Date: 7th August 2012 at 8:48am
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From the 2013 Formula One season, the concept of the ‘double-DRS’ has been banned.

This means that the Mercedes system, which caused so much controversy at the start of this seasons championship will be outlawed.

The Mercedes Double-DRS system takes airflow from the back of the car to the front, to stall the front wing down the straights during practice and qualifying and in the DRS Zone during a race.

This gives Mercedes a straight line speed advantage with both the front wing and the rear wing reacting to the driver enabling the DRS system.

The early races of the season were dominated by teams arguing the legality of the system with Lotus one of the teams in the paddock that was most strongly against Mercedes interpretation of the FIA’s regulations in regards to what is allowed in the DRS system and they made a complaint to the FIA ahead of the Chinese GP.

But the FIA opted to once again back the Mercedes Double-DRS system as legal.

With an official stance from the FIA Lotus immediately revealed they were developing plans of their own, having vowed not to take the issue to the FIA’s Court of Appeal.

‘We are at the point of making estimates of how big the gain might be and assessing the difficulty in actually realising that gain,’ Lotus Technical Director James Allison told Lotus’s official website in April, while other teams also looked into this potential development area.

But because the Mercedes DRS system had to be so heavily integrated into the the design of the car, other teams couldn’t replicate it without wholesale changes and spending a lot of money developing it.

So with double-DRS banned for 2013, it would be a safe assumption that teams would end spending money on developing their own version?

Wrong.

With nine races to go both Lotus and McLaren are still looking into the advantages of having their own system, even if it just for a handful of races.

‘There are changes to the rules to outlaw the double DRS things, yes, But there is benefit to he had.’ Allison told Autosport Magazine.

‘We are only halfway through a 20-race season, just over halfway through. It’s not like we are near the end, so there is plenty of merit to having something like this.’

It has been reported that the Lotus system is completely different to the Mercedes version, with Lotus actually gaining a benefit when the rear wing is closed rather than open. Which could prove to give a big performance gain at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier added: ‘If there is a gain to find, we need to bring it to the car. I think there is still some work to be done on it but, in one of the next races, it will be on both cars.’

McLaren are not as far down the development track as Lotus, but McLaren Sporting director Sam Michael has also revealed that they also have something in the pipeline.

‘It’s not like the Lotus one, but we have got a system like that, As for the chances of us bringing it, I don’t know yet.

‘We will look at all the programmes and see if it is feasible, because it requires work and it detracts from normal upgrades as well. So it is quite difficult to make the system work, as Lotus are discovering.

‘But like anything in the pit lane, if we see a new idea then the guys jump on it, they analyse it and, if we decide that it will be a benefit to the team, then we will bring it.’


The development race continues.