May 17, 2011
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The exhaust blown diffuser has been limited by the FIA
The FIA has informed all F1 teams of changes to the technical regulations concerning blown diffusers, which will come into effect at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
One of the main points of development for the teams this year has been the blown diffuser, which channels exhaust gases onto the diffuser, which initially only brought downforce benefits while the driver was on the throttle.
However, several teams, particularly Red Bull, have been believed to have exploited the blown diffuser, by allowing the system to work even while the throttle is not being used. A constant flow of gas through the exhaust system is rumoured to be the cause for this.
This is the innovation that the FIA will soon ban. They have written to all the teams, instructing them that the use of the throttle is only to increase torque, not for aerodynamic performance.
If any team is caught to evade this ruling, they will have broken Article 3.15 of the technical regulations, which bans movable aerodynamic pieces or devices.
McLaren believe that this exploitation may be the key to Red Bull’s scintillating qualifying pace, so it will be interesting to see how Vettel and Webber perform in Barcelona this weekend.
Update: The FIA has decided not to go ahead with this regulation for this weekend, after several “unforeseen and unintended consequences” were brought to their attention. However, they are planning to move ahead with the new ruling as soon as possible.