F1 team will debut its F-duct at the Belgian Grand Prix
next week, it has been confirmed.
The Enstone-based operation is following in the footsteps of Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams, Force India
and Mercedes, who have all also adopted the device, which was developed by McLaren.
Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov will both evaluate the new update on the R30 in practice on Friday next week, and then a decision will be made about whether or not to use it for the rest of the weekend.
“We should have that [the F-duct] available in Spa,” Renault's technical director James Allison said earlier this month in the team's post-Hungary podcast. “Clearly, we've seen team after team bring it and noticed the step up in their fortunes once they've got it working.
“We've also seen though that it isn't necessarily as easy as falling out of bed to make it work so we'll have our work cut out in Spa to make sure that we get it working from the off.
“It was very clear from the moment we saw the McLaren
in pre-season what they'd done. It was also very clear that it wouldn't be trivial to emulate it.
“I think it took most teams three or four races before they had their first versions of it and some teams longer still.
“We're the last significant major team to put it on our car and that was a deliberate policy of mine. Whether right or wrong, I knew we had a lot of good stuff coming through of a more conventional nature, and I knew that that [an F-duct device] was going to tie up a lot of our design capacity and manufacturing capacity, but was very confident that I could get a lot of performance on the car that way.
“Whilst we were pressing on with that, we started to work in the background on trying to figure out how to do an F-duct on our car.
“We had one stillborn attempt that should have debuted two races ago which didn't work out for us aerodynamically and we had to put it back a couple of races. But better late than never.”
Meanwhile, in a separate, but related development, Renault
has decided to upgrade its F1 wind tunnel so that in future it will be able to operate with 60 per cent models, rather than 50 per cent: “We will get our wind tunnel at the 60 per cent level during the off season,” team boss Eric Boullier confirmed to Auto Plus
during the summer break.