A glance at developments from the Formula 1 pit lane
Like a passive F-Duct, Lotus’s drag reduction device stalls the rear wing above 200kph to reduce drag and boost speed. With no driver input, an increase in airbox pressure switches the system from ‘neutral’ to ‘stalling’. Air from inlets either side of the roll hoop joins at a ‘fluid switch’ over the airbox. In neutral mode, air from the exit duct flows under the crash structure winglet; at high speeds, the fluid switch transfers flow to a duct under the rear wing, stalling it and reducing drag. It was raced in Britain and tested again in Germany.
It is expected to appear at tracks with longer straights, where aero advantage is greater.
Lotus’s second car has been racing with a new shrunken engine cover, which directs airflow from the radiators towards its tail. Now able to run a reduced cooling outlet area, Lotus has shaped the cover more tightly around its mechanical package, cutting drag and improving airflow to the rear wing. Even in Germany’s hot conditions, this bodywork package provided adequate cooling.