McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has voiced concerns that the Red Bull Racing team is running a system on the car previously considered as illegal.

Red Bull Ride Height

The key to the team’s success in qualifying, he believes, is by the team being able to lower the car’s ride height during qualifying via a ratchet-based ride-height control structure.

Really, Martin?

Let me get this straight: the boss of the team that has developed a device that is designed to alter the aerodynamic behaviour of the car at the driver’s bidding and is, in our opinion, in complete contravention of the spirit of the rules is himself complaining about another team’s alleged behaviour that mirrors that of his own team.

Fetch me a bucket stat!

With the rules dictating that no changes can be made to the cars between qualifying and the race – aside from the addition of fuel – F1 cars’ ride height should remain static and this means that the cars’ ride height sits lower in race trim than in qualifying due to the addition of the fuel. Therefore, cars running in qualifying will be more compromised in their aero during qualifying, with the absence of fuel causing the ride height to rise.

"There’s evidence that there are ride-height control systems which many people thought weren’t permissible," Whitmarsh told the BBC. "It looks like Red Bull and some other cars are able to run lower in qualifying than you would expect, if they’re then going to fill the car with fuel afterwards."

And what is this evidence, Martin? Please let us know!

“It is an area where frankly a few months ago if the engineers had come to us and said we need to design this system then I would have said I don’t think it is permissible,” he continued.

“But if there appears to be some evidence that perhaps such systems are considered legal, then we need to get one as soon as we can.”

That’s be right! No doubt there will be more to follow on this one!

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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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.