It was exciting opening to the 2012 Formula One season last week that saw Jenson Button take ultimate victory in Australia. Many midfield teams over the winter have managed to catch up with the big boys and even become a threat. One such team is Mercedes AMG Petronas and just how they have caught up has sparked mass controversy in the paddock.
During the race each car can deploy DRS (Drag Reduction System) that opens the rear wing to reduce drag and increase top speed. Mercedes have developed what people are calling a “super DRS” that incorporates a design not dissimilar from the banned F-duct. When the wing is open in reveals a duct that channels air back to the front of the car at hundreds of miles an hour and onto the front wing. This effectively turbo charges the airflow and reduces drag further. Multiple teams have complained that this system is against the rules, but race director Charlie Whiting says a rule is unenforceable and the Mercedes design is simply an extension of DRS.
The teams will continue to protest but at the same time have to construct their own “super DRS” to keep ahead.