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Mat Coch writes:
The Lotus team was active in the garage during opening practice for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, spending as much effort hiding its cars from prying eyes as actually working on it.
Last weekend the team debuted a new rear wing during practice on Kimi Raikkonen's car. It was initially believed to be a double DRS style device along similar lines to that Mercedes has used all season, though it now seems its primary purpose is to simply stall the rear wing.
It's understood this is achieved via an air intake on the engine cover. Using a clever fluidic switch which is activated once the air reaches a certain pressure it directs a stream of air on to the rear wing via a duct - similar to the devices used by teams in 2010.
Because the device is passive and requires no driver input or movement it is within the regulations. Moreover because of its design the system is effectively always 'available', once the car reaches a certain speed (say 155 mph / 250 kph for arguments sake).
Rain hampered the team testing the device in Germany, though Lotus again fitted it to Raikkonen's car for the opening practice session in Hungary.
In the pits burly mechanics, and even the team press officer, stood shoulder to shoulder preventing television cameras from filming the car, the team also using bodywork to shield it. It seemed a pointless exercise given that rival teams will have already studied pictures of the device in Germany, taken by the countless photographers based around the circuit with powerful zoom lenses.
Whether or not the device will be used in the race remains to be seen. In Germany the team confirmed the system was only a proof of concept prototype and with only a week between the German and Hungarian events, and with wet weather dominating running last Friday, it seems unlikely that situation has changed.
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