Sky F1's Ted Kravitz explains McLaren's innovative rear suspension

Just what is the purpose of 'fat' rear wishbones on MP4-29?

By Sky Sports Online.   Last Updated: 02/02/14 4:16pm

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Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz has explained the bubbling controversy that is surrounding the rear suspension design on McLaren's new car.

The design, which features 'fat' wishbones, was noted almost as soon as the MP4-29 took to the Jerez track for the first time during pre-season testing on Wednesday.

With rear 'beam' wings outlawed by the FIA this season, McLaren's intention seems to be one of using the wishbones to help recover some of the downforce loss at the rear of the car by working its diffuser harder.

During his Notebook on Friday, Ted pointed out a kink in the wishbones - that enables the 'fatter' sections to sit perpendicular to airflow - and questioned whether it might be the crux that any protest would depend on.

"The legality question is: with the primary purpose of suspension to suspend the car, whether its other purpose is for aerodynamic gain? Given that you wouldn't normally have a suspension part - a compressive part - that has a kink in it," he explained.

The McLaren wishbone has a kink in it

"It just wouldn't normally be done, so that calls the primary purpose of whether it's a suspension or aero part into question.

"Of course, the primary purpose is to keep the car suspended. But I'm sure there'll be an argument about that."

With heads were being scratched in the Jerez paddock about the legality of McLaren's design, it seems that rivals are preparing to cover all their bases just in case.

Ted added that the design is "being looked at in CFD and wind tunnels by every other team. If they can get it to work and it's proved legal, then they will put it on their cars.

"Some teams are preparing a protest about it and preparing their own version in their wind tunnels at the same time. Such is the way Formula 1 goes."

The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.

The rear of the MP4-29

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