The F-Duct is currently dividing teams up and down the pitlane, with some saying they intend to develop and install a version of the device while others feel it is a waste of time, energy and resources. While Sauber have already begun testing a driver-controlled vent, Renault have stated they do not intend to implement such a component. However, Mercedes feel it would benefit the overall package of the MGP-W01 and have said they will introduce an F-Duct as soon as possible.
Team principal Ross Brawn said the benefit of the vent is quite significant but couldn’t say when the part would be available on the race cars because of the lack of testing. Sauber trialled their device in free practice on Friday.
We’re normally battling the drag and downforce from the rear wing and that gives a step change in the drag. It’s not an easy system to get working properly as you’ve probably seen from Sauber’s first attempts – they’ve not gone smoothly.
We’re working on it, but it’s a little difficult to predict when we’ll have something we are comfortable with – because of the lack of testing. It’s quite a challenge. We’re working on it and will have it on the car as soon as we can.
We are doing it as quickly as we can, and if it works it will happen very quickly. If it doesn’t work, we will have the solve the problems as quickly as we can. Ross Brawn.
Like with the double-diffuser in 2009, the F-Duct is not only the buzz-word in Formula One right now, it is leading the development race between the teams. So far only Renault have come out to say they will not look into building the device into the car, and while they say this is because it would distract them from their already-in-place development programme, it could also be down to funding. Renault lost a lot of sponsors last year after the Singapore Grand Prix scandal, and while they have managed to attract some new money to the team, Renault have always prided themselves on running a competitive outfit on a significantly less budget than their rivals. Only time will tell if Renault have made the right decision.