Formula 1 teams agree to ban double DRS for 2013

Double DRS will be banned for 2013, AUTOSPORT has learned, after Formula 1 teams agreed to a change of rules that will outlaw the concept for next year.


Mercedes led the way at the start of this season with a radical design that feeds air via a hole in the rear wing endplate, all the way through the car and out the front wing – which is then stalled when DRS is activated. This helps provide a straight line speed boost. Rival team Lotus lodged a protest against the concept at the Chinese Grand Prix, but it was rejected by the race stewards who were adamant that channelling air through a hole that is opened when DRS is activated was not against the regulations. Despite being disappointed at the time about the failure of the protest, Lotus duly set about developing its own version of double DRS, which it tested at the German GP and is set to race in Belgium next month. Other teams have not pursued the idea yet, and there have been concerns among some of them that work on double DRS could become the subject of an expensive development race. Following discussions at F1 rules think-tank, the Technical Working Group, sources have revealed that a majority of teams agreed for a change in regulations that will ensure they cannot incorporate double DRS into their cars for 2013. Although Mercedes did not support the change in rules, because it had made such a headstart in the area, it could not stop the ban going through as it only needed a majority of teams to agree. It is understood the changes to the rules will be made official by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council later this year. Despite rivals claiming that double DRS was an expensive avenue of development, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn was always adamant that it was cost-effective. Speaking earlier this year he said: “People talk about the huge cost, but there isn’t really a huge cost. You all know that there are a couple of carbon pipes running down the car, and the man on the street will tell you that they cost a few thousands pounds – they are not millions of pounds.”


Teams agree to scrap mid-season testing 


Formula 1 teams have agreed to scrap the mid-season test for 2013 and beyond after concluding it offered very little benefit.

Mid-season testing had been reintroduced this season with a single three-day test taking place prior to the European leg of the season.

However, the teams have agreed that the expenditure to run their cars for an additional three days wasn’t offset by the benefits.

Three pre-season tests, one in Jerez and two in Barcelona, will remain for 2013.

Jerez is likely to host the first four-days of testing on February 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. Whilst two tests in Barcelona will take place between February 19-22 and February 28th to March 3rd.

Source: The F1 Times

Pirelli announces compounds up to Singapore


Pirelli has confirmed which two Slick tyre compounds will be on offer for the next three Formula 1 races in Belgium, Italy and Singapore. The first two will provide a double-header at the end of the summer break, with Marina Bay then hosting its popular night race for the fifth time.

For Spa and Monza, two very different and extremely popular venues, the white-marked Medium and silver-marked Hard compounds will be on offer. This brings a change from 2011, when the Soft and Medium compounds were used.

Super Soft and Soft, red and yellow-walled, will be available for Singapore; this will mark the first time the Super Softs have been rolled out since Canada.

As always, four sets of Intermediates (green markings) and three sets of Wets (blue markings) will be available to each driver at every race event.


Lotus to continue work on double DRS despite 2013 ban


Lotus still believes it is worth developing its double DRS design for the remainder of the season, even though rule changes will make the concept illegal for next year.

The Enstone-based outfit is hoping to race its DRS concept for the first time at the Belgian Grand Prix, following successful tests in Germany and Hungary.

Unlike the Mercedes system, which provides a straightline speed boost when DRS is activated, it is understood that the Lotus design delivers its biggest benefit when the wing is closed. That could ensure a big performance gain at tracks like Spa, which feature long straights.

Lotus technical director James Allison told AUTOSPORT that although any improvements to its DRS cannot be carried over to 2013, there was still good reason to keep pushing on with work on it for the remainder of this season.

“There are changes to the rules to outlaw the double DRS things, yes,” he explained. “But there is benefit to he had.

“We are only halfway through a 20-race season, just over halfway through. It’s not like we are near the end, so there is plenty of merit to having something like this.”

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said in Hungary that he was happy with the progress being made with its DRS work.

“I think the pace is reasonably positive,” he explained. “We took it step-by-step because we don’t see a drastic gain.

“If there is a gain to find, we need to bring it to the car. I think there is still some work to be done on it but, in one of the next races, it will be on both cars.”


New aerodynamics chief signed at Mercedes


Mike Elliot is Mercedes’ new Head of Aerodynamics, the Brackley-based team has confirmed to He joined earlier this month and will be reporting directly to Technology Director Geoff Willis.

Elliot replaces Frenchman Loic Bigois, who was sacked by Mercedes in June and is set to become Head of Aerodynamics for Ferrari at the start of September.

The latest addition comes in a bid to boost the overall performance of Mercedes, which at present is struggling and scored only one point in Hungary on Sunday.


Anthony Hamilton-di Resta split heads for court


Anthony Hamilton has filed court papers following his management split with Paul di Resta, as details of the break-up come to light. Paul di Resta’s decision to part company with manager Anthony Hamilton looks set to get messy, after the latter filed papers at London High Court claiming that the termination of his contract was unlawful. News of di Resta’s decision to drop Hamilton as his manager broke over the British Grand Prix team, but sources claim that the relationship actually broke down during the Chinese round, when di Resta discovered that he had been misled over a possible sponsorship deal. According to Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, di Resta is understood to have discovered that Hamilton, the father of 2008 world champion and current McLaren driver Lewis, had misreported details of a potential multi-million pound deal with the energy drink brand Go Fast, which di Resta had approached him with after it was set up by friend Jordan Wise. Hamilton allegedly suggested that the driver buy the rights to the brand from Force India so that they could proceed with the deal, claiming that they were worth in the region of £1.5m, but, after not hearing back from the team and deciding to press the issue while the F1 series stopped over in Shanghai, di Resta was informed that the rights were worth only £800,000. It was at this point, according to the report, that the 26-year old Scot decided to terminate his contract with Hamilton, despite the matter not coming to light for a couple of months. di Resta, who has been tipped as a potential candidate for the Ferrari and Mercedes teams in coming years, is now taking advice from the Sports Partnership, a company set up by Jenson Button and his manager, Richard Goddard. Hamilton, meanwhile, has reacted by bringing a case for wrongful termination of contract and loss of earnings, although it is expected that the matter could be settled out of court. Source:

Christian Horner: Don’t criticise us for being creative


Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has reacted angrily to rivals who continue to find reasons to question the legality of the team’s cars, after another issue was raised with the stewards at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Having been queried about potential rule infringements with it front wings and ride height in recent years, Red Bull has continued to be the subject of scrutiny in 2012,
having been forced to close off holes in both the floor and wheels of the RB8 at the Canadian Grand Prix after the FIA determined that they contravened the regulations, and were then called before the stewards again in Germany last weekend to answer questions about the engine mapping on its Renault V8s. Despite being cleared of any irregularity at the time, the governing body has since reworded the regulations, forcing the team to revert to an older map for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Then, in Budapest, the RB8’s suspension came under the spotlight, amid claims that it could be adjusted by hand when the rules expressly mandate that only tool-based adjustments should be possible. With cars having to run higher than is ideal in qualifying to take account of parc ferme rules and the higher fuel loads required for raceday, the ability to easily adjust ride height would be extremely useful, but Horner insists, once again, that RBR is not breaking the rules.

“We never changed the ride height in parc ferme – it is a non-issue,” he told the BBC ahead of qualifying at the Hungaroring, “There are a lot of parts that are changed manually on the car, but a tool was used. The suspension has never been changed once it’s in parc ferme – never.”

The apparent persecution of Red Bull is clearly beginning to take its toll on Horner, who believes that the team should be applauded for its ingenuity rather than reported to the stewards every time it appears to have stolen a march on its rivals.

“The bottom line is the results sheet comes out at the end of qualifying or the end of the race and the car complies with the regulations,” he told ESPN at the end of the weekend, “All the rest is all bullsh*t! At the end of the day, it’s all down to the FIA and the stewards to decide whether the car’s legal or not. Every single time our car has been questioned by other teams, it has always been compliant with the rules.

“Of course, the nature of F1 is that it’s competitive, but the regulations are written in such a way that they are open to interpretation and, from HRT to Red Bull, every single team interprets those rules otherwise you’d have all the cars that look identically the same. Part of our strength is our ingenuity and I don’t think we should be criticised for being creative.”