To use the F-duct, or not to use it? That’s the question McLaren will be asking itself in final practice before qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton ran his car without an F-duct in Friday's second practice - note the absence of the shark-fin engine cover McLaren has confirmed it will run a split set-up strategy in the third and final practice session before qualifying proper this weekend, with Jenson Button running an ‘F-duct’ on his MP4-25 that will also be equipped with high-downforce wings, while Lewis Hamilton running the sister car without it (in addition to a conventional engine cover and tea-tray rear wing).

Meanwhile, it would seem that several other teams are finding that their ‘F-ducts’ are not providing the benefit anticipated.

Force India has joined Toro Rosso in taking the downforce-stalling device off their respective cars, while Mercedes GP, Red Bull and Williams have confirmed they will continue to operate the device on their cars.

Renault is still said to be undecided as to whether it will run its version of the unit, which it belatedly debuted at the last round in Belgium.

The ‘F-duct’ has created an unusual set-up drama for the teams this weekend at the high-speed Monza circuit, as running an ‘F-duct’ necessitates using a more steeply-angled rear wing, which is itself a creator of drag.

[Original 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.