Lotus undecided over use of passive DRS device

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Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane has revealed that the decision has not yet been taken on whether or not to use the passive DRS device in Belgium.

The device, nicknamed DDRS (double DRS) works by altering the air flow when the car is moving in a straight line. By reducing drag, a greater top speed is achievable – something that could prove invaluable at Spa next weekend. However, Permane is still undecided over the use of the device.

“We haven’t made a final decision yet as to whether the device will be deployed, but we’ve been conducting a lot of simulation work with the concept to help clarify that decision and there’s a good chance we’ll see it make an appearance,” he explained.

Permane is also confident that the team can come to Spa with the same pace that allowed Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean to finish the first half of the season with a string of good results.

“We’ve got several updates coming up – both mechanical and aerodynamic – so we’re confident of making another step forward.”

The team is currently enjoying a strong season, and although Kimi Raikkonen is championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s closest challenger, the Finn is in need of victories in the second half of the season, having claimed just a single win so far this year in Australia.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”