of the regulations’?

"[McLaren] must be very confident that it’s legal. I would think it will be legal."

[Image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.