FIA offers to drop diffuser restrictions

2011 British Grand Prix

Jenson Button, McLaren, Silverstone, 2011

Jenson Button, McLaren, Silverstone, 2011

The FIA has offered to remove the restrictions on exhaust-blown diffusers from the German Grand Prix.

A statement released on Saturday afternoon said: “The measures which were communicated to the teams this morning by the FIA Technical Department stand for the rest of the weekend.

“During Saturday morning?s Extraordinary Technical Working Group meeting, the members discussed the viability of returning to the pre-Silverstone set-ups and strategies.

“If the teams are in unanimous agreement, the FIA is prepared to adopt this arrangement until the end of the current season.”

The British Grand Prix weekend has been marred by arguments over new restrictions on exhaust-blown diffusers.

The FIA tried to restrict teams to using no more than 10% of the throttle, when the driver is off-throttle, to blow air into the diffuser.

Charlie Whiting had allowed teams some exceptions from the rules which were then rescinded this morning. Red Bull’s Christian Horner said the new limits put them at a “disadvantage”.

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119 comments on FIA offers to drop diffuser restrictions

  1. Tom said on 9th July 2011, 17:11

    Jean Todt needs to go.

  2. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 9th July 2011, 17:13

    Admittedly I’m not too well versed on the issue, but as I understand it the conflict comes from Mercedes (engines, not the team) not being able to run their engines under the proposed mapping for reliability purposes. Now, these changes have been in the pipeline for long enough – enough time, anyway, for Mercedes to have shed light on the issue long before this weekend. Maybe they did – I don’t know, but if they didn’t, why not? To try and gain some sort of advantage?

    Either way, this has been handled poorly. Of course, the whole thing could have been avoided in the first place by banning OTBD’s at the end of the year rather than midway through it in an attempt to tighten the field (that’s the cynic in me).

    Of course, the simple answer is to force teams to move their exhaust outlets (straight up like a tractor, as MB said, would be awesome :P) but whether the teams would be able to do that I don’t know.

    In an attempt to be more optimistic, I suppose the FIA should be applauded for trying to eradicate a piece of tech through a small change rather than forcing everyone to do a drastic redesign mid season (á la moving the exhaust outlets) which really would have upset the apple cart, but I really am scraping the barrel there. The way this whole thing’s been dealt with is a mess.

    • I agree. One week this, one week that and another week we’re back again. The first decision to make the changes mid way through the season was bad enough in my opinion but then to show absolutely no consistency or strength just completely undermines the FIA, Charlie and the sport.

      Benson has just tweeted that so far Williams and Sauber don’t agree for it to be changed back so now we could have the prospect of the F1 teams arguing amongst themselves which will do even more harm.

  3. Dave_CBL said on 9th July 2011, 17:14

    the reason the fia acted was because there were teams thretning to protest if nothing was done.

    the fia would have had to accept any protest which was launched & since the off throttle blown diffusers are technically illegal the chances are we’d have had a bigger mess than we currently do.

    dont forget that hrt were thretning a protest at monaco and i seem to recall virgin & williams also talking about a protest been a possibility.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 9th July 2011, 22:11

      But are they illegal, according to recent posts Renault do not do anything to boost exhaust gasses during deceleration , they do leave the butterfly valve open but that has other uses ie. internal cooling of the engine and marginally greater engine braking . Regarding the valve cooling, this is a fuel-saving technology, most car engines used to run a richer mixture than they needed for the same reason which is why cars used to overheat if they had an intake manifold gasket leak leaning out the mixture, the extra air being pumped out of the exhaust is a by-product, it could well be argued.

  4. Byron R said on 9th July 2011, 17:18

    Now the question arises of what mappings did teams use in qualifying. Now that the rule is lifted can those teams ( if any) that used different mappings in qualy return to prior mappings? Parc ferme rules in effect ?

  5. Boomerang said on 9th July 2011, 17:26

    Sadly, it seems the story is never ending…

  6. UKfanatic (@) said on 9th July 2011, 17:36

    Renault and red bull are winning the argument just because mclaren has lost the most, mclarens car now seems to behave just like in pre-season before they copied red bulls diffuser, I think that the Fia needs stronger hands 10% seem to harsh, but raising it to 50% is even more ridiculous day by day changing their minds and effectively spoiling the British GP, anyway we saw smaller gaps between middle teams and the top teams, which is what this rules was meant for. we cant forget that this engine maps are aero devices and they shouldnt. Maybe repositioning the exhaust would have been more effective

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 9th July 2011, 20:30

      Agree.
      Make the exhausts blow to the sky would of been easier.
      Mclaren have lost the most as suspected, it’s like the dog of a car it was in testing before they copied the Red Bull blown exhausts, so if you think about it no surpise.
      Interestingly Ferrari are also showing the same form as pre-season testing.

    • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 10th July 2011, 3:39

      Actually it seems like (team) Renault lost the most. 14th and 16th on the grid, behind Sauber, Williams and Force India and only just ahead of Lotus. They’ve been slipping back recently but this is a team that was fighting for podiums and high points not too long ago.

  7. driftin said on 9th July 2011, 17:46

    Wish they’d just stop flip-flopping.

  8. invisiblekid said on 9th July 2011, 17:50

    FIA : Just do it please! Wait what, your not happy? Well erm, try this instead. What still not happy? Er, hold on. Right er, nevermind, forget we ever said anything. Sorry everyone, our bad.

    **** in a bag and punch it.

  9. TMFOX said on 9th July 2011, 18:52

    If the FIA want to make a significant rule change mid season, then maybe they should allow some testing time to make sure the all teams can adapt their cars.

  10. Eggry (@eggry) said on 9th July 2011, 19:01

    What kind of joke like this?

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 9th July 2011, 19:05

    I hope they don’t change it yet again. They had nearly two month’s warning and suddenly all the reliability problems come to light now? Far too convenient.

    The FIA is acting completely incompetently by proposing yet another U-Turn but I suspect the fault really lies with the engine manufacturers.

  12. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 9th July 2011, 19:15

    What a mess. Again.
    Something’s gotta change at FIA, after Todts resignation.

    • Don M. said on 9th July 2011, 23:59

      The FIA are trying to prevent the season being destroyed by protests and disqualifications. It’s not easy to keep everyone happy, give them a break!

  13. ppd said on 9th July 2011, 19:35

    who needs the FIA? Let F1 make their own rules about car specifications; FIA could take care of issues like safety but should leave technical rules to the group running the races.

  14. Quin10-10 said on 9th July 2011, 19:36

    Sometimes I feel the sole purpose of the FIA is to make my head explode. FIA- Fabulously Incompetent Always!

  15. BBT (@bbt) said on 9th July 2011, 20:10

    They should just go back to the same rule as prior to Valencia, changing the rules mid season is crazy.
    This weekend has been the biggest joke in F1 I have ever known and that is since watching F1 from 1984.
    RBR continue to protest (you can bet Mclaren and Mercedes will after today), Mclaren have lost out badly, Ferrari were getting closer anyway but have maybe benefited a bit, Force India have gained their OTEBD wasn’t very developed, all the team esp’ Williams running the Cosworth have gained but at the end of the day rule changes mid season that benefit certain engine suppliers when engine development is frozen is just plain wrong. Return to what we’ve had in the first 7 races, that’s the most sensible decision.

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