After several accusations, the FIA clarified their position on adjustable suspension systems this week. It seems that McLaren have suspended their work on a new suspension as a result. Engineering director Paddy Lowe said:
“We were aware over the last few months of a different approach to it; an approach which historically we hadn’t thought to be the typical interpretation, and we were reacting to that,” Lowe said.
“Now that the FIA has taken a fresh view of it and drawn a different line – and one we think is nearer the historical line – we are reacting to that too, so we’ve had to change some of the things we’re doing.
“Basically, we had a system we were working on, and we’ve now suspended that.”
While denying that McLaren was using such a system, he also said he was unaware of any other teams using one as well:
“We absolutely don’t know who has been doing what and whether anyone has been racing anything in the nature of ride height control systems,” he added.
“We got the feeling that others were further advanced in development. I haven’t got a clue as to whether anyone else has a system on their cars though.”
This is a bit of a departure from McLaren’s position as team boss Martin Whitmarsh accused Red Bull Racing of using an active suspension system due to qualifying performance advantages. Red Bull adamantly deny the use of any active suspension system. Lowe’s comments are a tad disingenuous as McLaren, publicly, were leading the charge against Red Bull with several comments and hinted allegations.
Whitmarsh explained that he was confident other teams were using such a system and that McLaren would forge ahead with their own. It seems that the FIA’s edict or clarification on the rules has quelled the issue so journalists can save the term suspension-gate for another time. The big question is, can Red BUll get the FIA to make a similar ruling/clarification on the “F-duct”?