F1 Mercedes F-Duct is illegal

It’s been reported that Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, has rejected claims by Lotus and Red Bull that Mercedes’ F-Duct is illegal.

The intriguing device is only operated when the Drag Reduction System (DRS) is engaged on the cars of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.

Activating DRS opens an additional slot in the rear-wing endplate giving the car a boost to top speed.

F1 pundits speculate that the F-duct may also help stall the front end, by altering the way air travels over the front wing of the car and through the W-duct which most teams use to influence airflow through the front wing.

The Mercedes innovation is an evolution of the now-banned F-duct of 2010, which required drivers to block a hole in the cockpit with their hand in order to stall the air travelling over the rear wing and reduce drag.

The FIA prohibits any aerodynamic device which is operated by the driver or has moving parts (with the exception of the DRS). This part has been deemed legal as it’s operation is entirely passive.

With the FIA ratifying its use expect copies to be in place on the Red Bull, Lotus, McLaren and Ferrari at the first of the European races.

by Terence Johns

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