Formula 1 - Mercedes: Double DRS focus costly

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn believes his squad's pioneering use of double DRS ended up proving costly in other development areas.

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Mercedes boss Ross Brawn

The innovative system was seen as pivotal to Mercedes' strong start to the 2012 Formula 1 season, which included a win in China.

But rival teams were slow to introduce their own versions of the concept - and when the likes of Lotus and Red Bull did so, their devices acted entirely on the rear wing, rather than channelling the airflow to stall the front wing, as Mercedes' system did.

Brawn accepts that ultimately Mercedes' double DRS limited how much the team could do with its front wing at a time when other teams were believed to be pushing boundaries of flexible bodywork rules.

"One of the conclusions we have reached is that the double DRS was a valid concept, but it slowed us down on other things," he told Autosprint.

"These days there's plenty of...'cunning' technology, let's call it that, around the front wing. But we had our system and our wings were designed around that concept.

"When it became clear what potential a different philosophy had, perhaps we should have taken a step back. In any case, next year's car won't have the double DRS, because the regulations don't allow it. So, we are evaluating alternative solutions."

He added: "With our DRS, we make our wing stall, and we indeed need a wing that can stall when we use the system, but this limits us in the profiles and shapes we can use.

"Then there are several structural considerations that have caught on this year. This will disappear, or it should do so, next year. With the new tests, the level of freedom some have taken should be eliminated."

Brawn also conceded that Mercedes' focus on trying to eliminate its tyre issues had taken its attention away from other important areas.

"In the races where the tyre factor was decisive, we had more difficulties," he said. "So, we thought that was a key point to work on over the second half.

"We focused on tyre use, we introduced a new gearbox and new suspension. In fact, I think we've managed to keep tyre wear in check.

"What we've lacked, however, is overall performance. We haven't worked enough on parameters like aerodynamics and engine mapping.

"This is also because we've gone through deep restructuring, especially in the aerodynamics sector, also by moving from 50 per cent scale models to 60 per cent, which requires different technologies.

"We have invested heavily in the future, in the meantime paying heavily for it in the second half of the season, where a few tenths make a big difference."

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