June.21 – The off-throttle blown diffusers ban due to come into result at next month’s British GP, the formula 1 governing body FIA has announced an additional clampdown on engine mapping with immediate effect.
F1 teams are to face an additional clampdown on engine mapping use from this weekend’s European GP, in a move which many see as an attempt to clip Red Bull’s wings – the FIA has banned the use of an ingenious concept which allows teams to use engine mapping to aid downforce.
But, further on of this weekend’s European GP, FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting has written to all the teams informing them that they will no longer be allowed to change the engine mapping between the qualifying session and the race. Currently, teams can use engine mapping to maximise the pressure from the engine and on to the blown diffuser, even when off the throttle. However, the downside to this is that the temperatures the floor of the car is subjected to increases, thereby causing reliability issues, while fuel usage also increases.
It is thought that Red Bull’s changes to its engine mapping between qualifying and the race accounts for the car’s disparity in performance when its comes to Sunday afternoon – the team switching to a ‘safe mode’ having secured pole position.
While the Austrian outfit is likely to be the hardest hit, it is expected that with the implementation of the new rules this weekend the entire grid should see a reduction in performance on Saturday afternoon.
McLaren’s principal race engineer Phil Prew said about his team’s theory on Red Bull Racing’s form earlier this year: “I think tyre optimisation may be one area, and the use of elaborate engine modes may be another – with the generation of downforce being quite highly influenced with the exhaust flows.”
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said at the Canadian Grand Prix that he believed Silverstone could mark the start of a totally new picture in terms of the world title fight.
“We need to see in Silverstone, what is the real effect of this change in the regulations with regard to the effect of the exhaust,” he said. Then, we will see really where the second championship in terms of the level of performance is above all in higher downforce tracks.”
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