F1 2014 The Suspension Of The McLaren MP4-29 Is Illegal?

The two arms of the rear suspension McLaren MP4-29 does not like Adrian Newey, technical director of Red Bull.

McLaren MP4/29 arrival at Jerez this week is significantly different from the launch version presented on the internet especially on the suspensions, which are today’s debate.


Technical Director of Red Bull, Adrian Newey has indeed challenged the legality of suspension design fitted chrome car. “I have not yet looked at the pictures, but as described, suspension count eight elements while only six are allowed, “said the British engineer, visibly annoyed by drawing at least curious.” And then, the rules on the thickness of the suspensions are clear. ”

As for Rob Nelson, engineer testing at Williams, he believes his team will study the system if it is declared legal by the FIA. “Some parts of the other teams will find themselves in the tunnels, and the rear suspension of the McLaren is a good example. If the FIA confirms its legality, then we would be foolish not to test in a wind tunnel. ”

According to Autosport, the drawing would yet been approved by the FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting, so that a complaint should be formally submitted to an investigation launched on the legality of the device, which was removed on the first images disseminated.

Going Against The Current

Typically, the suspension arms are thin and shaped to present the smallest possible surface against the flow of air. Article 10.3.1 of the technical regulation states that the arms can not be large more than 10 inches nor more inclined 5 degrees (and they can of course have no aerodynamic appendix).

On the MP4-29, McLaren took the reverse option profiling both rear suspension arm so very large: in profile, the arms have a bell-shaped bed, that regulates the flow of air leaving the center the car partially blocking. However, these elements are structurally part of the suspension and would therefore be legal.

According to the expert Gary Anderson (former technical director of Jordan and Stewart in particular), this device would create a low pressure zone behind the blocking elements, accelerating the airflow under the car and allow the diffuser work better, especially at low speed.

The rear surface of this sort of bell draws air upwardly vortex generating, reducing the pressure of the rear suspension, thereby helping to remove the diffuser to the air under the floor. Last year, the “beam wing” (the lower wing) which produced this effect, but it is banned this season.

Soon Imitated?

“I guess that facilitates the work of the diffuser,” says Rod Nelson. “One of the problems we face this year is the disappearance of the lower rear spoiler (wing beam), now illegal. Not only helped to generate support, but mostly allowed to be more aggressive with the diffuser, in particular by preventing ‘stall’ when the car drove with heights lower box. I guess that’s what make the suspension arms McLaren. ”

In reality, only the inventors of the system precisely know the gains it brings … Especially that as the suspension arms move, the space between the two arms vary with loads experienced, which complicates the implementation in point of the system, which requires – for function – that the suspension arms are set well back on transmission. The solution, if it actually works, would be very difficult to be copied by other teams, had to revise the design of the box, their attachments and suspension arms … That does not seem to discourage other teams that could copy the imagined in Woking solution: “I have not seen in the flesh, says technical director of Scuderia, James Allison, but I want to know a little more, I’m very interested I just. seen some blurry pictures on the internet. ”

If its effectiveness is still unknown, the system already talking to him in the paddock.