MARCH 27, 2012
Brawn defends Mercedes DRS
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has defended the controversial DRS-activated 'F-duct' that once more sparked heated debate in Malaysia but again escaped protest.
Asked what he called the system, Brawn replied: "We call it DRS - it's a drag reduction system. That's all it is. The regulation states that the purpose of the DRS is to improve overtaking and that's what we are trying to do."
Brawn denied having broken any gentleman's agreement not to pursue such a route.
"I don't chair any technical working groups anymore and I'm not aware of any gentleman's agreement to not use such things," he said. "I don't think I've breached a gentleman's agreement I don't know of!"
Brawn argued that all teams exploit DRS to varying degrees.
"You can see the speed trap times and we are not unique in the speeds we achieve, so the other teams are obviously achieving it in different ways.
"The thing to remember with DRS is that when it started, if you moved the flap on the rear wing by the amount you are allowed to, you got about 5kph straight line speed advantage. But we all get about 20kph now, so why is that?
"It's because every system on the car is optimised to react to that little flap moving, so that the rear wing stalls, the lower rear wing stalls, the diffuser stalls and you see some cars with these little panels so that when the flap moves the air can duck around the back of it.
"We've got big main planes and little flaps, whereas two years ago without it, we had big flaps and big main planes. The wing flap moves and the main plane stalls because it can't maintain the flow around it. And we lose a massive amount of drag.
"We put the radiator exits in front of the rear wing now so that when the DRS is operated we change the flow through the bodywork and the radiators. So there's a massive amount we do with DRS and to pick on one thing and say 'we don't like that very much because we haven't thought about it,' is wrong.
"We are optimizing everything to get as much as we can. That's what the regulation encourages you to do. The purpose of the DRS is to improve overtaking and that's what we are all trying to do. Good luck to everyone..."