No penalty for Red Bull over engine map

2012 German Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Hockenheim, 2012Red Bull will not be penalised over their engine torque maps ahead of the German Grand Prix.

“The stewards received a report from the FIA technical delegate, along with specific ECU data from Red Bull Racing cars one and two. The stewards met with the team representatives and the representative of the engine supplier Renault.

“While the stewards do not accept all the arguments of the team, they however conclude that as the regulation is written, the map presented does not break the text of article 5.5.3 of the Formula One Technical Regulations and therefore decide to take no further action.”

The decision confirms both Red Bull drivers will start the race with Sebastian Vettel second and Mark Webber eighth on the grid.

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80 comments on No penalty for Red Bull over engine map

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:03

    This is interesting. FIA’s mistake? Red Bull finds another loop hole? or just stewards’ wrong decision?

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:09

      the statement sounds like it’s FIA’s fault. hmm…

    • James Hosford (@hosford90) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:43

      Sounds like the same old thing for me. The FIA can’t think of every genius loophole people come up with.

      Intuitively this infringement clearly screams rule break, but the FIA has quite clearly not written the rule precisely right, and has basically realised that as usual Adrian the technical and linguistic master got around their wording and they can’t punish them. So inevitably for next year there’ll be a new cleverly worded rule.

      This is the natural circle of life. :D

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:03

    I’d say this is like the holes vs. slots debate – Red Bull have done something wrong, but since there is no rule expressly forbidding it, the FIA’s hands are tied.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:30

      And the Stewards deem they are surely not the ones who need to plug these holes (i agree) when the FIA have not done so before.

    • DVC (@dvc) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:52

      I think I might know what the issue is. As I read the rule it says when you don’t have your foot on the throttle it has to supply no torque; when you push your foot all the way down it has to be full torque. The regulation doesn’t say anything about anything between those two extremes.

      I reckon Red Bull have got a map that has high torque just above zero throttle. Technically doesn’t break the rule, but not what the FIA would have intended at all!

      I’m just guessing though.

  3. mole (@mole) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:05

    Sounds like the FIA/stewards got “lawyered”

  4. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:05

    Interesting that the FIA used unwritten rules to strip Hamilton of his win at Spa 2008, but now they’re not able to take action on Red Bull because of rule wording.

    • Kremer (@kremer) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:07

      Race stewards are not the FIA. FIA can act on it separately after the race.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:10

        Race stewards are hired and employed by the FIA. And Hamilton received his penalty after the race. I’m not saying this is a conspiracy against Lewis/Mclaren, just pointing out obvious double standards on FIA’s part.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:22

          I suppose it’s a good thing rather than double standards- that was 4 years ago now, so perhaps it shows that the FIA have moved on rather than being inconsistent. If some similar situation as Spa 08 came up again now, perhaps we’d see a similar approach as has been taken against Red Bull this year. I’m not sure you can use a double standards argument when the example is from so long ago.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:28

            Four years ago is hardy an eternity. It’s obvious that Red Bull deserve a penalty. Read the example I posted on the second page.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:57

            But the whole stewarding has undergone massive changes since then, so that 4 year gap is very relevant. And as pointed out by others, that is a different set of regulations. There isn’t any need to compare it to Spa 08, but if you do it just shows that decisions are perhaps a little more sensible than they were then.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:31

      Shows a change for the better to me, Stewards trying to steer clear of ruling on these kind of things

    • DVC (@dvc) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:58

      Completely different. ’08 is sporting regulations, this is technical regulations. And it wasn’t unwritten, it’s the same interpretation of the rule I’ve seen even in model car racing!

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:17

      Hamilton got his penalty from only one person. Alan Donnelly went on a lone crusade, the other stewards weren’t even involved.

  5. HxCas (@hxcas) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:06

    I suspect there will be a rule revision by the next race to stamp this out but it appears that once again Red Bull has been very clever with their technology

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:06

    Classic Red Bull, they’ve found a loophole and exploited it. They seem to do it better than most and that’s why I like them.

    Pretty much expected this result but didn’t expect the FIA to be so frank in the admission.

  7. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:07

    Another grey area exploited by redbull. Now I wonder how they will change things. Make it truly illegal or accept it. RBR get’s away with a lot!
    I have the strange feeling if it was McLaren they would have been excluded for sure.

    • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:08

      If you believe that you truly are delusional.
      I would be surprised if it was still legal by the next race though

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 22nd July 2012, 15:51

      It is nothing to do with which team is being investigated: that would be the equivelant of racism for Formula 1 teams! The reason Red Bull ‘get away’ with many of these ‘technical infiringments’ is because they have Adrian Newey – perhaps the greatest designer ever at exploiting the wording of the rules to his teams’ adavantage.
      That is the main reason why Red Bull are constantly surrounded by controversy: it was the same story last year – they have one of (if not the quickest) cars on the grid, so obviously it would seem natural that the FIA & the teams would challenge them if the opportunity arises. This would happen if any other team was in the same situation (such as McLaren for example); it just so happens that it is Red Bull who are in it.

  8. Rocky (@rocky) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:07

    The FIA book on aerodynamics and racing “we are not satisfied until you are not satisfied”.

  9. PeteF12012 said on 22nd July 2012, 12:08

    So basically what Red Bull did was against the spirit of the regulations, But not against the actual regulations as written.

    If thats correct then I’d say the decision is basically fair & would expect a rules clarification in the next weeks.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:30

      My problem with these kind of situations, that every time the answer is: it was not clearly stated that I cant do that. At other series if it is not stated you can, than you cant. It cant be done in F1, but if the FIA sets boundaries, there shouldnt be grey areas, somthing is either within the rules, or isnt.

  10. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:08

    Not surprised at all. If it was Mclaren however, they’d be disqualified and banned. If it were Ferrari, and investigation wouldn’t even take place.

    Damn Red Bull, those damn cheaters.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:17

      @kingshark Why do you think Ferrari or McLaren would be punished and Red Bull not?

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:23

        I think you really need to re-read my post, this time carefully and slowly:

        1. I was expecting Red Bull to get away with this. They got away with flexible front wing in 2010 and Exhaust Blown diffuser last year.
        2. Had it been Mclaren I’m certain that they’d get a very heavy penalty. History shows that FIA don’t go easy on Mclaren at all.
        3. If it were Ferrari they wouldn’t even be investigated, much less a penalty. Ferrari own a part of Formula One.

        • Toro Stevo (@toro-stevo) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:35

          Yes, because McLaren would never get away with a device which could be inferred to be prohibited by one interpretation of the rules, but not strictly prohibited. Like a hole which could be covered by the driver.

          I’m not saying the F-duct should have been illegal, it was a clever interpretation of the rules. Like this RBR thing, allegedly.

        • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:38

          The front wing passed all flexing tests; if it passes the tests which decide whether they are legal or not, they are legal.
          Exhaust blowing wasn’t illegal last year

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 22nd July 2012, 16:19

            The tests were obviously not working well enough to stamp out the flexing. In years before the tests were changed when other teams had found ways to circumvent the flex tests. Why not do the same when Red Bull had obviously found a trick?

            Well they came up with some new tests, but these were basically the same (if not less strict) than the originals.

      • tell something in the last 3 years where ferrari have mak something illegal???

    • Mustalainen (@mustalainen) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:28

      Yeah, because all the different stewards hate mclaren, and loves rb and ferrari so much!? You seem to assume a lot of stuff based on nothing.

    • JB (@) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:32

      @kingshark

      Not surprised at all. If it was Mclaren however, they’d be disqualified and banned. If it were Ferrari, and investigation wouldn’t even take place.

      Damn Red Bull, those damn cheaters.

      If it were Ferrari you bet they would unish them also…. Remember Jean Todt has a “boner” for Alonso….
      But yeah, I totally agree with your last statement…

  11. Rocky (@rocky) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:08

    Adrian Newey book on aerodynamics and racing “if you’re not cheating you are only cheating yourself.

  12. Egzon said on 22nd July 2012, 12:08

    I dont feel like this is fair enough

  13. jsmith944 (@jsmith944) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:09

    This is a disgrace, we all know F1 is and always has been rigged to help Ferrari but now it seems they’re rigging it to help Red Bull aswell. I wasn’t much looking forward to this race but now I might not even bother – a very disillusioned fan of more than 20 years.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:13

      @jsmith944

      now it seems they’re rigging it to help Red Bull aswell

      Was it not enough for you that they attempted to outlaw the two major sources of Red Bull’s performance advantage over the winter, namely flexible wings and exhaust-blown diffusers?

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:19

        I don’t think the FIA are trying to help Red Bull. However, personally the damage that Red Bull are doing to their whole brand through this team is shocking! What they are doing is (in the eyes of lawyers) legal however it isn’t within the spirit of the sport.

        It feels similar to when Massa pulled over and let Alonso through. Legal but hugely disappointing to see.

    • how can fia help Ferrari when they have made everthing to stop Michael domination..everything…english fan i think

  14. Matt Thompson (@matt84thompson) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:11

    If this had been a McLaren they would have been disqualified!

  15. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 22nd July 2012, 12:12

    Clearly there is more to it than the few statements made by the stewards and Jo Bauer. They will have looked at the engine map itself and decided whether the specific area Bauer highlighted is in breach of the rules. Without access to this data it is impossible for anyone on here to say that the decision is wrong.
    If I was a team principle for one of the other teams, however, I would be seeking technical clarification on this, because on the face of it, it does seem like they were doing something illegal. I’d expect protests after the race, or a technical directive from the FIA to clear this up. Don’t think this is the last we’ll hear of it.

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