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The 2013 regulations explained

NEWS STORY
29/09/2012

Mat Coch writes:

The FIA has released the 2013 Sporting and Technical regulations, most of which are a carried over from the current rules.

Pitpass has examined the rules as a whole, and found a number of small modifications to the current rule set. With strong regulation changes expected for 2014 there are comparatively few differences, those that have been made clearly aimed at reducing costs, stifling dead-end development or preparing the sport for 2014.

Front Nose Fairing

Regulation changes ahead of the 2012 season saw driver protection increased at the expense of aesthetics. It saw teams opt for a stepped approach to the nose, resulting in some of the least loved cars in modern memory. For 2013 teams will be permitted to fit a fairing to their cars to help improve the design.

Article 3.7.9 - With the exception of an option, single piece,, non-structural fairing of prescribed laminate which may not be more than 625mm above the reference plane at any point, no bodywork situation more than 1950mm forward of rear face of the cockpit entry template may be more than 550mm above the reference plane.

However, as the fairing is optional, and likely to add weight comparatively high up, it remains to be seen how many teams opt to run the accessory. It seems likely that teams will run the fairing if it provides aerodynamic gain, otherwisw expect to see more stepped noses next season.
'Double' DRS

Much of 2012's early season talk centred on Mercedes 'double' DRS. The German marque developed a unique system which channelled air from its rear wing end-plate through the car and on to the front wing. It stalled the airflow over the wing, resulting in less drag and therefore top speed.

Usually covered, when drivers operated the DRS switch it revealed a hole in the rear wing end-plate. It meant the system is immensely powerful during practice and qualifying but of limited value during the race. It was initially protested by Lotus which lost the appeal before testing its own solution at the German Grand Prix.

Article 3.18.1 The incidence of the rearmost and uppermost closed section described in Article 3.10.2 may be varied while the car is in motion provided:

It comprises only one component that must be symmetrically arranged about the car centre line with a minimum width of 708mm.

With the exception of minimal parts solely associated with the adjustment of the section, no parts of the section in contact with the external airstream may be located any more than 355mm from of (sic) the car centre line.

With the exception of any minimal parts solely associated with adjustment of the rearmost and uppermost section, two closed sections are used in the area described in Article 3.10.2.

Any such variation of incidence maintains compliance with all of the bodywork regulations.

IT cannot be used to change the geometry of any duct, either directly or indirectly, other than the change to the distance between adjacent sections permitted by Article 3.10.2.

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