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Super DRS, despite yielding some clear benefits, may be taking more from Mercedes than it delivers. That is the opinion of Gary Anderson, former Technical Director of the Jordan, Stewart and Jaguar F1 teams who is now analyst for BBC television.
The system, which sees air enter through the rear wing – while DRS is open – and channel through to the front of the car, was subject to several complaints and a protest from Lotus earlier this year. To the disgruntlement of rivals, Formula 1 governing body the FIA cleared the device as legal but it is believed the majority of teams have agreed to ban it for 2013.
Anderson, writing on the BBC Sport website, questions the true benefits of the concept.
“Mercedes have a very conventional rear-end aerodynamic treatment and are not trying to exploit the exhaust gases for aerodynamic effect in the way McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull are,” he says. “There are 0.2-0.3 seconds a lap in trying to do that - all produced from greater rear-end grip. If Mercedes want to improve, they would be better advised to build that kind of exhaust system…that would give them more overall downforce and the car would go quicker.
“If I was them, I would be thinking very seriously about getting rid of the Double DRS, unless I was absolutely on top of which circuits it will provide a benefit at and which it will create a deficit. Hungary was probably the circuit where it will affect them most, because of those short braking zones. The next race is at Spa, where the Double DRS will provide some benefits because there are long straights and some kinks where it will be beneficial to run with the DRS open.
“But you have to question, on the evidence of the season so far, whether having it is leading them up a blind alley in terms of their development direction.”
After 11 of the 20 races in 2012, Mercedes sits fifth in the Constructors’ Championship and a mammoth 140 points in arrears of leading Red Bull.
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