• Australian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lotus threaten to appeal qualifying result over Mercedes device

ESPNF1 Staff
March 17, 2012 « Ecclestone adamant over Bahrain | Hamilton predicts a tough race »
Lotus wants clarification on whether the Mercedes rear wing stalling device is legal © Sutton Images
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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has confirmed that the team could be forced to appeal the result of qualifying over the legality of the Mercedes car.

Mercedes has a rear wing stalling device that gives it increased top speed when the DRS is open. It is believed that Red Bull and Lotus have both asked the FIA for clarification over the legality of the device, believing that it is a driver-operated aerodynamic device due to the dependence on the driver-activated DRS. However, technical delegate Charlie Whiting has said he believes it to be legal.

Sky now reports that Lotus will appeal, and Norbert Haug confirmed to German Sky that he was expecting such a protest.

"I've heard something like that," Mercedes' motor sport director Haug said. "The FIA has its opinion and so do we. I remember the noise made about the double diffuser; a noise, incidentally, that came from the same place."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh confirmed that he believed the Mercedes interpretation to be legal, and after Romain Grosjean qualified third ahead of both Mercedes Boullier said he was waiting for a final clarification from Whiting "before the next race" before potentially being forced to appeal.