MAY 18, 2011
FIA to introduce blown diffuser changes
The FIA is to take steps to reduce the effect of blown diffusers when the driver is off the throttle.
Initially, one of the problems of exhaust blown diffusers was the instability they could generate as a result of the difference in exhaust gas pressure between an on and off-throttle situation. Significant expenditure, however, has seen teams and engine manufacturers find ways of maintaining the flow of exhaust gas when the driver is off the throttle.
FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting wrote to the teams after the Turkish GP, outlining desires to reduce the effectiveness of double diffusers in the off-throttle condition by as much as 90%, with the intent being to issue a clarification with effect from this weekend's Spanish GP.
There will now be a stay of execution, however, with the matter due to be discussed by F1's technical working group in the week following the Canadian GP.
Speculation has attributed Red Bull's qualifying pace to the team being ahead of the game in the use of exhaust gases and there are suggestions that the amendment may have been lobbied for by McLaren, but the team denies that.
McLaren engineering director Tim Goss says that the ban would hurt all the top teams.
"It's difficult to know how much," he said. "All the teams are up to the same tricks with regards engine mapping. Certainly we exploit them. The latest set of guidelines the FIA has given us regarding engine mapping would be a performance setback for us if and when they come in. I know it would almost certainly be a performance setback to our major competitors.
"Whether it affects us more than our major competitors is something I don't know. I know what we get out of it and it's a substantial benefit. But I imagine it will be just as sizeable a setback to our competitors.
"We're working to the latest set of FIA guidelines. We can react to whatever they tell us reasonably promptly, and for the moment it would appear that the FIA considers it quite a complex matter and they have to go back and consider exactly how they police it."