16 June 2011
Boullier: We need to understand exhaust ban.
Renault team boss Eric Boullier has admitted that the regie needs to get its head around the proposed changes to exhaust rules.
Renault F1 boss Eric Boullier has said that, while he is disappointed to see a lot of the team's winter efforts undone by the latest FIA rules decision, it won't stop the regie exploring alternatives.
Boullier's comments, made to speedtv.com, compared the loss of exhaust-blown diffuser technology to the ban on other performance-enhancing ideas such as the 'F-duct', which was imagined by McLaren, hastily copied by its rivals and then banned by the FIA at the end of 2010 on the grounds of safety after drivers were spotted taking their hands off the steering wheel to block the duct needed to energise the device.
Blown diffusers, particularly of the 'hot' variety where fuel is injected into the exhausts to improve the quality of the gases being forced through the diffuser, have become the technical topic du jour in 2011, with Red Bull Racing largely credited with the idea, leaving the rest of the field to play catch-up.
Renault's exhaust solution is more ingenious than most, with the exits situated ahead of the sidepods rather than at the rear as seen with the majority of its rivals, but will not escape the blanket ban being made on exhaust technology in 2012, when a standard design, exiting beyond the diffuser, will be mandated. An immediate ban on blown diffusers comes into force from next month's British Grand Prix.
“I can feel what McLaren felt when they decided to ban the F-duct,” Boullier conceded, “To be honest, we're not thinking too much about it but, when you want to go one route, if the FIA is changing the rules, we have to stick to the rules. We need to understand the exact reason but if, at the end, the decision is to ban these systems, we'll work on something else. It's definitely a change and, if we can make it work differently on our car, we'll do everything we can. We need to understand exactly what [FIA delegate] Charlie [Whiting] wants to ban.”
The details of the various bans and rule changes will be discussed at today [Thursday]'s meeting of the F1 Technical Working Group, but the FIA needs to cement all technical rule changes for 2012 by 30 June and will be keen to get its ideas adopted as soon as possible.
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