Red Bull Racing may choose to stick with its previously untried F-duct for the rest of the Turkish Grand Prix weekend following a promising debut for the design in Friday practice.
Although the team was already the clear favorite for victory in Istanbul before it brought the system onto its car, the outfit decided to push on with making improvements to its RB6 and ran its F-duct for the first time on Friday morning. Following encouraging results from the first try, Red Bull engineers will now sit down and analyze the data from the F-duct overnight before making a call prior to Saturday's free practice session on what to do.
Although there is a risk in introducing the previously untried system so soon after its track debut, team principal Christian Horner says the outfit is mindful about the straight-line speed advantage that other teams – especially McLaren – are enjoying on the Istanbul track.
"The priority is to be ahead of the rest and McLaren and the Mercedes engines looks very strong here - especially up the hill in the last sector," said Horner on Friday night. "So we take nothing for granted.
"So far the F-duct seems to be working quite well. It seems to be replicating what we have managed to do in the tunnel and within our simulation tools, so we have a lot of data to look at tonight. Then, we will make a decision as to whether it is maybe a little bit immature to race here. But we have a lot of very valuable data to either run it here or refine it further for Montreal."
Horner said the fact the F-duct has worked so well so soon was down to the supreme efforts of his team – but insisted the outfit would not be rushed into introducing it if it did not feel it brought a big enough advantage.
"I think it is really encouraging and testimony to the hard work in the factory," he said. "I think the system took McLaren about eight months to deliver, but our guys have had considerably less time.
"You have to weigh up the pros and the cons and they have got a lot of data to look at tonight. After that we will decide whether it is relevant to run it here or whether we wait. I think we need to mull over the data this evening, and then it is down to the engineers to come to some conclusion. It has had a promising start but we need to look at the data."
Mark Webber said the impression of benefits from the cockpit was inconclusive, and that the matter could only be decided in the engineer's briefing room.
"It is our first go at it, and we know it is not the most straightforward of systems. The guys have done a phenomenal job to get it to this point, and we are very happy with how today went with it. Whether we race it or not, we don't know yet."