I think we really started it the wrong way, to discuss its legality, we should discuss what it does.
After a few uneventful hours I came up with (IMO) the simplest solution. I think it is not a device, just a switch.
There are a few engine control modes installed on every car, at every race, between which the driver can choose. That is how they can save fuel, or give a “boost” to the car, or change the throttle maps for each tyre compound. They use switches on the steering wheel to choose inbetween them, my guess is, the McLarens have an engine control mode where only 4 cylinders are working, and they switch to it by turning the steering-wheel, rather than turning a switch on the wheel.
Going by that it is still legal. Changing engine modes on track is legal, and the technical regulations only say that:
Any single switch, button, paddle sensor or pedal sensor used by the driver must be connected to a single analogue or digital input of the ECU.