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Brawn: New concept not a game changer

Friday 16th March 2012



Brawn: New concept not a game changer

Brawn: New concept not a game changer

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn insists the wing stalling device on the W03 is unlikely to have the same impact as the diffuser or exhaust concepts.

The rear wing design, which is yet to be given an official name with some simply calling it the "DRS-activated F-duct", certainly caught the eye in the paddock during the first two practice sessions in Australia on Friday.

The device apparently uses the activation of the car's Drag Reduction System (DRS) to stall both its front and rear wings in an effort to reduce drag.

FIA technical head Charlie Whiting has cleared the wing and rival teams have already admitted that they might be forced to copy the design to make sure Mercedes don't get too big an advantage on the track.

Brawn, though, played down suggestion that the concept will give his team a "massive performance gain".

"Obviously I'm not going to go into detail of what people are calling the F-duct," he said during a press conference at Albert Park.

"I'm surprised they are calling it that, because I don't quite know what that means. We have an interesting system on the car and it's not complicated at all, so I'm sure other teams are looking at it and they need to decide if it's worthwhile or not.

"But it's not in the same magnitude as the diffuser concept that we had or even the exhaust concepts the cars ran the last few years. It's obviously helpful, that's why we're doing it but it's not a massive performance gain."

Only time will tell if the device will have a major impact, but Mercedes were certainly quickly out of the blocks during practice in Melbourne as Michael Schumacher set the fastest time during the second session.

Brawn is pleased that there is still room for innovation in Formula One.

"It's great for Formula 1 because for me the magic of Formula 1 is not just the drivers, it's the technology, it's the engineering, it's the innovation," he enthused.

"When I hear these people talking that we need to have standard cars, they miss the whole point of Formula 1, which is the magic of everything that goes on in Formula 1.

"We've got drivers out there, World Champions, who are perhaps not in the best car at the moment and that's a story - that's a great aspect of Formula 1: that there are World Champions in much better cars and the teams without the good cars have to fix their problems and try and improve.

"That's why Formula 1 is so fascinating and appealing to fans and enthusiasts."

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