Other side effects of the Airbox Ear Ducts
The other interesting aspect behind the utilisation of such ducts around the airbox is for 'air spillage', over recent seasons this hasn't been a problem as the engine has been continually consuming air (Off Throttle Diffuser Blowing). However now the use of off throttle blowing has been curtailed when the driver lifts out of the throttle the required amount of air entering the airbox inlet isn't so large. This effectively creates a blockage and so the airflow stagnates (builds up) and then cascades over the sides of the engine cover. This type of airflow is disruptive and effects the bodywork aft of the airbox. As this occurs during the braking and turning in phase it's quite an undesirable effect as it reduces the effectiveness of the Rear Wing aswell as any residual effect on downforce the exhaust plume may have. The ducts added to the sides of the airbox inlet act as catchment devices for the airflow during these off throttle moments. This helps to keep airflow heading toward the rear wing uniform resulting in a downforce gain during braking/cornering. During normal driving conditions the ducts simply carry additional airflow to the rear of the car.
In summary the Lotus system should boost downforce performance whilst the DRS is inactive and lift the effect when DRS is in use. Ideal for Lotus' quest for a better qualifying performance and will help with additional downforce during the race
03/08/12 I have added a new article in regard to Lotus using the system for drag reduction via a passive duct system: http://somersf1.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/lotus-e20-passive-f-duct-system.html
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