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Lotus is highly optimistic that its ‘Double DRS’ device will reap huge rewards between now and the end of the Formula 1 season. The part, which was trialed in practice in Germany and Hungary but is yet to be raced, is expected to make its debut at Spa.
Although the general feeling is that most teams have agreed not to run such systems next year, with that majority vote being sufficient for an FIA regulation change, Lotus is sure that nine remaining races is more than enough to make a title impact.
“I think you can probably surmise, from the fact that we have been willing to sacrifice track time on a couple of events trying to bring this gadget up to speed for us, it would definitely pay for itself over the remainder of the season,” James Allison, Technical Director for Lotus, explained on Sky’s The F1 Show. “So even if it goes away next year, it's still something we think is worthwhile putting our efforts into. We're only just halfway through a very long season and there are plenty of races left.”
Although the device has been dubbed ‘Double DRS’, it in fact operates whether DRS is in use or not, meaning its effect is more like that of the f-ducts which sprouted two years ago. However, unlike in 2010, the Lotus concept does not require driver operation; with the team hoping it will be ready to race for both Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean in Belgium, the Enstone squad is already being tipped as a favourite for victory thanks to the straight-line speed gains the Finnish-French duo will enjoy at Spa.
“There are an awful lot of things to get right between now and then and we've got precious little time to do it,” Allison continues, remembering that the team factories are currently closed for the period of two weeks. “It's a reasonable amount of time on the calendar but, in working terms, not very long at all because of the shutdown.
“We hope to have it ready for Spa. Typically you would deploy it at a normal track, but its biggest benefits will come on long straights.”
Both of the next two races, which run back-to-back in Belgium and Italy, sport famously long straights and will therefore be huge weekends in Lotus’ 2012 campaign.
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