The formal protest lodged by the Lotus F1 team against the controversial rear wing and DRS system used by Mercedes has been dismissed, with the FIA, the sport's governing body, declaring it legal.

The Lotus F1 team filed the relevant paperwork earlier today in the countdown to this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, the third round on the 2012 F1 schedule [see separate story - HERE].

Lotus believed the wing contravened article 3.15 of the technical regulations, which reads: "With the exception of the parts necessary for the adjustment described in Article 3.18, any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited."

However the stewards unanimously dismissed it, leaving Mercedes free to use it for the remainder of the season.

"Article 3.15 does not apply because it does not directly use driver movement, as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car," the FIA explained.

"The alteration is indirectly (and not directly) consequential to the movement of the driver adjustable bodywork ("DRS")."

The device had previously been declared legal by FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting, although a number of the teams wanted clarification before developing their own versions of the Double DRS.

Lotus can appeal, but it is being reported that the Enstone-based operation will not exercise that right.