Date:Thursday April 12 2012
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.
Date:Thursday April 12 2012
2015 - Mal GP - Qualifying (Saturday March 28 2015)
2015 - Mal GP - FP3 (Saturday March 28 2015)
2015 - Mal GP - FP2 (Friday March 27 2015)
2015 - Mal GP - FP1 (Friday March 27 2015)
Bottas to avoid surgery (Thursday March 26 2015)
Alonso clears up mystery crash (Thursday March 26 2015)
Alonso and Bottas cleared to drive (Thursday March 26 2015)
Blog: Sepang Preview (Wednesday March 25 2015)
New Hamilton deal all but agreed (Wednesday March 25 2015)
Bottas hopeful of return (Tuesday March 24 2015)
Alonso to travel to Malaysia (Monday March 23 2015)
Another blow for F1 as German GP is axed (Monday March 23 2015)
Giedo van der Garde settlement agreed (Friday March 20 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 2 (Friday March 20 2015)
Who will win in Malaysia? (Thursday March 19 2015)
Mercedes duo looking forward to Ferrari battle (Tuesday March 17 2015)
Vital talking points: AusGP - McLaren (Monday March 16 2015)
Vital talking points: AusGP - Red Bull to quit F1? (Monday March 16 2015)
Vital talking points: Aus GP - Hamilton dominance (Monday March 16 2015)
Giedo van der Garde’s case against Sauber (Monday March 16 2015)
2015 - Aus GP - Race result (Sunday March 15 2015)
Blog: Australian GP Report (Sunday March 15 2015)
Blog: Melbourne Qualifying (Saturday March 14 2015)
2015 - Aus GP - Qualifying result (Saturday March 14 2015)
2015 - Aus GP - FP3 result (Saturday March 14 2015)
Van der Garde drops Sauber dispute (Saturday March 14 2015)
Sauber boss could face prison (Friday March 13 2015)
2015 - Aus GP - FP2 result (Friday March 13 2015)
2015 - Aus GP - FP1 result (Friday March 13 2015)
Jordan to auction cars for charity (Thursday March 12 2015)
Blog: Melbourne Preview (Thursday March 12 2015)
Sauber lose van der Garde appeal (Thursday March 12 2015)
Hass will be ready for 2016 debut (Wednesday March 11 2015)
Who will be racing for Sauber in Australia? (Wednesday March 11 2015)
Hamilton resists Ferrari approaches (Tuesday March 10 2015)
Manor Marussia complete driver line-up (Tuesday March 10 2015)
2015 Formula One Drivers (Tuesday March 10 2015)
Enter the Vital F1 Prediction competition TODAY (Tuesday March 10 2015)
2014 F1 Driver Standings (Tuesday March 10 2015)
2014 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday March 10 2015)
Who will win the F1 season opener in Australia? (Monday March 9 2015)
Hamilton enters final stages of contract talks (Monday March 9 2015)
McLaren confirm Alonso suffered memory loss (Monday March 9 2015)
Marussia cleared to race (Friday March 6 2015)
Lotus pleased with steps forward (Friday March 6 2015)
Alonso woke up in 1995 (Friday March 6 2015)
Pirelli announce tyre choices for opening rounds (Thursday March 5 2015)
Manor Marussia confirm Australian return (Thursday March 5 2015)
Alonso to miss out on Australia (Wednesday March 4 2015)
Red Bull return to traditional colours (Tuesday March 3 2015)
Chilton makes move into WEC (Tuesday March 3 2015)
NEW 2015 F1 Prediction Competition is Go, Go, Go! (Tuesday March 3 2015)
So what have we learned from winter testing? (Monday March 2 2015)
Williams end winter testing on top (Monday March 2 2015)
Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top (Monday March 2 2015)
New Force India impresses on first showing (Monday March 2 2015)
Dennis denies car failure behind Alonso crash (Friday February 27 2015)
Williams top first day of final test (Friday February 27 2015)
Manor name first driver (Thursday February 26 2015)
Alonso released from hospital (Wednesday February 25 2015)
Alonso remains hospitalised (Tuesday February 24 2015)
Alonso airlifted to hospital (Monday February 23 2015)
Maldonado tops third day in Barcelona (Monday February 23 2015)
Red Bull on top on day two in Barcelona (Monday February 23 2015)
Maldonado tops first day in Barcelona (Friday February 20 2015)
F1 set for Qatar in 2016 (Thursday February 19 2015)
Wolff wants to wrap up Hamilton contract talks (Wednesday February 18 2015)
Raikkonen unfazed by uncertain future (Tuesday February 17 2015)
Force India to make Barcelona appearance (Monday February 16 2015)
Alonso just wants equality at McLaren (Friday February 13 2015)
Mateschitz pleased with Red Bull & Toro Rosso (Thursday February 12 2015)
Honda plan upgrades for next test (Wednesday February 11 2015)
Force India look set to miss second test (Tuesday February 10 2015)
Marussia push on with return (Monday February 9 2015)
Caterham's administrators to auction assets (Friday February 6 2015)
Force India block Marussia return (Friday February 6 2015)
Despite lack of running McLaren remain positive (Thursday February 5 2015)
Raikkonen and Ferrari on top in Jerez (Thursday February 5 2015)
Signs of progress for McLaren? (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Marussia to exit administration (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Sauber top third day (Wednesday February 4 2015)
Early struggles for McLaren Honda (Tuesday February 3 2015)
Vettel and Ferrari remain quickest in Jerez (Tuesday February 3 2015)
Hamilton set for contract talks (Monday February 2 2015)
Formula One teams hit the test track (Monday February 2 2015)
Bernie wants one wish (Friday January 30 2015)
Ferrari continue to beat the drum of F1 revolution (Thursday January 29 2015)
Force India looking to optimise wind tunnel time (Wednesday January 28 2015)
Could F1 lose German Grand Prix? (Tuesday January 27 2015)
Chilton lines up potential Indy Car switch (Monday January 26 2015)
New engines attract new fans (Friday January 23 2015)
Hockenheim to host 2015 German Grand Prix (Thursday January 22 2015)
Vettel's big gamble at Ferrari (Wednesday January 21 2015)
Honda allowed to make in-season changes (Tuesday January 20 2015)
Qatar bid for F1 scuppered? (Monday January 19 2015)
Spain and Austria to host in-season tests (Friday January 16 2015)
F1 introduce new Super Licence points system (Thursday January 15 2015)
More aggressive tyre strategy in 2015 (Wednesday January 14 2015)
Newey questions if anyone can catch Mercedes (Tuesday January 13 2015)
FIA confirm new virtual safety car procedures (Monday January 12 2015)
|7.||Push The Button||451|