McLaren will remove the F-duct from its car for the first time this season at the Italian Grand Prix, AUTOSPORT
reports, because the low-downforce nature of the circuit will negate any benefit the system brings.
The team was the pioneer of the F-duct at the start of this year, and the design has proven to be such a success that all its main rivals have copied the idea. Renault will be the latest to introduce it at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
The F-duct helps provides a straightline speed boost by allowing the drivers to stall the rear wing on the straights – and teams can use it for a simple top-speed advantage or to help them run more downforce in the corners without suffering a drag penalty on the straights.
Although Monza has the highest top speeds of the season – so would in theory be perfect for a straightline advantage – the fact the track requires such a low wing setup actually makes the F-duct redundant, McLaren engineers believe, because there is not enough drag for it to get rid of.
McLaren's decision to remove its F-duct for the Italian Grand Prix is likely to become standard practice, with all teams instead set to focus on a low-downforce aerodynamic package better suited to the Monza layout. All teams had been expected to remove the F-duct at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year, but McLaren elected to keep it on its car then, saying at the time that there was no alternative.
"The F-duct is something that will work better on the long straight than a circuit like this," McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said in Monaco. "It is a standard part of our car. We don't have a non F-duct variety to fit in any case."