McLaren has downplayed suggestions that its bid to win the World Championship could be hit by a potential new FIA clampdown on flexible wings.
A report by German magazine Auto Motor und Sport said that the FIA was set to investigate the designs of both the McLaren and Red Bull cars amid suggestions they were cleverly getting the front wings to rotate at high speed. This would deliver a straight-line speed boost – and could potentially explain why the teams' cars were so dominant on the streets of Singapore two weeks ago.
However, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has denied talk that his outfit has had any dialogue with the FIA over the matter, and says there have been no indications any modifications need to be made to its cars.
"There have been no specific conversations to my knowledge," he said, when asked if there had been talks with the FIA. "That doesn't mean they haven't happened, but I think I would probably know."
"I think the regulations require the wings to be rigid, but of course no wing or aerodynamic surface is infinitely rigid. From time to time questions and disputes arise between teams, who feel that other teams are too flexible or whatever. I don't envisage any particular problems for McLaren in that regard, and consequently I don't think that it is anything that will harm us."
Whitmarsh said it was essential that the FIA kept close tabs on front wing developments to ensure there was no repeat of the flexing-wing controversies that have dogged the sport in recent years.
"I think the FIA technical department have to remain vigilant and be testing front wings, rear wings, and attachment systems all the time, to make sure that not only do they comply with the testing requirements of the regulations, but that the teams don't find other ingenious or creative ways to circumvent the intentions of the regulations," he said.
"From time to time many teams get spoken to by the FIA and are expected to correct a situation. But we're not in such a situation ourselves and I'm not aware, and I don't believe, that it is going to be an issue that will affect the championship."