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GP Week : Issue 177a
40 GPWEEK.com // 40 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: With just one week between Austin and Sao Paulo, it was pretty certain that not many changes would appear on the cars in Brazil. This in fact was what happened, even though some changes introduced in Austin and not raced there, were brought here and then kept for all the weekend. While in Texas we wrote that Ferrari was not the team that impressed us most from the development point of view; in Brazil the Italian team did an impressive job in terms of evaluating again the latest changes that apparently didn’t work in USA, and adding a few bits and pieces of detail development to the F2012. In detail, the aero package that was again evaluated was the rear diffuser that was brought in just one available element for Alonso, while a second one was available here also for Massa. The rear diffuser that at Austin didn’t seem a big improvement, here was capable of making the car feel better in terms of balance and drivability. The package (above) included the rear wing sporting the series of gills that were discarded in Austin, while successfully copied by Red Bull, as we reported last week. Another interesting change at Interlagos, and still part of the rear aero package, was an updated version of the rear brakes ducts (right). Their debut was planned for Austin, but after the unsuccessful evaluation of the rear diffuser tested there by Alonso, their introduction was postponed to the final race. The new ducts have additional fins connected to the cooling drums, whose function is to better channel the airflow in the area close to the side section of the diffuser, to increase downforce. This seemed to work properly with the new diffuser and the solution was kept throughout the weekend. An interesting change spotted in Brazil was related to the Mercedes rear wing. For the first time they used a normally-activated DRS system (above) instead of the F-duct activated version. This was a preview and test of the system which will be used next season as the F-duct system will be banned by the 2013 technical regulations. The debut of the standard activated system was flawless, and compared to the complexity and the poor performance of the F-duct activated one, was a right move in terms of design direction of the new car. It may have been the final race of 2012, but ferrarin were among the contenders still rolling out refinements, as Tech Editor Paolo Filisetti explains TECHNICAL Final fling ... F1 >>> BRAZIL F1 >>> BRAZIL