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Thread: Mercedes F1 rear wing duct explored

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Default Mercedes F1 rear wing duct explored

    From the Formula 1 site:

    ta_article_945.jpg

    This is the development that had some of Mercedes' rivals up in arms in Australia, and which could yet cause controversy in Malaysia next weekend.

    Here we can see the hole in the rear-wing endplate (purple arrow) that is exposed when the DRS is activated (inset, red arrow). Beyond that, the exact workings of the system are speculation. The most complex theory is that when the holes are 'opened', air is sucked into channels in the endplates and routed via thin pipes down to the beam wing and then all the way through the chassis until it reaches the nosecone. There it is channelled down through the two front-wing pillars to the front-wing flaps, where it is released, stalling the wing in F-duct fashion, cutting drag and boosting top speed. It is effectively the same F-duct system used by the team two years ago (with air flowing from the nose, through the chassis, to the rear wing), but in reverse.

    In simple terms, it acts as a front-flap adjuster, reducing drag and downforce at the front of the car, balancing it with the loss of drag provided by the DRS at the rear. A far simpler theory is that the system acts like an F duct, but purely on the rear wing. Either way, the grey areas in terms of legality are whether it is considered to be passive in its operation (legal) or driver operated (not legal), and whether it is acceptable for the driver-operated DRS mechanism to have such a secondary function. Red Bull and Lotus have requested clarification from the FIA and hope to have it before the Sepang weekend.

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    Senior Member Johnny_Se7en's Avatar
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    I am shocked nothing said said about the "W duct"


    or did it make it into the car.
    If nothing happens and there is no one around why did it not happen?

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    Senior Member DutchOven's Avatar
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    Right before the race when the cars were pre gridding, the sky tv reporter tried to get a better shot of the wing up close, but the engineers purposely blocked it from view. Shady.
    -Kevin M.

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    OJR
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    Quote Originally Posted by DutchOven View Post
    Right before the race when the cars were pre gridding, the sky tv reporter tried to get a better shot of the wing up close, but the engineers purposely blocked it from view. Shady.
    Did anybody notice Michael walk in front of the front wing when it was on the tow rig after his spin at the end of FP3?

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OJR View Post
    Did anybody notice Michael walk in front of the front wing when it was on the tow rig after his spin at the end of FP3?

    -OJR

    I think Steve Matchett remarked about that, too. It'll either be outlawed in two weeks or everyone will have something similar.

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    The team engineers are always pushing the boundary - and budget constraints. Frank - the "Mothers of Invention" - Zappa would be proud.

    The thing is, I was personally partial to the "F Duct" which I understood to be a nice way to refer to the private parts of track groupies.
    Last edited by Loose Caboose; 03-20-2012 at 10:19 PM.

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    I love this kind of stuff... brilliant ideas that have the potential to change the game. If Colin Chapman was around he'd be all over this.

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    I just had a chance to watch the W duct video. It's a challenge to watch because I know so little about aerodynamics, but it's interesting how they figured that out. I guess that's part of what a huge budget buys.

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    Senior Member No Lotus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apk919 View Post
    I love this kind of stuff... brilliant ideas that have the potential to change the game. If Colin Chapman was around he'd be all over this.
    No question, and yet Chapman's last great innovation, the Lotus 88, comes to mind. Banned before it ever raced.
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    Senior Member DutchOven's Avatar
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    FIA rejects claims that Mercedes's rear wing is illegal - F1 news - AUTOSPORT.com

    1332149984.jpg

    Lotus and Red Bull Racing's complaints that the DRS-activated F-duct on the Mercedes rear wing is illegal have been rejected by the FIA, AUTOSPORT has learned.

    The two outfits wanted clarification on the matter ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, with both teams reckoning the duct that helps stall the Mercedes wings for a straight-line speed boost is a breach of the rules that prevents driver activated aerodynamic devices.

    Discussions between the FIA and all the teams involved have taken place throughout Thursday in the Sepang paddock, but the governing body has not changed its stance on the matter.

    The FIA informed the outfits that it remains convinced that the concept is legal because it is passive, and there is nothing in the rules that outlaws a device that is activated by movement of the DRS.

    FIA race director Charlie Whiting, who is head of the F1 technical department, said in Australia last weekend: "It is completely passive. There are no moving parts in it; it doesn't interact with any suspension. No steering, nothing. Therefore I cannot see a rule that prohibits it."

    The news means that Red Bull Racing and Lotus - the two teams most unhappy about the design must now choose to either challenge the matter with an official protest in Malaysia this weekend, or go ahead and develop a similar system themselves.

    Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug confirmed that his team's car would be unchanged from how it was in the Australian Grand Prix.

    "This car passed scrutineering and got the green light," he said in Malaysia.
    -Kevin M.

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    Good call. It was a damn clever idea.

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    They color the competing teams' protest with malice, but as I've seen noted elsewhere, it's also so they can get confirmation it's legal. With the confirmation in hand, they can make their own without risk of it being outlawed later in the season.

    Hell, Newey probably slapped himself and penned their own system the day he saw the Mercedes.

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    Look for McLaren to really take advantage of this since they are the pioneers of the "F duct "
    If nothing happens and there is no one around why did it not happen?

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    Senior Member WLopez34's Avatar
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    Crazy engineers haha! Here are some pics of the ducts and plumbing.




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    Default Some latent disadvantages of the Mercedes F Duct

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Se7en View Post
    Look for McLaren to really take advantage of this since they are the pioneers of the "F duct "
    Maybe not. Horner thinks that while the system may be good for qualifying (because of the unlimited use of DRS in qualifying), it could be a problem in races because, when the DRS is deactivated, downforce returns to the rear slightly before it returns to the front, which creates instabiity that can negate the advantage of front end downforce reduction on the few sections of the tracks where the DRS is allowed.

    BBC Sport - Mercedes new rear wing concept is both a help and a hindrance
    Last edited by Loose Caboose; 03-25-2012 at 06:56 PM.

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