Date:Wednesday March 21 2012
One of the major talking points regarding the latest designs of the 2012 Formula One cars was based around the back end of the cars, most notably Mercedes.
The team of course have form in this area, under the previous guise of Brawn GP, the team developed the blown diffuser concept that dominated the early stages of the 2009 F1 World Championship.
By the time the teams caught up in their development, Jenson Button and Brawn were no longer unbeatable, but it was too late to put any challenge together to wrestle the titles from them, with Button taking the World championship and Brawn the constructors.
This year the team have come up with another clever design which has caught the other teams on the back foot.
Their rear wing concept is, in a way, similar to the F-duct-type device which had previously been developed by McLaren and others.
That concept has been banned as any device which is seen as driver operated is now deemed as illegal.
Mercedes version appears to be a hole on the rear wing endplate. The purpose of it appears to be to direct air to the front wing of the car, to basically give it a straightline speed boost.
In Australia the Mercedes was regularly around 8kph quicker than Red Bull in the speedtraps.
It works when the driver activates the DRS, the rear wing moves, which then uncovers the hole and immediately it begins to directed air to the front wing to 'stall it' for a speed boost.
Teams such as Lotus and Red Bull told the press that this made the device driver enabled and therefore illegal, although they stopped short of protesting to the race stewards.
While FIA race director Charlie Whiting who has examined the Mercedes design and deemed it legal ahead of the Australian Grand Prix: 'What it appears some teams are doing is that when the DRS is operated, it will allow air to pass into a duct and do other things,'
'That is all I can say – you will probably have a pretty good idea of what it might be doing, and other teams will as well. But it is completely passive. There are no moving parts in it; it doesn't interact with any suspension. No steering, nothing. Therefore I cannot see a rule that prohibits it.' he told Autosport Magazine.
But it would seem that the teams would like to have further clarity on the design before attempting to implement it themselves.
'There were other teams perhaps more animated than we were, but it is something we just want clarity on because one could argue it is a switch that is affected by the driver.' Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner told Sky Sports.
'The driver hits a button which uncovers this hole, and so it is driver activated, which is not in compliance with the regulations.
'I think there will be a lot of debate about it during the next five days, so we have requested there be more clarity on it because it is a grey area.'
'We need to do this before everybody charges around, committing considerable cost to development, If it is a clever idea and it is accepted then fine, but it does seem to be somewhat grey at the moment.'
McLaren were not one of the teams complaining about the Mercedes design in Australia and McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale believes that the teams should trust the decisions made by the FIA.
'I don't understand well enough what Mercedes are actually doing, and we have to rely on our colleagues at the FIA.
'If we have anything that we think is innovative or pushing the interpretations of the regulations, we are all obliged to disclose that to Charlie Whiting and his colleagues, and I'm very confident that Mercedes will have done that and got a ruling that's OK.' he told Autosport Magazine.
Date:Wednesday March 21 2012
Who will win the Australian Grand Prix? (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Williams positive ahead of new season (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Ecclestone targets Azerbaijan (Tuesday March 11 2014)
No change for Schumacher (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Qualifying tweaks confirmed (Monday March 10 2014)
F1 Prediction Competition - Round One (Saturday March 8 2014)
Lotus will recover (Saturday March 8 2014)
Ferrari behind Mercedes & Williams (Friday March 7 2014)
Pirelli announce tyre compounds for opening races (Friday March 7 2014)
Vettel concerned with lack of pace (Thursday March 6 2014)
More to come for Mercedes (Wednesday March 5 2014)
Where do McLaren stand? (Tuesday March 4 2014)
Red Bull will overcome problems, but when? (Monday March 3 2014)
FOTA folds with a whimper (Saturday March 1 2014)
Williams looking solid (Friday February 28 2014)
London Grand Prix takes step closer to reality? (Thursday February 27 2014)
2014 Formula One Prediction Competition (Thursday February 27 2014)
Smedley's Williams move confirmed (Wednesday February 26 2014)
New Pirelli tyres more consistent & durable (Tuesday February 25 2014)
Wolff to drive two practice sessions (Tuesday February 25 2014)
Mercedes dominate in Bahrain testing (Monday February 24 2014)
Double points cheapens F1 says Newey (Saturday February 22 2014)
Lotus sign Pic (Friday February 21 2014)
Red Bull get their wings (Friday February 21 2014)
Lotus commit to long-term engine deal with Renault (Thursday February 20 2014)
Ecclestone wins court battle (Thursday February 20 2014)
Mercedes happy with mileage gained (Thursday February 20 2014)
No panic for Red Bull (Thursday February 20 2014)
Important test for Pirelli (Wednesday February 19 2014)
Challenging time for Red Bull (Tuesday February 18 2014)
Video: Sochi is ready (Tuesday February 18 2014)
Renault admit to playing catch-up (Monday February 17 2014)
Video: Mercedes mock new F1 rules (Monday February 17 2014)
Schumacher's healing process progresses (Friday February 14 2014)
Kimi & Fernando the right choice for Ferrari (Thursday February 13 2014)
Hill backing for double points (Wednesday February 12 2014)
Renault make breakthrough with Lotus (Tuesday February 11 2014)
Mercedes play down early advantage (Monday February 10 2014)
F1 wants qualifying changes (Friday February 7 2014)
F1 Points in discussion (Friday February 7 2014)
Will Formula One be too slow in 2014? (Thursday February 6 2014)
GP2's Russian Time team principal dies (Thursday February 6 2014)
Ferrari announce testing trio (Wednesday February 5 2014)
F1 team principals are a thing of the past (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2014 Formula One Drivers (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2013 F1 Driver Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2013 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
Brawn retires from Formula One (Monday February 3 2014)
Schumacher 'in the process' of coming out of coma (Friday January 31 2014)
Boullier named McLaren Racing Director (Thursday January 30 2014)
McLaren duo killed (Thursday January 30 2014)
Video: Red Bull stutter in Jerez (Wednesday January 29 2014)
Video: F1 teams reveal 2014 challengers (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Video: 'Year of change' for Mclaren (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Alonso and Kimi target the title (Monday January 27 2014)
Final chance for Caterham (Saturday January 25 2014)
Boullier to leave Lotus for McLaren? (Friday January 24 2014)
Paul Di Resta makes Mercedes switch (Friday January 24 2014)
Pic & van der Garde in the cold (Thursday January 23 2014)
Caterham announce Kobayashi & Ericsson (Wednesday January 22 2014)
NASCAR boss makes F1 move (Tuesday January 21 2014)
Schumacher remains in coma (Monday January 20 2014)
Ron Dennis back in control at McLaren (Friday January 17 2014)
Pirelli confirmed until 2016 (Friday January 17 2014)
Ecclestone steps down (Thursday January 16 2014)
Lotus deal with Quantum dead (Thursday January 16 2014)
Ecclestone in the news in Germany (Thursday January 16 2014)
A unique situation for Formula One (Wednesday January 15 2014)
Changes afoot at Williams (Tuesday January 14 2014)
John Button dies (Monday January 13 2014)
Video: Tribute to Ayrton Senna (Monday January 13 2014)
Chilton holds on to Marussia seat (Monday January 13 2014)
The numbers game (Monday January 13 2014)
Kobayashi to return to F1? (Friday January 10 2014)
Schumacher travelling speed of 'good skier' (Thursday January 9 2014)
Sutil looking forward to Sauber challenge (Wednesday January 8 2014)
Lotus to miss first F1 test (Tuesday January 7 2014)
Fans hold vigil for Schumacher (Monday January 6 2014)
Schumacher remains critical but stable (Thursday January 2 2014)
Schumacher's condition shows 'slight improvement' (Tuesday December 31 2013)
Schumacher remains in coma overnight (Monday December 30 2013)
Schumacher in critical condition (Sunday December 29 2013)
Ferrari calls for F1 team summit (Friday December 27 2013)
Alonso makes his number selection (Thursday December 26 2013)
2014 Formula One Calendar (Wednesday December 25 2013)
Merry Christmas from Vital F1 (Wednesday December 25 2013)
Video: An F1 steering wheel - the driver's view (Tuesday December 24 2013)
Sauber confirm Gutierrez for 2014 (Tuesday December 24 2013)
Double points for three races (Monday December 23 2013)
Video: Ricciardo wows 100 thousand in Sri Lanka (Sunday December 22 2013)
Video: Teenager Kvyat looking for easy adjustment (Saturday December 21 2013)
BBC & Sky carve up 2014 season (Friday December 20 2013)
Rosberg suffers 320km/h tyre blow out (Friday December 20 2013)
Hulkenberg was offered Force India return in March (Thursday December 19 2013)
Red Bull hit by two key departures (Thursday December 19 2013)
Massa bids final farewell to Ferrari (Wednesday December 18 2013)
F1 Video: Caterham passes 2014 crash test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Button looking forward to hilarious test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Sauber switch for Sutil (Monday December 16 2013)
Perez backing for double points plan (Saturday December 14 2013)
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