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    FIA reassessing controversial Mercedes wing system

    Click here to enlarge

    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.
    The move comes in the wake of continuing complaints from rivals about the system. BBC Sport understands at least five teams consider it illegal.
    The system uses the DRS rear wing overtaking device to affect the front wing, boosting straight-line speed.
    Mercedes built the system after an all-clear from the FIA.
    Rivals - who estimate the system is worth as much as 0.5 seconds a lap in qualifying - have been lobbying FIA race director Charlie Whiting about the system since before the first race of the season in Australia last month.
    Lotus and Red Bull were the two teams leading objections to the design, which Whiting indicated he felt was legal in both Australia and at the Malaysian race a week later.
    Click here to enlarge Mercedes' innovative rear wing has caused quite a stir this season

    But teams have continued to lobby Whiting since returning from Malaysia last week and BBC Sport understands he will look in detail at their arguments this week before trying to come to a definitive position on the issue.
    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.
    Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher have accrued little advantage from the system so far in terms of race results, scoring only a single point between them from two races.
    The ingenious 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 less than a second behind the car in front.
    When the DRS flap lifts to give the driver the requisite straight-line speed boost, it reveals holes on the inside of the rear-wing endplate.
    These holes connect up through channels inside the car to slot gaps on the underside of the front wing, which sucks air from the rear wing, reducing the front wing's effectiveness.
    Ross Brawn Mercedes team boss

    “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”
    It has a number of benefits, including increased straight-line speed and better stability through certain fast corners and - some engineers say - a reduced front ride height, which aids aerodynamics.
    Rivals believe it is illegal because the system is driver-operated - and article 3.15 of the technical regulations states that with the exception of DRS, "any car system, device or procedure which uses driver involvement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited".
    Mercedes argue that as the system is part of the DRS it complies with the rules as it falls within the exemption.
    Team principal Ross Brawn said at the Malaysian Grand Prix: "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."
    Rivals counter that the rule that defines the DRS system - article 3.18 - mentions only the upper flap on the rear wing and nothing else, and that therefore the front wing falls outside its boundaries and cannot be considered part of the DRS.
    Brawn says that every team's DRS system is designed to affect other parts at the rear of the car - such as the lower rear wing, endplates and diffuser - and that Mercedes' approach is merely an extension of that.

    Source: BBC Sports
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    Big news... doesn't seem like it has helped though.

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    Well, the system has helped Mercedes a lot in qualifying.
    Michael Schumacher has outqualified Nico Rosberg on both GPs this year, and in the Malaisian GP MS even got his best qualifying result since 2006, qualifying in 3rd place.
    And MS was quite unfortunate in both races, suffering from a broken gearbox in Melbourne, and being hit in last race by Grosjean, dropping back to halfway down the field. The middle pack is so competitive at the moment that overtaking has become very dificult. Both races did not have an ideal DRS zone so everyone struggled with overtaking to some extend.
    The main problem Mercedes has at the moment is with the tires, whitch the car seens to be very hard for. They tend to overheat too much.
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    Let 'em run it, and while FIA is at it, get rid of the 'within one second' rule. I hate those gimmicky rules. Run what you brung as fast as you can.

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    Exactly. It shouldn't be just about corporate advertisement. It should showcase smart minds creating new ways to be the fastest.

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    The controversial Mercedes Formula 1 DRS rear wing design legality being re-assessed by the FIA

    Teams are in a huge fuss this year over how Mercedes designed their rear wing believing it is not legal and giving Mercedes-Petronas an unfair advantage. The results do not show a big advantage for Mercedes thus far but the FIA is being pressured into assessing the design and ruling on whether it is fair or foul. Now, Mercedes built the wing system with approval from the FIA to begin with so where is the beef? We think Mercedes should be applauded for their ingenuity and if other teams have an issue with it they should start working on their own design.

    We will keep you updated on what happens but for now the system is legal. The other teams will likely continue protesting in hopes of a ruling that outlaws the DRS wing.

    Click here to enlarge

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    For those that haven't been watching: http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/...e-Mercedes-DRS

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by eric@helix Click here to enlarge
    Let 'em run it, and while FIA is at it, get rid of the 'within one second' rule. I hate those gimmicky rules. Run what you brung as fast as you can.
    It does not work that way.

    DRS was specifically designed to make overtaking more easy.
    If everybody can use it all the time it serves no purpose whatsoever.
    It is only free to use during qualifying.
    During the race it is only allowed to be used by an overtaking car which was within 1 second of the car in front when passing the DRS measurement line.
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    That article posted they are getting 10 MPH on the straights. DavidV is right, this has really done something only for qualifying so far, but China is a track where it will be expected to make a good help.

    If the FIA gives them the thumbs down after giving them a thumbs up on this, it looks like they will be in a good position to say "our car is significantly impacted by this" - as these tubes already (so it is claimed) affect the ability to make suspension adjustments, and take up space in the car. The FIA already said "OK" once, I really doubt they are going to take it back now - but I have been very wrong about the FIA before Click here to enlarge

    Cheers.

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    can someone explain what it is and how it helps?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    can someone explain what it is and how it helps?
    Absolutely: http://www.benzboost.com/showthread....wing-explained

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    thats good information right there.
    took a while to figure out what DRS was though.
    seems dumb to have certain sections allowed to have it. regardless if everyone uses it all the time, cant they all use it in the same place, so in essence, all the time, giving no advantage to the other cars if the lead cars are using it at the same time?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    thats good information right there.
    took a while to figure out what DRS was though.
    seems dumb to have certain sections allowed to have it. regardless if everyone uses it all the time, cant they all use it in the same place, so in essence, all the time, giving no advantage to the other cars if the lead cars are using it at the same time?
    Everyone could use it in the same place but not everyone has it.

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  14. #14
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    The soap continues.

    McLaren say Mercedes' controversial aerodynamic package is outside the intention of the rules.
    Technical director Paddy Lowe said that he thought Mercedes' drag-reduction system (DRS) was not what the regulations intended.
    "If you look at the system on the Mercedes, there is an argument: is that what was intended with DRS?" he said.

    "Well, it definitely wasn't. DRS was a set of rules created to move the rear wing flap and not to do anything else."

    Rivals have questioned the legality of a system that links the DRS rear wing overtaking aid with the front wing, boosting straight-line speed.
    Lotus and world champions Red Bull have been most vocal in opposing the system.
    McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said during the Australian Grand Prix that he thought the system was legal, but Lowe says he believes it is all about how the rules are interpreted.
    "There's no such thing as 'spirit of the rules'. It's a term often used," he added whilst discussing whether teams' ongoing attempts to use exhaust gases to aid downforce was within the spirit of the rules, despite new regulations aimed at preventing it.
    "The rulebook is a set of text that has a meaning, and you decide what that meaning is - and you work to them."
    Mercedes have cut holes onto the inside of the vertical endplates of the rear wing which are revealed when the driver pushes a button to operate the DRS, which lifts the flap on the rear wing.
    The holes connect up through channels inside the car to slot-gaps on the underside of the front wing, which sucks air from the rear wing, reducing the front wing's effectiveness.
    The system has a number of benefits, including increased straight-line speed and better stability through certain fast corners. Some rivals estimate the system could be worth as much as 0.5 seconds a lap.
    McLaren believe Mercedes' innovative rear wing is outside the intention of the rules

    Formula 1's governing body the FIA is currently reassessing its position on the legality of the controversial design feature on the Mercedes.
    Lowe, whose McLaren MP4-27 car has qualified with two front-row lock-outs in the first two races of this season, said ultimately the FIA's decision will be based around what the rules state, rather than a team's interpretations.
    "There's no headline regulation that says: 'And above all else you've got to remain within the spirit of what was intended.'
    "The debate around, can they keep the system on the car is not whether is was within the spirit or not, it's whether the regulations permit it or not."
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    So they can't use it any longer?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    So they can't use it any longer?
    Sure they can.
    As long as the FIA does not specifically bans it, Mercedes can use it.
    It is just other teams are trying to get it off the car of Mercedes because they see no way to implement it themselves.
    It is a very cheap method of getting more straight line speed, BUT you can only implement it if you design it into the car.
    It is basically just a CF tunnel that runs through the car and only gets used under active DRS conditions.
    If you do not design space for such a tunnel, in a cramped F1 car there is no way you can implement it later.
    This is the chalenge all other teams are up against.
    The easiest and cheapest way for them is to get the FIA banning the system for Mercedes, so nobody can use it.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    thats good information right there.
    took a while to figure out what DRS was though.
    seems dumb to have certain sections allowed to have it. regardless if everyone uses it all the time, cant they all use it in the same place, so in essence, all the time, giving no advantage to the other cars if the lead cars are using it at the same time?
    If you are referring just to DRS. Every car has "drag reduction system". During qualifying you can use DRS for the entire lap. During the race there is only a section or sections of the track you can enable DRS. A car must be within a 1 sec gap at a detection zone to enable the DRS. The lead car would not be able to use their DRS, unless they were behind another car with a 1 sec gap.

    Mercedes has a F-duct system that were deemed illegal for this season. But they believe they have found a way within the rules to still have an F-duct, using the DRS portion of the wing to turn it on and off.

    Since during qualifying DRS is enabled the entire lap. They gain the most advantage during quali.


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Everyone could use it in the same place but not everyone has it.
    No, the lead cars isn't allow to use DRS in the race. DRS was introduced after we saw too many "procession" races, where faster (even 1.5 sec per lap faster) cars would be able to close the gap to the leader, but could just not overtake due to air turbulences created by the leader car. So the cars would just line up with no overtaking being possible.

    To break this, the FIA created this artificial advantage, giving the edge to a driver which could bring the gap to the car ahead down below one second.

    IMO the softer tyres Pirelli has brought to the party make DRS obsolete.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Autobahn335i Click here to enlarge
    No, the lead cars isn't allow to use DRS in the race.
    Only case where the lead car is allowed to use it if they are also within a 1 sec gap of another car, whether that car is for position or a lapper.


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Autobahn335i Click here to enlarge
    IMO the softer tyres Pirelli has brought to the party make DRS obsolete.
    No, before DRS the cars were not able to get this close due to aerodynamic features of their front wing setup.
    To take advantage of the offered DRS opportunity the teams redesigned the front of the car to be able to get within that 1 second gap.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
    No, before DRS the cars were not able to get this close due to aerodynamic features of their front wing setup.
    To take advantage of the offered DRS opportunity the teams redesigned the front of the car to be able to get within that 1 second gap.
    Agreed, but what I was implying is that the softer tire compounds make for different strategies between the teams and sometimes team mates. So cars are less likely to end up in that "stuck behind" situation. Adding an artificial help to overtake is a bit against the spirit of proper racing IMO.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Autobahn335i Click here to enlarge
    No, the lead cars isn't allow to use DRS in the race. DRS was introduced after we saw too many "procession" races, where faster (even 1.5 sec per lap faster) cars would be able to close the gap to the leader, but could just not overtake due to air turbulences created by the leader car. So the cars would just line up with no overtaking being possible.

    To break this, the FIA created this artificial advantage, giving the edge to a driver which could bring the gap to the car ahead down below one second.

    IMO the softer tyres Pirelli has brought to the party make DRS obsolete.
    So everyone except the lead car?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by M3_WC Click here to enlarge
    Only case where the lead car is allowed to use it if they are also within a 1 sec gap of another car, whether that car is for position or a lapper.
    There we go, thanks.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    So everyone except the lead car?
    No, every car that is within 1 second of the car in front of him.
    If the race leader comes within 1 second of a backmarker at the DRS measurement line he is also allowed to use DRS

    Edit, Ah double.
    Hey Where the $#@! did the delete post option go?
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    While this may be the "tech story" of 2012, but I don't think it will play as big a role in who wins through the rest of the season.

    Sure it will be copied by numberous teams, but there are a number of other features in the pipe that are still to make an appearance. Wait until the test after Bahrain....and more specifically Spain. That to me is when we'll get a good measure of where the teams are technically.

    Something the media very rarely picked up on in 2011....and again in 2012: Red Bulls' KERS. Well informed technical analysts estimate that when it was working in 2011, it only delivered approximately 40kw of drive. (The rules allow for 60kw of boost up to 6.67 seconds per lap.) Towards the end of 2011....it was pretty rare to see an in-car view from Red Bull that show'd KERS being activated.

    Fast forward to 2012....and I don't think I've seen an in-car view of a Red Bull using KERS yet!

    So the question for me is: Is Red Bull using KERS, and if so, how much?

    For those that aren't aware, Andrian Newey packaged the battery system on the Red Bulls around the transmission, where most other teams placed the battery pack under the fuel cell. In 2011 there were numberous hints that the system was overheating.....


    I think a Red Bull with a fully functioning KERS, and an adaptation of the new W-Duct will be hard to beat.
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