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Formula 1 Canadian GP

McLaren seeks further debate over "extreme" Ocon F1 rear wing wobble

McLaren Formula 1 team boss Andrea Stella wants to re-open the debate on cars continuing with damage after Esteban Ocon's "extreme" rear wing wobble in Canada.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A523, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

In the closing stages of the Canadian Grand Prix the rear wing on Ocon's Alpine F1 car started oscillating violently over the high Montreal kerbs.

That alarmed the chasing McLaren driver Lando Norris, who raised the issue with his team and afterwards said he was "ducking on the straights" fearing the wing would come off.

Ocon continued to finish eighth, with his team boss Otmar Szafnauer saying his engineers decided there was no risk of a catastrophic failure.

"It was extreme," Stella said straight after Sunday's race, claiming that had the issue occurred on one of his cars, it would have likely been sent to the pits.

"You need to know the construction of your car. You need to assess what's wrong.

"Then you need to wonder: would I have driven out my car and my component in this condition? It's very likely the answer is no, we didn't.

"So, I think here it becomes a sense of responsibility, which every team can interpret in a different way.

"I would like to hope that if the FIA delegate or the race director believe that it is simply just reasonable to think that that's dangerous, they intervene.

"We will certainly make a question as to what they were thinking in terms of how safe the situation was."

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren, in the Team Principals Press Conference

Andrea Stella, Team Principal, McLaren, in the Team Principals Press Conference

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Ocon's car passed post-race inspections, meaning the matter is closed as far as the FIA is concerned.

Amid a push to reduce the use of black and orange flags during the 2022 season, following the teams' unease over how frequently it was used, the FIA has since laid responsibility with the teams on whether or not it is safe to continue with a damaged car.

That move was unanimously backed by the teams on the basis that they understand their car designs better than the governing body, at the risk of severe penalties if they cross the line.

But Stella thinks further debate is needed at the FIA's next F1 Sporting Advisory Committee to discuss if such a safety matter should always be in the hands of the teams, as it could cause a conflict of interest.

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"It's the team's call to say we should retire the car, or we should leave the car out," Stella added.

"I think it's a tricky one because teams, when you are in a competition, you have a conflict of interest in terms of the safety of everyone involved and maximising your result.

"This is a debate that will deserve more time and I'm sure that at the next sporting advisory committee, it will be raised again.

"Lando said a couple of times that it's not nice when you follow a car with a wobbling rear wing, and this may hit you and kind of nothing happens."

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