Jenson Button, McLaren, Jerez, 2014

Rivals can mimic McLaren suspension – Williams

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Jerez, 2014Other teams can mimic McLaren’s novel rear suspension design without making drastic changes to their cars, in the view of Williams chief test and support engineer Rod Nelson.

The rear suspension design on the MP4-29 was a “stand-out example” of the kind of innovation rival teams will look at closely, in Nelson’s view.

He believes the design could be incorporated onto cars such as the Williams without too much difficulty.

“I think that’ll be relatively straightforward,” he said. “More troublesome would be something like doing a new nose and wing assembly because then you have to re-crash test.”

Nelson said the function of the unusual suspension design was aerodynamic. “Well it’s not mechanical, you don’t design a tension or compressive member with a dog-leg in it on purpose unless you want to make something heavy and flexible.”

“I would imagine it’s making the diffuser work better,” he continued.

“One of the issues we have this year is the lower rear wing which is more or less, certainly illegal in the form that we used to run it last year, the point of the lower rear wing wasn’t so much to generate downforce on its own but it helps you be more aggressive with the diffuser. So it stops the diffuser stalling at low ride heights. I would imagine the McLaren wishbones are doing that.”

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