Lotus has had its formal protest against the controversial Mercedes DRS system rejected by the FIA.

13985 - Lotus protest against Mercedes DRS rejected

After a number of teams had been awaiting clarity on the innovative system which has seen Mercedes extremely competitive in qualifying when DRS usage is not limited, Lotus lodged an official protest on Thursday. A note from the clerk of the course read:

"A protest has been lodged by Lotus F1 team concerning the Technical Delegate's scrutineering report (Document 5) of today's date regarding cars 7&8 relating to their conformity with Article 3.15 of the FIA F1 Technical Regulations.

"Accordingly a hearing of the parties concerned (namely Lotus F1 Team and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team) is convened for 17.15 today Thursday April 12th 2012."

The article in question in the technical regulations states that "with the exception of the parts necessary for the adjustment described in Article 3.18, any car system, device or procedure which uses, or is suspected of using, driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited."

The FIA's Charlie Whiting had previously said he believes it to be completely legal, and following the Lotus protest the stewards unanimously agreed with Whiting's view. The result means that Mercedes can continue using the DRS system this weekend, while Lotus has the right to appeal.