Mercedes-style double-DRS banned for 2013
The FIA has published the 2013 technical regulations, with the Mercedes double-DRS innovation outlawed from next season.
The Mercedes concept provides an increased performance boost when the DRS is activated. It works by channelling air from inlets in the rear wing endplates to the car's front wing, stalling both and reducing drag. However, Article 3.18 of the new technical regulations states that the DRS "cannot be used to change the geometry of any duct, either directly or indirectly, other than the change to the distance between adjacent sections permitted by Article 3.10.2."
However, that regulation does not apply to the double-DRS concept that Lotus is expected to run at the Japanese Grand Prix, which is completely passive and not actually linked to the DRS but instead attempts to stall the rear wing above a certain speed.
The technical regulations also confirm that the stepped noses can be covered by a modesty panel, as revealed by Jonathan Neale earlier this month. Article 3.7.9 states that the front bodywork must remain at the same height as this season, with the exception of "an optional, single piece, non-structural fairing of prescribed laminate (whose precise lay-up may be found in the Appendix to the regulations) which may not be more than 625mm above the reference plane at any point".