Majority of the F1 teams have agreed to change the rules regarding the “double DRS” on F1 cars. It is believed that the ban will be imposed starting from next year. The official announcement will be made by FIA’s World Motor Sport Council later this year.
The ban is part of the plan to reduce the costs in Formula 1 for the sport to remain viable in a long run. Mercedes did not support the ban and claimed that it is cost-effective.
After the failed protest in Chinese Grand Prix, Lotus has begun to develop and test its own version of “double DRS” since German and Hungarian Grand Prix and is expected to race it during Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Lotus has explained that the development of “double DRS” will carry on for this year since it will benefit for the second half of this season.
For more technical details of the “double DRS”, you can view it here on our earlier blog post.
We call it the DRS, because that’s all it is. The purpose of the DRS is to improve overtaking and that’s what we’re trying to do.
2012 Mercedes W03 wing system has became a hot debate since before the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne last month. Rivals like Red Bull and Lotus have been objecting to the design and requested clarification from FIA race director Charlie Whiting. Mercedes claimed that the system is part of the DRS and it complies with the rules and regulations of Formula 1. Currently, at least 5 teams are considering the design illegal, with Red Bull and Lotus leading the objections. FIA will be reassessing the wing system of Mercedes W03 this week.
Article 3.15 and 3.18 of technical regulations states that any system except DRS that is controlled by drivers and alters the aerodynamics of cars is prohibited and only the upper flap of the rear wing may be varied. Rivals believed the system is driver operated and since it falls outside the boundaries and cannot be considered part of DRS, hence the system is illegal.
Let’s look deeper into the DRS system.
When DRS flap is opened, it reveals a duct and air is sucked and channeled via thin pipes all the way through the chassis to the nosecone. Then it is channeled down to the front wing flaps, stalling the wing, reducing drag and raising top speed. When DRS is enabled, the loss of drag at the rear will cause the car to be imbalance in terms of downforce at the front and at the rear and stalling the front wing flap can reduce the drag and downforce at the front of the car, bringing the car back to balance. And, when the DRS is not operating, the front and rear wing is not stalled and both front and rear downforce can be restored.
The question to be considered is whether the operation of the system is passive or driver operated and this secondary function of the DRS can be accepted. Response from FIA is expected before the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai at 13-15 April 2012.
***UPDATE*** Lotus has filed a protest against Mercedes’s rear wing on Thursday ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix and on the same night, the stewards had agreed to reject the protest because they believe the system was completely passive. (Click here to read the full decision by FIA)