The Lotus F1 team has officially lodged a protest against the controversial rear wing and DRS system used by Mercedes.
The wing is thought to use the car's existing DRS system, specifically the movable section of the rear wing, to uncover a hole on the inside of the endplate, which then channels air to the front wing in search of extra performance.
Rival teams, notably Red Bull and Lotus, have claimed that, with the driver dictating when the DRS system is employed, the system contravenes rules concerning movable aerodynamic devices, but FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting has repeatedly put forward the belief that there is nothing wrong with the concept, based on the fact that the hole remains partially uncovered when the wing is in its standard position. As such, he argues, it is difficult to determine that it is fully operated by the driver.
However, on the eve of the Chinese Grand Prix, the third round in the 2012 F1 World Championship, Lotus has now come good on threats to officially challenge its legality and get an official ruling.
"Lotus F1 Team, by means of this document, formally files a protest concerning the Scrutineers of the Meeting's decision regarding Cars No: 7 and 8 on 12th April 2012, relating to their conformation to article 3.15 of the 2012 Technical Regulations," read a statement from the Enstone-based outfit.
"This protest is pursuant to Articles 171-179b) (chapter XII) of the FIA International Sporting Code. A deposit for the amount of €2,000 has been lodged with the FIA in anticipation of this protest. The FIA is hereby authorised to use this deposit as the fee for this protest in accordance with Article 17.1 of the 2012 Formula One Sporting Regulations.
"For and on behalf of Lotus F1 Team."
Meanwhile it has been announced that a hearing will take place later today: "A protest has been lodged by Lotus F1 team concerning the Technical Delegate's scrutineering report (Document 5) of today's date regarding cars 7 and 8 relating to their conformity with Article 3.15 of the FIA F1 Technical Regulations," the clerk of the course added in a separate statement.
"Accordingly a hearing of the parties concerned (namely Lotus F1 Team and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team) is convened for 17.15 today Thursday April 12th 2012."