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Mercedes GP innovates for 2012

Mercedes' prospects for the 2012 season look bright amid rumours that it has re-configured F-duct technology in a legal manner, thus giving it a head start over rival teams.

With the development race for the 2012 season already firmly underway, Mercedes seems to have gained a vital head start over rival teams after recreating the outlawed F-duct which dominated the 2010 season.

While ducting air to the rear wing, and using the driver to control the flow, is banned, however, the Mercedes innovation appears to be perfectly legal as the device - which is located within the tip of the front wing - works of its own accord with no driver input.

According to German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, the idea, which was alleged to have been tested during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, will channel the airflow from the tip of the nose, down inside the front wing supports before subsequently exiting at the rear of the wing. While not having the sort of downforce-inducing capabilities of its predecessor, Mercedes hopes its reworking of the idea will allow a greater volume of undisturbed air to be redirected through the floor of the car.

This should come as great news for its drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg who already enjoy a top speed advantage with their car's effective use of the DRS system.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh predicts the device will boost top speed by maybe another 5-8kph and, while acknowledging the significance of the Mercedes innovation, admits that it may be too late for other teams to get a handle on its inner workings before the start of next year.

"If you make a start now, it's already too late,'' the Mclaren team boss confirmed..

If Ross Brawn and his team can build a car that will produce a lot of downforce through the corners, the combination of DRS and its new F-duct could prove to be a very competitive next season.

The question is whether the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren have come up with something equally as innovative.

by Simon Evans

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.10.2011- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
07.10.2011- Friday Practice 1, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
07.10.2011- Friday Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
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Ptolomy - Unregistered

October 19, 2011 3:49 PM

If we're hearing about it, then I'd say Newey has already made a paper-machet one that works better. But it would be nice to finally see Nico Rosberg with a car that "runs." It would be nice to see Vettel going head to head with the 2 Mercedes boys next year! Maybe Schumey could be champ again?

foo - Unregistered

October 19, 2011 5:18 PM

If I was an F1 designer I would make some fake "development" piece story, spread lies about it's performance, just to send rivals up the wrong paths. Someone who is clever enough to come up with this NoseDuct would probably not be so stupid as to really show their hand before next March 15th, or at least until the rival 2012 Chassis are homologated. This is what really stuffed the McLaren FDuct copyists, if you remember. So, either, it is a dummy, or it works, but not that well, or they are just stupid.

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