Vital F1 - Lotus file official protest against Mercedes
Vital Login
Social Login

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's F1, It's Vital'

Lotus file official protest against Mercedes

The Mercedes rear wing row has dragged on into a third Grand Prix and Lotus, as previously expected, have now filed an official protest with the FIA.

Speaking before the protest was made, Mercedes boss Ross Brawn remained confused about why the situation was still ongoing.

'I think it is disappointing after three races that we are still in this situation, The system hasn't changed and the FIA's position hasn't changed, and as far as I understand their arguments haven't changed. So if they protest now, why didn't they protest in Australia? There is nothing new.'

It's a very good question and why now?

The Mercedes system has been well documented for around a month now and it would seem to be quite clear how it works.

The 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 were also 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.

It might be against the spirit of the rules as McLaren have said, but it doesn't appear to directly break the regulations and Mercedes believe the concept has been in place for two years.

'It is a matter of record that in 2010 Charlie [Whiting] stated that such a system was legal. It is in the minutes of the [technical] working group meetings. The question was asked and he stated his opinion then that he considered it legal. It has not been going on for three races. It has been going on for two years.' Brawn added.

Which again begs the question, why protest now?

The Lotus protest comes under article 3.15 of the technical regulations. If you do not have your book to hand, the important quote is as follows: 'With the exception of the parts necessary for the adjustment described in Article 3.18, any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited,'

So basically because the device becomes active when a driver activates the DRS, they believe the device is driver enabled, which was their complaint over a month ago, so again why now?

The protest even includes a 2,000 deposit, small change for a Formula One team, but a measure of their intent?

The Mercedes system is difficult to copy, Ross Brawn has already admitted this, which also means that if Mercedes are forced to take it off their car, a big part of their design concept is taken away from them.

'If the protest is upheld and Mercedes have to change the design of their car then that is effectively their season written off, It would be a big hit and they will be fighting tooth and nail to get this protest turned down.' Sky Sports Ted Kravitz told their news channel.

The fact that making the device illegal will hurt Mercedes more than if Lotus simply copied it, is probably one of the major reasons behind the protest.








Join Vital F1

It's easy to join up and join in on VitalF1.com, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

If you are already a member of Vital Football, your logins will automatically work on VitalF1.com!

The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 12 2012

Time: 11:49AM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Vital F1 Articles

Blog: Silverstone Preview (Wednesday July 1 2015)

Pirelli to request more F1 tests (Tuesday June 30 2015)

New contract for Horner (Monday June 29 2015)

F1 teams are all talk says Todt (Monday June 29 2015)

Formula 1 v Formula E (Monday June 29 2015)

Positive test for McLaren (Friday June 26 2015)

Mosley praise for Ecclestone (Thursday June 25 2015)

Red Bull to sack Horner? (Wednesday June 24 2015)

Angry Mateschitz (Tuesday June 23 2015)

Blog: Austrian GP Report (Sunday June 21 2015)

2015 Austrian GP - Race (Sunday June 21 2015)

Blog: Red Bull Ring Qualifying (Saturday June 20 2015)

Four drivers hit with penalties (Saturday June 20 2015)

2015 Austrian GP - Qualifying (Saturday June 20 2015)

2015 Austrian GP - FP3 (Saturday June 20 2015)

2015 Austrian GP - FP2 (Friday June 19 2015)

2015 Austrian GP - FP1 (Friday June 19 2015)

Italian Grand Prix to alternate? (Thursday June 18 2015)

Will Michelin return to Formula One? (Thursday June 18 2015)

Blog: Red Bull Ring Preview (Wednesday June 17 2015)

Who will win in Austria? (Tuesday June 16 2015)

Hulkenberg wins Le Mans (Monday June 15 2015)

Head knighted (Monday June 15 2015)

Grosjean apology for Stevens (Wednesday June 10 2015)

Renault quit threat very real (Tuesday June 9 2015)

Blog: Canadian GP Report (Tuesday June 9 2015)

2015 - Canada - Race (Sunday June 7 2015)

Blog: Montreal Qualifying (Sunday June 7 2015)

2015 - Canada - Qualifying (Sunday June 7 2015)

2015 - Canada - FP3 (Sunday June 7 2015)

2015 - Canada - FP2 (Friday June 5 2015)

2015 - Canada - FP1 (Friday June 5 2015)

Verstappen under fire (Friday June 5 2015)

Manor Marussia sign Fabio Leimer (Thursday June 4 2015)

Blog: Montreal Preview (Wednesday June 3 2015)

Manor Marussia make key appointments (Wednesday June 3 2015)

Who will in Canada? (Monday June 1 2015)

Extra homework for Kimi (Friday May 29 2015)

Blog: Monaco GP Report (Monday May 25 2015)

2015 - Monaco GP - Race (Sunday May 24 2015)

Blog: Monaco Qualifying (Sunday May 24 2015)

2015 - Monaco GP - Qualifying (Saturday May 23 2015)

2015 - Monaco GP - FP3 (Saturday May 23 2015)

2015 - Monaco GP - FP2 (Thursday May 21 2015)

2015 - Monaco GP - FP1 (Thursday May 21 2015)

Hamilton at home with Mercedes (Wednesday May 20 2015)

Hamilton targets Monaco victory (Wednesday May 20 2015)

Blog: Monaco Preview (Wednesday May 20 2015)

Alonso targets Monaco points (Tuesday May 19 2015)

Who will win in Monaco? (Monday May 18 2015)

Horner spices up his life (Monday May 18 2015)

Button scared of his McLaren Honda (Thursday May 14 2015)

Blog: Spanish GP Report (Monday May 11 2015)

2015 - Spain GP - Race (Sunday May 10 2015)

Blog: Barcelona Qualifying (Saturday May 9 2015)

2015 - Spain GP - Qualifying (Saturday May 9 2015)

2015 - Spain GP - FP3 (Saturday May 9 2015)

2015 - Spain GP - FP2 (Friday May 8 2015)

2015 - Spain GP - FP1 (Friday May 8 2015)

F1 merry-go-round (Friday May 8 2015)

Mercedes and Ferrari on par (Thursday May 7 2015)

Archived Vital F1 Articles

List All Vital F1 Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Red5 1055
2. DJ 961
3. The Fear 773
4. Villaininthemerde 612
5. johnkelv 583
6. Druss_the_Legend 539
7. Push The Button 455
8. col8 334
9. The Intimidator 163
10. __villa__ 145

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who will win the British GP?
Hamilton 56%
Rosberg 7%
Vettel 0%
Raikkonen 30%
Bottas 0%
Massa 0%
Someone else 7%