Adrian Newey has expressed safety concerns about the use of F-ducts in Formula 1.
With most teams on the grid pushing hard to introduce the concept pioneered by McLaren, Newey fears that there could be dangers in the way that drivers change the downforce dynamics of cars.
"McLaren's F-duct is intelligent and opens new ways," he conceded in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport. "However, I'm worried about the safety aspect. The system works by stalling the rear wing and getting rid of the load. To force a driver to make a sudden movement to change normal load conditions has to do with safety."
Despite his worries, Newey is working on getting an F-duct onto the Red Bull as soon as possible, because of the straight-line speed advantage the concept offers. The team does not yet know when its own version will be ready though.
"It's a tricky question," said Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner. "It will be incorporated into an update at some point. The guys are looking at it. But it is a complicated piece of technology and it is important you get it right. We will introduce it when we are happy with the solution."
Newey added: "Many cars, including ours, have been re-designed around the double diffuser. The rhythm of development is high and the speed at which you bring new things remains fundamental. We are looking at the F-duct. We have understood how it works, but to get it to work properly is another thing. We don't know when we can take it to the track.
"The difficult thing is that McLaren has designed the chassis around that system, but the rules prevent you from modifying the chassis. Every new thing has to be included in the current structure."