Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Nurburgring, 2013

Lotus not certain to use Drag Reduction Device at Spa

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Nurburgring, 2013Lotus say there’s a “good chance” they will use their Drag Reduction Device for the Belgian Grand Prix but it is not certain to make an appearance.

“We haven?t made a final decision yet as to whether it will be deployed,” said trackside operations director Alan Permane, “but we?ve been conducting a lot of simulation work with the concept to help clarify that decision and there?s a good chance we?ll see it make an appearance.”

The Drag Reduction Device – also referred to as Double DRS – uses airflow to enhance the rear wing stalling effect at high speed to reduce drag.

It is particularly useful at circuits like Spa which have very long straights. However it is difficult to tune as it must not operate when a driver is tackling a very high-speed corner, such as Spa’s Eau Rouge or Blanchimont.

Permane said the team will do everything they can to enhance the performance of the car between now and next week’s race:

“Although we have had a decent gap of four weeks between races, two of those are eliminated by the enforced factory shutdown. This still leaves two weeks of course; a period of time sufficient to bring a few new parts to the table as we would normally do in such a gap.

“The advantage we have with Spa being so close geographically is that we can be working on the cars back at Enstone right up until the Tuesday night before the race, and still have sufficient time to get them to the circuit ready for work on Thursday morning. We?ve got several updates coming up ?ǣ both mechanical and aerodynamic ?ǣ so we?re confident of making another step forward.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 21 comments on “Lotus not certain to use Drag Reduction Device at Spa”

    1. getting the two hardest compund up to temperature would be more logical concern for them than getting the unreliable device working.

      Spa is usually wet or low temperature.

      1. This guys are professionals bro. Don’t you think there is people in there trying to tackle the tire issue as well? DDRS is one solution among others they are looking at. @genevene

    2. If Lotus manage to get this working I think they could have a pretty decent lap time advantage – it might help them get on the front row for once!

      1. they already got front row in China, wont be their first time.

        Tire temperature would be more crucial given the track is normally below 20 degree celcius. And the fact that two hardest compound are allocated just make their job harder.

        Getting device working should be secondary.

      2. However it is difficult to tune as it must not operate when a driver is tackling a very high-speed corner, such as Spa’s Eau Rouge or Blanchimont. Kimi : Extra speed through corner?

        1. I’m wondering what the difference is between this and the F-duct, they used that through those corners with no trouble. I’d say Pouhon is a more important corner to have it inactive, that’s a 5th/6th gear(?) corner and much more downforce dependant.

          For clarification, is this just a passive effect at high speed, or is it linked to the DRS system?

        2. They used DRS in Blanchimont last year…

      3. In Silverstone when Kimi used the PDRS it was actually the slower package in qualifying. Their normal package is better for qualifying. They might get the PDRS to work but it will properly not help for qualifying.

    3. Gull Ducott (@)
      16th August 2013, 14:00

      If Lotus manage to get this working I think it is evidence of them dabbling in black-magic.

    4. If this device works as planned.. we could have a very interesting battle between Lotus and Red Bull over the next few races.

    5. I believe Kimi used this device at Silverstone.

      1. Didn’t hear anything of the sort. Where did you hear that?

        1. I read it awhile ago…

          “Installed on Kimi Raikkonen’s car for qualifying and the race, the device is completely passive as the rules dictate.”

        2. True, he did… He said it worked well in practice but was disappointed with it in qualifying and the race..

          1. I dont think so, DRD worked well in the race as Webber could closing in even with his DRS open, and Kimi a lot faster in the race than Grosjean. Too bad did not change tires during SC.

    6. Kimi is 38 points behind vettel, Lotus is 94 points behind redbull… I think is time to take some risks…

    7. To me, the idea of a passive rear wing stalling device operating while the car is loaded up in the middle of Eau Rouge is pretty scary.

    8. I think this concept has proven to be a waste of time. Even at SPA, the highspeed corners prevent the system from being used enough to make up an advantage. It’s not really resources well spend. At this stage, Lotus should either use it, so they can perfect it for next year, or scrap the idea all together and spend the time on the 2014 car.

    9. Euh Keith? Why would you think they can’t use DRD at eau rouge or blanchimont? Back in 2010 they ran the 2 with a stalled rear wing, and last year and the year before they ran blanchimont with DRS activated.

      The problem situates at Pouhon. They can’t take that corner flat out and have to break before entry, yet is still a fairly high speed corner. There they need the downforce.

    10. “However it is difficult to tune as it must not operate when a driver is tackling a very high-speed corner, such as Spa’s Eau Rouge or Blanchimont.”

      Would it be within the rules to have a switch that allows the drivers to keep this double-drs from activating? I’m mean some kind of lock/un-lock switch. If used, the driver wouldn’t be changing any aspect of the car, you might call it semi-passive then.

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