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Sauber set to run McLaren-type air system

According to rumours from the Melbourne pitlane on Wednesday, Sauber is ready to test an initial version of the controversial McLaren-style knee-activated air inlet system.


The innovation, where air is allowed to pass through the car and onto the rear wing by the movement of the drivers’ knee, was declared legal on McLaren’s MP4-25 in Bahrain two weeks ago.

Basically, the system works by ‘stalling’ the efficiency of the downforce-producing rear wing, thereby producing more straight-line speed when the car is not cornering.

McLaren had spent some time pioneering the system, so it is a surprise that Sauber has so quickly readied a version for its Ferrari-powered C29.

It is believed the Swiss team has not decided whether to actually run the system in Melbourne this weekend.

Asked by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, technical boss Willy Rampf said: “Ask me (about it) on Friday.”

It is likely Mercedes will be among the next F1 teams to also introduce the inlet system.

“We had an idea that they (McLaren) were doing it — we didn’t understand how they were doing it,” said team boss Ross Brawn.  “But now we do.”