“Photos taken at the Barcelona test depict a small air inlet on the left-hand side of the upper monocoque, in front of the drivers' helmets,” said a report issued by the GMM news agency, citing the aforementioned source.
According to the German reporters, the air inlet can be activated by the driver via a trigger located near the vicinity of his left knee. While activated, the device allows the air to travel through the inlet and towards the rear of the car, while disallowing this action when the device is not activated.
Although only a rumor at the moment, this device will most likely be closely inspected by the FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting during the Thursday scrutinizing session prior to the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix. It is where the MP4-25's rear wing check will also take place, as Whiting didn't make it to the Woking headquarters to inspect it last Friday.
Although agreeing to visit the McLaren factory and check the rear wing design – who presented a slot during the last test of the off-season, in Barcelona, that is believed to add some 4 mph (6 km/h) of performance in straight line – last Friday, a delay of his flight from Brazil caused the inspection to be rescheduled.
The rear wing design worries were risen by Red Bull and Ferrari, but the McLaren Mercedes boss Martin Whitmarsh insisted that, although innovative, the device is totally compliant with the current technical regulations of the FIA.