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Lotus considering 'double DRS' options 16 Apr 2012

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 14 April 2012 Mercedes AMG F1 W03 rear wing detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 24 March 2012 James Allison (GBR) Lotus F1 Technical Director in the FIA Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 13 April 2012 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 14 April 2012

Lotus are looking into the potential benefits of developing their own version of Mercedes’ ‘double DRS’ system, after their protest against the solution in China failed, effectively rubber-stamping it and similar designs as legal.

However, Lotus insist it will not be a question of simply aping Mercedes’ system, which uses airflow channelled from the DRS rear wing to stall the front wing, but rather of exploring all the possibilities opened up by the stewards’ ruling.

“We are at the point of making estimates of how big the gain might be and assessing the difficulty in actually realising that gain,” Lotus technical director James Allison told the team’s website.

“It’s anyone’s guess how powerful any existing system is, but that’s not the issue; it’s how powerful we think we can make any system which we can develop now we know how the rules can be interpreted. There are systems like Mercedes has, but the interpretation allows other permutations too. So it could be an interesting time for developments in this area.”

Mercedes’ clever design reaped significant rewards in China, helping Nico Rosberg to his maiden Formula One pole position and victory. Like Lotus, most teams - if they weren’t already - will inevitably now be investigating similar systems. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will adopt them.

"I think first of all, like any component, it has to earn a place on the car as a package," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was quoted as saying by Reuters. "It's not a given that on everybody's car it's bolt-on lap time."

Mercedes’ system, coupled with the fact they seem to have conquered their tyre degradation issues, means they are now being tipped as potential title contenders following Rosberg’s Shanghai triumph. They lie fifth in the constructors’ standings on 26 points, 62 behind leaders McLaren.

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