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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.


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      This article was originally published in forum thread: The controversial Mercedes Formula 1 DRS rear wing design legality being re-assessed by the FIA started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 49 Comments
      1. inlineS54B32's Avatar
        inlineS54B32 -
        For those that haven't been watching: http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/...e-Mercedes-DRS
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        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.
      1. inlineS54B32's Avatar
        inlineS54B32 -
        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.
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        can someone explain what it is and how it helps?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        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
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        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?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        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.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        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."
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        So they can't use it any longer?
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        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.
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        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.
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        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.
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        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.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        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.
      1. Autobahn335i's Avatar
        Autobahn335i -
        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.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        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?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        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.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        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?
      1. PEI330Ci's Avatar
        PEI330Ci -
        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.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by PEI330Ci Click here to enlarge
        I think a Red Bull with a fully functioning KERS, and an adaptation of the new W-Duct will be hard to beat.
        Not so sure about that.
        The 2011 car of RB was build around their blown diffuser, just like Mercedes has done with their implementation of the "double F-duct/DRS". Adrian Newey has adapted the car for 2012, but it lacks in raw speed, as shown in all qualifying sessions. It handles a lot better when heavier, like in a race with a lot more fuel.
        The 2011 RB car was not designed for KERS, and the system had to be given a place in a later stage of development, hence the awkward battery placement, which has given them a lot of malfunctions last year. Mostly in Webber's car, curiously enough.