Red Bull looks set to join the ranks of McLaren, Sauber, Williams, Ferrari and Mercedes GP in launching its own version of the ‘F-duct’ system, possibly as soon as the Spanish Grand Prix.

Following in the footsteps of the initially controversial system pioneered by McLaren, other teams have subsequently started to design and test their own versions of the design in recent races, with varying degrees of success.

At last weekend’s Chinese GP, Mercedes GP and Williams debuted their versions of the downforce-stalling device.

Mercedes GP Rear End

Rumours have surfaced that the version run by Mercedes GP on its W01 is more of a diet version of the concept, and that a more radical version will be unveiled in Barcelona.

This sounds promising!

The Shanghai version (pictured) did not channel air via the engine cover, but rather from beneath the car, with the flow then channelled into a slot in the rear wing (indicated by the arrow).

Team boss Ross Brawn confirmed that the Shanghai version did not have a driver-adjustable cockpit inlet, but that such a concept could be ready by the Turkish GP, scheduled for late May.

He told Auto Motor und Sport that the Shanghai version provided the team with an extra 0.1s per lap in performance.

Meanwhile, Red Bull boss Christian Horner confirmed that their RB6 cars could be fitted with such a device by the upcoming Spanish race, "providing we make it back to Europe", citing the air travel disruptions caused across Europe due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.