Mercedes continued the development of their 2012 car at the young driver test at Magny Cours this week. Having already partially tested their updated version of the double DRS in Friday practice at the Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes extended the program for the three days of running in France.
The double DRS system works by air holes in the rear wing being exposed when the DRS on the car is activated. The system stalls the rear wing and thus creates drag which ultimately increases the top speed of the car. The double DRS system is similar to that tested on the Lotus car in Germany and once it becomes a permanent feature it is expected to improve the performance of the car on tracks with long straights.
The double DRS was not the only new part tested on the Mercedes at Magny Cours. The team also brought a new shape exhaust. The exhaust is similar to the ones that feature on other cars such as the Sauber and Ferrari and could prove successful in improving the form of the team in the closing stages of the season. Mercedes aim is to improve the performance of their cars at lower speed corners and try to reduce tyre degradation that has affected them through all of 2012.
How well the new parts work on the car is yet to be seen, with only three teams testing at Magny Cours and the parts yet to be tested in a race, it is unlikely that we will know until the parts make their debut at a race. It may be cynical but it seems that Mercedes is making their improvements a little too late in the season. Although they may want to make up some lost ground to their rivals their time would be better spent turning their attention to next year and developing a car that is capable of winning a Championship in 2013.