McLaren have halted work on a new suspension system after Formula One's governing body warned teams that anything that changes a car's ride height between qualifying and the race is illegal.
"We've had to change some of the things we're doing. Basically, we had a system we were working on, and we've now suspended that," engineering director Paddy Lowe told reporters on Tuesday.
He said the MP4-25 cars used by world champion Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton in this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix would have some aerodynamic improvements but no other changes.
McLaren are second in the championship after three races, 10 points behind Ferrari.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) wrote to all teams last week to clarify the rules after questions were raised about the suspension systems on some cars.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh had said that his team are hoping to have a new system in place for Shanghai after noticing that some cars, notably Red Bull, appeared to be running lower to the ground than expected when light on fuel in qualifying.
Red Bull, one-two winners in Malaysia on April 4, have welcomed the FIA clarification and said their car will be the same in China as at previous races.