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GP Week : Issue 163
Mercedes’ double-DRS device was the talk of the opening stages of the 2012 Formula One season, with protests aplenty – particularly from Lotus. But once the Silver Arrows’ device was declared to be legal by the FIA, the race was on for other teams to bring out their own copies. The first team to test a similar device in practice was Lotus, who debuted their own version on Friday morning in Hockenheim. The Lotus version of the double-DRS is not a copy of the Mercedes’ system – while the end result is the same, Lotus are managing the airflow over the rear wing thanks to a system of inlet holes on the engine cover, and use that air to stall the wing for additional straight- line speed. In contrast, the Mercedes device manages the flow of air over the front wing. While the double-DRS was on show on Friday morning, it is not quite ready to be raced. Further testing will be done in Budapest this week, according to Alan Permane, the team’s trackside operations director. “We’ve seen encouraging signs from our latest prototype concept and although we won’t race it here, it’s likely to make another appearance during practice in Budapest,” he said on Friday. Interestingly, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh told reporters in Hockenheim that the team had started work on their own version of a double-DRS, but analysis revealed that they would be able to get more gains for less money by pursuing other development ideas currently on the team’s drawing board. LOTUS TRIAL DOUBLE-DRS SYSTEM F1 >>> NEWS 5 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: