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Arguments continue over Mercedes wing

The on track action might have paused for breath, but the arguments continue over the design of the Mercedes rear wing.

The BBC's Chief F1 writer Andrew Benson believes that another three teams have joined Lotus and Red Bull over the device which has previously been deemed legal by FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

Lotus and Red Bull had threatened to protest about the wing at both the Australian and Malaysian Grand Prix's bet stopped just short of an official complaint.

However they and other teams have moved to get the wing reassessed by the FIA for further clarity.

Mercedes rear wing concept is, in a way, similar to the F-duct-type device which had previously been developed by McLaren and others in previous seasons.

That concept has been banned as any device which is seen as driver operated is now deemed as illegal by the FIA.

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, giving them good performances in qualifying and strong through the two DRS Zone's in the race.

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.

As it appears to be only active when the driver enables the DRS their argument is that it is illegal.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting didn't agree, he of course has had a detailed look at the Mercedes design and knows and understands exactly how it works, something the other teams do not have the benefit of.

Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix Whiting said: '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,', but he was also quick to point out that this approach was not against the current rules: 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.'

But despite the initial ruling teams have continued to lobby Whiting and the BBC believe he will look in detail at the other teams arguments ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix and will come to a definitive position on the issue.

Not that the teams will take Whiting's ruling as a final answer because if he does deem it legal once more, they could still protest in China.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 4 2012

Time: 10:07AM


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