Merc wing cleared again in China

2012-04-13 07:06

SHANGHAI, China - Race stewards have dismissed a protest by the Lotus Formula One team at the Chinese Grand Prix against the rear-wing system used by rival team Mercedes.

The governing International Automobile Federation said in a statement: "The stewards decided unanimously that the protest is dismissed."

The formal protest had been issued earlier with the signature of Alan Permane, the trackside operations director of the former Renault team.


The protest related to the controversial rear wing which was declared legal for the first two races of the season and was passed again by scrutineers in Shanghai on Thursday.

Lotus had asserted that the wing broke article 3.15 of the technical regulations that says "any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited".

Mercedes, with seven-times champion Michael Schumacher and fellow German Nico Rosberg, scored only one point in the first two races but have sounded more confident about China.

The rear wing contains slots on the inside of the end plates that are revealed when the driver-activated drag reduction system (DRS) is used for overtaking, increasing aerodynamic downforce. The open slots channel air through internal pipes to the front of the car.


"It's disappointing that after three races we're still in this situation," Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said of the protest. "The system hasn't changed, the FIA's position hasn't changed, and as far as I understand it their argument hasn't changed."

Red Bull has also been unhappy about the wing, seeking clarity from the FIA on its legality before deciding whether to incorporate it in their own design.

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