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GP Week : Issue 152
Sauber have elected to continue developing their car without the DDRS pioneered by Mercedes after a cost-benefit analysis showed the gains were minimal when compared to the cost of fitting the device. “We have done some evaluation on it in the factory, but at the moment it's not really working for us in terms of cost versus performance,” chief designer Matt Morris told Autosport. “It doesn't really stack up for us at the moment. And beyond the cost versus performance issue, it's difficult to know exactly the potential benefits and then it's only really useful in qualifying as well. It's definitely a few tenths of a second in qualifying, but to get that [benefit] so many parts in the car would have to be changed. That's the problem.” Mercedes’ DDRS has become the must-have gadget of the season so far for the front-running teams, as competition at the head of the field is so tight that every tenth gained – whether in qualifying or the race – is vital to the championship. After much to-ing and fro-ing over its legality, the DDRS was finally declared legal in Shanghai, prompting something of a development race amongst the Silver Arrows’ rivals. While there’s a lot to be said for cost-benefit analysis, the problem Sauber face is a scenario in which all of their rivals do elect to pursue development of the DDRS, creating a situation in which the Swiss team’s caution costs them places in the constructors’ standings at the end of the year. Sauber got a strong start to 2011, but failed to capitalise on their early good work when they elected not to pursue development of the EBD that was being copied – to varying effect – up and down the pit lane. What may have felt like a financially prudent decision at the time cost Sauber their chance at P6 in the championship, and the attendant financial rewards that a higher placing brings. One wonders if they are at a risk of repeating that mistake this year. SAUBER DECIDE AGAINST DDRS DEVELOPMENT EDITOR: Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org ASSISTANT EDITORS: Naoise Holohan, Kate Walker F1 ANALYST: Peter Windsor MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott email@example.com RALLY EDITOR: Martin Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION ARTIST: Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHY: Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Emily Davenport PUBLISHER: Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED BY: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n Gaye Grinsted (WRC/MotoGP) email@example.com Ph: +44 (0) 207 254 8796 Mob: +44 (0) 7921 283 070 n Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org n SE Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK Sauber C31 rear diffuser and rear wing with aero paint. 4 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS