McLaren has abandoned work on a ride height optimisation system after the FIA apparently changed its mind on its legality.
Ride height adjustment has come to the fore because cars qualify with virtually no fuel on board, and then have 170kgs added for the race start, which can lower them by up to 3mm.
Rivals believe that Red Bull’s superior qualifying pace this year has been helped by the team finding a solution to the problem, which has allowed the cars to run low in qualifying and yet not be pushed down further when fuel is added. McLaren’s attempt to emulate that has ground to a halt.
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said: “We were surprised when we were told such systems were legal, [and] on that basis we started to develop some systems. Then we were told the FIA had reconsidered that position and that such systems were no longer legal.”