Jenson Button, McLaren, Silverstone, 2011

FIA offers to drop diffuser restrictions

2011 British Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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Charlie Whiting had allowed teams some exceptions from the rules which were then rescinded this morning.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”

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  1. The thing that xxxxxx me off the most about the FIA is that they cause so much needless waste of money when they keep crying out cost cutting at the same time. It’s not only the current teams that suffer but also other businesses, for example new engine suppliers already hurting by the one year engine delay and move to V6.

    All parties involved should discuss initiatives more thoroughly and then, when a rule is passed, it should stick. The way things are being organised this year is a joke.

    1. Uh, hello? You do realise that the FIA was pushing for inline-fours to be introduced in 2013, right? They weren’t the ones who proposed or lobbied for the V6s with a one-year delay. It was the teams that did that. The FIA just ratified it when the teams all agreed.

  2. Here’s my take on what FIA did wrong and what they did right.

    ON PRINCIPLE – Should FIA accept the fact that teams will exploit grey areas in the rules? Yes, It can’t be helped. These are some of the smartest people in the world. It’s in F1’s DNA. Someone could argue it’s a big part of its charm.
    Should they let them to? I think yes, they should. More often than not, in the sense that it should be overall incouraged. Of course interpration will greatly differ on these grey rules. FIA should retain the right to enforce a particular interpretation *any time of the season*, but they need to use it very sensibly. Everybody will have a different view about where to draw the line. IMO, if you need actual brand new rules to enforce a particular interpretation (and this seems to be the case with EBD), you’re doing it wrong.

    TIMING/1 – When the Double Diffusers affair mounted in 2009, everybody set up their minds in Australia already. EBD were also there from Day 1 and the implications of the technology are pretty straightforward. I think where they were headed was foreseeable but it took FIA 5 GPs to decide to step in. Far too much time.

    TIMING/2 – Mercedes and Renault lobbied their cases for dispensation only at this race weekend. They had almost 2 months for doing so after Barcellona. This suggests the time that has been given to the teams to cope with the changes was more than enough, despite claims of projects “tightened to EBD previous parameters”.

    POLITICS – If that’s true, as it seems, that smaller teams would have brought protests at some point, it was right for the FIA to intervene prior to that and try to keep the matter low-profile. This EBD affair could have been a lot better on the media side if FIA hadn’t screwed things up with U-turns at this race weekend, but even a lot worse if teams were protesting each other.

    DISPENSATIONS – Whatever the rules might be, must be the same for everyone. This is the only thing that really everyone understand, even the casual fans. I’ve been following F1 for 15 years now and this is the 1st time I heard about FIA trying to calibrate different set of parameters (for the teams to choose, according to ScarbsF1) to achieve performance parity. It’s unbelievably wrong.

    U-TURNS – Particularly the one discussed in this article, i’m shocked about that. It’s bad, bad amateur stuff and might be very dangerous for the sport if teams will start obstructing a final solution, and it is likely.
    The fuss would have been over quickly if FIA had stuck with their Barcellona decision, or at least it would never have reached such a big deal.
    It just went out of FIA’s hands with that FP2/FP3 turnaround on dispensations. A complete Joke.

    1. This is a very tricky situation. The FIA are trying to clarify the rules and keep everyone happy. There main goal is to keep protests and disqualifications from intefering with the results.

  3. Plot twist!

    The teams have been unable to come to an agreement to restore the pre-Silverstone OTBD specifications. I find it interesting because the Ferrari-powered teams (except Toro Rosso, who own alleigance to Red Bull first and Ferrari second) were the ones who did not sign off on the agreement.

    Now, before you say “PM, we’ve done tihs dance before; you just don’t like Ferrari”, please just hear me out. We have known Cosworth’s position on the matter since Barcelona. The Cosworth teams simply couldn’t map their engines the way everyone else could. They were the ones who brought the off-throttle blown diffusers to everyone’s attention. And this weekend, we found out Mercedes’ and Renault’s positions. All the teams using those engines agreed to the proposition. But Ferrari, perhaps the most vocal team in the sport, have remained silent about the OTBD for the past six weeks – and yet, they’re the ones who did not sign the agreement, leaving it dead in the water.

    So at the end of it all, we have to ask ourselves: what are Ferrari doing with their engine maps?

  4. So at the end of it all, we have to ask ourselves: what are Ferrari doing with their engine maps?

    Or: What didn’t Ferrari do with its engine maps that everyone else managed to do.

  5. Apparently Ferrari and Sauber have refused to sign up to the rule implementation being reverted. What a surprise, all teams will look after their best interests and who can blame them.

    Sorry I posted this on another thread as well but realised it should be here.

  6. themagicofspeed (@)
    10th July 2011, 18:50

    this is a total sham, it proves only 2 things:

    1) the FIA are not prepared to put their foot down in the interests of the sport – in my opinion if they were, they would limit everybody to 10% blown throttle, and whoever can adapt to it best will ultimately win.
    2) if this does go ahead, Red Bull will be effectively handed both championships on a plate, and they and anyone else is free to take the p**s out of the regulations as much as they see fit.

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