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GP Week : Issue 91
For your daily dose of Formula 1 news ... F1 NEWS >> RENAULT is likely to introduce its own version of McLaren's innovative F-duct at the Belgian Grand Prix after the summer break, although it could have it on the car before then, team principal Eric Boullier has revealed. McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, Force India, Williams and BMW Sauber have all trialled an F-duct since the start of the season, leaving Renault as the only remaining top team not to have one. Speaking on Renault's official post-British GP podcast, Boullier confirmed that the F-duct would make an appearance on the R30 before the end of the season. When asked when it would be debuted, he said it depended on production: "Depending on preduction, because now we have validated a good package," he said. "We have a two-step F-duct coming, depending on the schedule because Budapest is a high-downforce track so we don't need to have it there. So maybe we get it before, but very likely right after." The Hungarian Grand Prix takes place in less than a fortnight's time, one week after this weekend's German Grand Prix, while the Belgian Grand Prix will be run after the three- week summer break. With its long straights and high-speed corners, the F-duct should be hugely beneficial for teams at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. VIRGIN Racing technical director Nick Wirth is predicting an "epic" battle between his outfit and main rivals Lotus to end the 2010 season as the best new team, having significantly closed the gap to the Norfolk-based team at the recent British Grand Prix. The team brought a major upgrade for the VR-01 to Silverstone and although Lotus remained ahead of them in qualifying and the race the gap had been cut to less than half a second, from 1.4 seconds in Valencia. Speaking to GPWEEK, Wirth said he was looking forward to having a hard battle for supremacy with Lotus over the course of the final nine races: "It's pretty clear from fastest laps, where we were, the race-long battle that the three of them [Trulli, Kovalainen and Glock] had, that we've made a big step forward this weekend away from HRT and right into the think of the Lotuses," said Wirth. "Lotus have worked very hard in updating their car on a more consistent basis. "We've waited for a long time and then done a big update and it's pretty clear going forward for the next Grands Prix it's going to be a pretty epic battle between us and them towards the end of the year and we're going to be pushing very hard to carry on bringing parts to the track." Renault plans F-duct debut Wirth predicts "epic" battle with Lotus 11