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OCTOBER 9, 2012

Lotus changes development direction in Korea

By Tony Dodgins (@TonyDodgins)

Lotus, fighting to keep Kimi Raikkonen in with an outside chance of the world championship, is to temporarily abandon its double DRS system, known internally as 'the device' but will debut a Coanda effect exhaust in Korea. By Tony Dodgins (@TonyDodgins)

The team has been well aware of the potential benefits of the Coanda style exhaust, which provides a degree of increased blowing at the rear of the car, but has delayed its introduction until convinced that the benefits outweigh the penalty of power loss. Williams, which runs the same Renault engine as Lotus, has adopted a similar approach, trying a Coanda exhaust on Pastor Maldonado's car on Friday at Suzuka, before electing not to continue with it for the rest of the weekend.

Lotus technical director James Allison explained that running the new exhaust involves reworking the back end of the car quite substantially, including fireproofing it in the coke bottle area, but said: "All told, it's a biggish change rather than an enormous one."

Talking candidly about the double DRS, he added: "We haven't had the happiest of introductions with the system. It's been harder than I anticipated to make it switch effectively with only the limited opportunity afforded in free practice.

"We're going to take it away, have another think and most likely give it another go in the Abu Dhabi Young Driver test, where we'll have the opportunity to develop it systematically."