McLaren “don’t understand” Red Bull’s wing

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

McLaren engineering director Paddy Lowe admitted the team are struggling to understand how Red Bull and Ferrari’s flexing front wings work.

Speaking in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in he said:

We believe, and we’re not alone, that two cars – Ferrari and Red Bull – that have wings existing at a much lower position than we’re able to deliver.

There’s a difference of a reasonably large degree that we’ve got to explain by relatively subtle effects such as fuel weight, tyre pressure, difference in the straight or low-speed set-up. These things affect to a car to a relatively small degree, much smaller than the difference we’ve seen in the pictures.

So there is a phenomenon that we’re seeing, we just don’t understand it. So what we’re doing at the moment is working really hard to try and understand it and see if it’s got performance and whether we can deliver that.
Paddy Lowe

However he believes there is more to come from the team’s exhaust-blown diffuser which will help them reduce the performance gap to their championship rivals in the meantime:

We’re a couple of races behind Ferrari in introduction and, obviously, a whole season behind Red Bull. But we did reach the point in Hockenheim of being able to race a working system which was both giving us performance and was reliable.

We are able to deliver something extra with that floor. But, being behind the curve, there’s more to come relative to those principal competitors.

We’ll find more time and performance so we’re going to keep pushing on. It’s a new platform from which to find performance.
Paddy Lowe

Read more: Flexing wings and more reliability woes (Red Bull race review) (Video)