This could shake things up a bit...

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This could shake things up a bit...

Post by Gelert on Tue May 17 2011, 19:53

FIA in blown diffuser clampdown
By Jonathan Noble Tuesday, May 17th 2011, 16:01 GMT http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/91475

Formula 1's competitive order at the front of the field could be thrown on its head in this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix with the FIA having made a major change to the exhaust blown diffuser regulations, AUTOSPORT has learned.

With the design and execution of blown diffusers being viewed as a key area of the 2011 development race, teams have been pushing hard with their concepts to try and eek out any competitive advantage they can.

One aspect that has been worked on a lot is in ensuring that a flow of exhaust gases keep pumping through the diffuser, to help increase downforce, even when the throttle is not in use.

But now, on the back of some teams expending huge effort in tweaking engine modes to help gain performance in this area, the FIA has acted and decided to clamp down on what they are up to.

High level sources have revealed that the FIA has written to teams informing them that from this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix they will no longer be allowed to continue flowing gases through the engine when the driver is not on the throttle.

It is understood the directive to the teams tells them that, under braking, the throttle input can now be no larger than 10 per cent of its maximum. Some outfits had been gaining aerodynamic benefit from keeping the throttle flow at 100 per cent under braking.

To push this regulation change through, the FIA has deemed that throttle use will be allowed only for the purpose of increasing torque, not for 'aerodynamic performance'.

This effectively means that any team found to be using off-throttle blown diffusers could be in breach of the famous Article 3.15 of the technical regulations that outlaws moveable aerodynamic devices.

The change in regulations is set to hurt every team running a blown diffuser - although some may be hurt more than others.

Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn said: "It will affect all the teams. These staccato exhausts you hear, I don't think you are going to hear them anymore.

"The teams have all been developing their engine management systems to get the maximum advantage from the exhausts, and the FIA want to push us in a different direction now so there will be changes there.

"I've no idea what will be the outcome there, but it has forced all the teams to have a fresh look at what they are doing in terms of engine strategies."

However, with McLaren having recently hinted that it viewed off-throttle engine maps as a key to Red Bull Racing's qualifying form, the change in regulations could mean the reigning world champion team is one of the worst hit.

Speaking to AUTOSPORT about the impact of the change in rules, Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner said: "I think that it is going to have an effect with all teams that have been utilising it.

"That appears to be 90 per cent of the grid, if you look at how many teams are running blown diffusers. It is not something unique to this year, it is something that started last year, so Barcelona will clearly show what effect this will have."

When asked if he thought the rules change had come about as the result of a complaint from a rival team to try and slow Red Bull Racing down, Horner said: "It is inevitable and the unfortunate consequence of success."


I genuinely was wondering how far the governing body was going to allow this Engine Mapping trick to run...
And also slightly confused, what with there being a common ECU an' all, as to how the mapping was being tweaked so hard.

Mmmm...Barca might be a better race than I was anticipating after all...!

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Re: This could shake things up a bit...

Post by TopContender on Wed May 18 2011, 03:10

So the FIA wants to create a rule midseason? brilliant!
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Re: This could shake things up a bit...

Post by PLAYLIFE on Wed May 18 2011, 04:11

TopContender wrote:So the FIA wants to create a rule midseason? brilliant!

They've done it many times before and I've never agreed with it. Example being in 2001 when they re-introduced traction control in Spain, also the 5th race.

Goodbye Red Bull advantage, at least in qualifying...
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Re: This could shake things up a bit...

Post by Gelert on Wed May 18 2011, 07:50

Teams get reprieve over blown diffusers
By Jonathan Noble Tuesday, May 17th 2011, 21:11 GMT http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/91481

Formula 1 teams have been given a reprieve to continue using blown diffusers freely from this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, AUTOSPORT can reveal, after the FIA had a rethink about going ahead with a major change to the regulations.

As reported earlier, the FIA issued a clarification to teams following the Turkish Grand Prix that would have banned them from using clever engine mapping settings to keep gases pumping through the diffuser even when the driver was off-throttle.

Teams had been benefiting from keeping gases flowing through the diffuser at the same rate as when the driver was on throttle, even when he was fully on the brakes. This maximised the downforce benefits gained from the use of a blown diffuser.

However, a directive from the FIA clarified that teams were only allowed to use the throttle settings for increasing torque, not for 'aerodynamic performance' - which effectively banned them from keeping gases pushing through the diffuser off-throttle.

That edict meant teams faced work to tweak their engine settings for this weekend's race at the Circuit de Catalunya, and leading figures - including Red Bull Racing's Christian Horner and Mercedes GP's Ross Brawn - said they were unsure how the competitive order would be affected by the changes.

However, following dialogue between the FIA and the teams, AUTOSPORT can reveal that the governing body decided late on Tuesday not to go through with the change to the blown diffuser regulations for Barcelona.

A high level source indicated that the decision had been taken because a number of 'unforeseen and unintended consequences' of the ban had been brought to the FIA's attention.

It is not clear what these consequences were, but teams that had benefited the most from the blown diffuser regulations may have complained about potential difficulties that they may have faced in making necessary changes to car set-up in such a short space of time.

Although off-throttle usage of blown diffusers remains in place for now, AUTOSPORT understands that the matter has been put to the top of the agenda for the next meeting of F1 think tank, the Technical Working Group.

It is understood that the FIA is keen for the off-throttle usage to be stamped out as soon as it can be implemented without causing further complications for the teams.


So...following complaints by TC, the situation is now "as you were"...

Do two U-turns in quick succession constitute a full 360...? scratch

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Re: This could shake things up a bit...

Post by Henrik on Wed May 18 2011, 08:23

And the Takagi award goes to....the FIA!!

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