Lotus device 'will pay for itself'
Lotus technical chief James Allison says the team's double DRS-style device will "pay for itself" over the rest of 2012.
The double DRS concept - which channels air through ducts to stall other parts of the car - was controversially pioneered by Mercedes at the start of the campaign and, once definitively declared legal, prompted rival teams to start working on similar systems of their own.
Lotus became the first team to try out their own version in Friday practice at the German Grand Prix last month, and then again the following week at the Hungaroring, and are planning to race it for the first time when the season resumes at the end of the month in Belgium, which is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar.
But although the teams last week agreed amongst themselves to ban double DRS devices for next year, McLaren have since revealed that they continue to evaluate their own system and Lotus's Technical Director James Allison says his team are not concerned by the fact their new concept will only have a nine-race shelf life given the benefits they expect it to bring.
"I think you can probably surmise from the fact that we have been willing to sacrifice track time on a couple of events trying to bring this gadget up to speed for us to believe it would definitely pay for itself over the remainder of the season," Allison told The F1 Show.
"So if it goes away next year it's still something we think is worthwhile putting our effort into. We're only just halfway through a very long season and there are plenty of races left in this one and it looks as if it's shaping up to be something of a scrap."
He confirmed that the Belgian GP remained the target race for the system's full race weekend debut, and that while there were plenty of final checks to complete, they hoped to deride a straight-line speed boost around Spa.
"We hope to have it ready to deploy at Spa," Allison added. "There are an awful lot of things to get right between now and then and we've got precious little time to do it. It's a reasonable amount of time on the calendar but in working terms not very long at all because of the shutdown.
"So we hope to have it ready for Spa. Typically you would deploy it at a normal track but it has its most benefit at tracks with lots of straights."
Explaining the issue on last Friday's edition of The F1 Show, Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz said: "On lots of straights is where it will really help.
"What it is is what they call an F-duct. It's effectively something that boosts the straight-line speed performance, and it's not connected to the DRS, so it will help them in Qualifying and the race.
"The race particularly because you can only use DRS at one point on the circuit, where they'll have this straight-line speed boost at pretty much any point over 150mph."
Allan McNish agreed that if paddock suggestions of the system's potency were correct, the boost to Lotus's lap time around Spa would be considerable.
"At Spa there are a lot of long straights and even the sections that aren't quite straight are still going to be flat-out, so it is going to be active there," the Sky Sports F1 pundit said.
"And they say it's about four or five kilometres per hour - that's a huge advantage. That's one of the reasons they said the investment will be worthwhile in their opinion because if you can get an extra 5kph top speed you'll take it every day of the week."