Lotus to trial DDRS again before Spain
18 April 2013 – Lotus hopes to trial its DDRS again after this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, with a view to using the device from the start of the European leg at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Since the ban on active DDRS at the end of 2012, Lotus and Mercedes have been trialling passive variations. At high speeds, the force of the airflow activates a fluid switch and is directed upwards through a vertical duct before blowing over the rear wing. This separates airflow and stalls the wing, thus reducing downforce and drag.
As the system has been complicated to fine-tune, Lotus was not able to race with its pre-season test version at the first three events, but Technical Director James Allison is hopeful that it can be introduced in the near future if the straightline tests are successful.
"Not for this race as we still have work to do with it," Allison said of the device’s development. "We’ll be trialling the DDRS again between the first round of flyaways and the start of the European season when we have an opportunity to do some straightline testing."
Allison also confirmed that Lotus will not be applying any major car upgrades in Bahrain, with less than a week passing since the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai.
"We won’t bring anything particularly revolutionary on top of the China upgrades, but we will trial a suspension modification – internal rather than to the wishbones – which is an evolution of something we ran to good effect during pre-season," he explained.
"You’re always trying to find the right compromise between the mechanical grip that the suspension’s articulation offers to the tyres and holding the aerodynamic platform at the optimum height from the road, and we believe this is a step forward in helping us achieve that."
Lotus sits third in the Constructors' standings on 60 points after the opening three races of the season, 18 behind leaders and reigning World Champions Red Bull.