FIA to restrict engine mapping in Valencia

21 June, 2011

Toyota F1 engine testing

Jun.21 (GMM) The FIA has moved further to clamp down against aggressive exhaust blowing with immediate effect, in fact starting this weekend in Valencia, when changes to engine mapping between qualifying and race will be banned.

Sebastian Vettel during qualifying for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 16, 2011 in Shanghai, China.

Mid-season rule tweaks to end dominance by Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel?

It was already known that so-called “hot blowing”, involving the aggressive blowing of engine exhaust through rear diffusers when the driver is not on the throttle, will be effectively banned as of Silverstone next month.

But Auto Motor und Sport reported on Tuesday that another element of exhaust blowing will be banned immediately as from Valencia this weekend, when teams will no longer be able to use extremely aggressive hot-blowing in qualifying, and then switch to more engine friendly settings for the race.

McLaren said recently it suspected precisely that practice was giving Red Bull’s RB7 its qualifying advantage.

Jenson Button told Blick: “They (Red Bull) use the exhaust gases into the diffuser non-stop on a qualifying lap, but not in the race.”

Auto Motor und Sport also quotes team boss Martin Whitmarsh as adding: “With Red Bull’s aggressive qualifying mode, they are gaining a good half a second.”

Renault technical director James Allison explains, “The FIA’s note will cause all teams (whether or not they use a blown floor) to change their operation. The headline changes for the Silverstone GP are as follows: when the driver lifts his foot fully off the throttle pedal, then the ECU maps must be set up so that the engine [to all intents and purposes] closes the throttle – previously it was possible to configure the engine maps to leave the throttle open and reduce the engine power by other means.”

Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko said on Austrian television Servus TV: “If the others cannot copy it, they can try at least to have it banned.”

But Marko said he suspects Ferrari will benefit the most from the FIA’s clampdown.

“I think McLaren will be affected less, or similar to us as they have a very good copy (of the Red Bull exhaust),” predicted Marko.


  • Nemo

    Its tough at the top, with everyone trying to drag you down. Happens to every team with radical engineering

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