F-duct is the cold war coming to F1 says Newey

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During Friday practice, Red Bull Racing showed off its version on the much-discussed F-Duct. But the RB6 didn’t use the blown-rear wing system when the serious stuff began on Saturday. Chief technology officer Adrian Newey was on-hand to explain why… eventually.

The team started on Friday with the F-Duct, then decide not to run it on Saturday and Sunday Why was that? Adrian Newey: “Really it was experimentation. The F-Duct technology actually stems from the Cold War in the 1950s, when the Americans were worried the Russians would develop ways of jamming the electronics on their fighter aircraft, and so they developed, effectively, a pneumatic version of electronics. So an F-Duct is actually a transistor, but using air rather than electricity.

“Applying that to a racing car is quite a tricky problem. Obviously a racing car is a long way removed from a laboratory environment with all the perturbations and vibrations and bouncing and wind turbulence and so forth that a racing car encounters. It means what might work in the lab might not work on the track. This was our first attempt at it, to look at what the real problems might be, compared to the lab environment. We’ve learned from that and we’ll now regroup to understand what we need to cope with the race track environment and then hopefully bring it back at a future race.”

So we will be seeing it again? “I hope so, yes.”

Source Red Bull