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F1 teams all in a flap over DRS

F1 teams all in a flap over DRS

FORMULA 1: Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, is this week reassessing its position on the legality of a controversial design feature on the Mercedes car.

Saturday 7 April 2012, 02:11PM

The system uses the DRS rear wing overtaking device to affect the front wing, boosting straight-line speed.

The move to reassess the system comes in the wake of continuing complaints from rivals about the system, which it is claimed gives the car an extra 0.5 seconds per lap, with at least five teams reportedly considering it illegal.

Several teams, with Lotus and Red Bull leading the way, are still seeking clarification and the FIA’s race director Charlie Whiting is expected to “look in detail at their arguments this week before trying to come to a definitive position on the issue”.

The FIA gave the controversial DRS-activated F-duct – which stalls the car’s wings for better straight-line speed – the green light at the Australian and Malaysian Grands.

According to BBC Sport, “at least five teams consider it illegal” and “if Whiting again rules it legal, it remains possible that rivals will protest against the system at the next race in China on 13-15 April”.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has also told media that a China protest could be possible.

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“I think he wanted to have a think about it and of we’ll of course respect his position when he makes that clear to us in China,” Horner said.
“Then the teams are faced with alternatives. Either accept it and get on it and maybe look at your own solution if that fits your car.

“You’ve got the opportunity to protest if we were to feel, or any other team were to feel, that we didn’t agree with Charlie’s interpretation.”

Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher have so far gained little advantage from the system, scoring only a single point between them from two races.

The system works by combining the DRS flap on the rear wing with the front wing.

Use of DRS – which stands for drag-reduction system – is free in practice and qualifying but in a race, drivers can use it only in designated zones.
When the Mercedes DRS flap lifts, it reveals holes on the inside of the rear-wing endplate.

These holes connect up through channels inside the car to the underside of the front wing, which sucks air from the rear wing, apparently reducing the front wing’s effectiveness.

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