Lotus is unlikely to gamble on continuing to run its new double DRS system for the rest of the German Grand Prix weekend.
The team tried its own version of a rear-wing stall system, as pioneered by Mercedes, on Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus E20 during free practice at Hockenheim, but team principal Eric Boullier said that he prefers not to take risks on a system that is as yet unproven. It is anticipated that, provided the system works as planned, Lotus might not run it competitively until after the August break, which was always likely to be the case.
"We are still looking at the data now but the issue is when you build a prototype, you don't want to have an issue [in a race] because we can't make any reliability tests," Boullier told AUTOSPORT. "We don't want an issue during the race. If we have strong from and can finish both cars in the points, we want to be safe. We need to validate it before we keep it on the car."
Boullier confirmed that its double DRS system was put into development as a result of Mercedes successfully running such a concept from the start of this year. Lotus was among the teams that considered the Mercedes to be illegal, but once it was approved by the FIA gave it the green light. Its design is based on the same principle.
"At the beginning of the season, Mercedes came with a device which in our view wasn't legal," said Boullier. "We went to the protest because we wanted to hear from the FIA what was the exact understanding of how to interpret the regulation. Once we got it, we had the green light for one of our projects, which is a system with the same principle. We tried to get some data with the development and see if it works."
When asked if he was able to get a good idea of any performance benefits the system brings, Raikkonen said: "I don't know yet. We need more track time.
"Unfortunately, there were not very good conditions, so we just tried different things. It's a new thing, and you have to try it. But when the weather is like this you don't get as much benefit as when it's dry."