This weekend's move to prevent teams altering their engine maps between qualifying and racing, and the impending ban on 'blown' diffusers is aimed at everyone taking part and not just one team, according to the man charged with implementing the new rules.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting has countered suggestions that the mid-season regulation change is a means of curbing Red Bull Racing's apparent dominance, particularly in qualifying, and insisted that the move is designed to prevent an escalation in development - and spending - that would have inevitably followed as teams sought greater and greater advantages from the idea.
Although the ban was delayed from a proposed start in Monaco, 'hot blown' diffusers - where fuel is pumped into the exhausts to increase the aerodynamic potential of the diffuser - and the 'cold blown' version, where unignited air is allowed into the exhaust system by opening the throttle while ignition is retarded, will officially be outlawed from the British Grand Prix, while the use of variable - and, according to Whiting, 'extreme' engine maps is to be dropped from this weekend's European GP in Valencia.
“All we're doing is making sure that everyone is running how we think a car should be run legally," he told speedtv.com
, "It's not for us to say whether or not a certain team will be penalised more than others. It just depends on how extreme they go - [and] I've certainly seen evidence of maps from a number of teams that are extremely extreme. It's not confined to one team, I can assure you.”
Asked why the decision to ban the technology had been taken midway through a season, especially one where a single team appears to have a performance advantage, and not at the end of the year, as was the case with the equally controversial double diffuser and F-duct, Whiting insisted that they were different situations.
“The double diffuser and the F-duct were legal but, during the course of the season, the teams got together with us and decided that they weren't good for F1, or weren't needed in F1, so we wrote rules which would outlaw them," he explained, "They actually complied with the rules, that's why they were allowed to stay until the end of the season, but the new rules, which came in the next year, outlawed them.
“We know [the teams] all had blown diffusers, but it was how they were being used. It's quite simple really. We know that exhaust gases have an influence on the aerodynamic performance of the car. We accept that, but the point is the design should minimise the effect that the exhaust has on the car, they shouldn't attempt to use the exhaust for a completely different reason. That's our view.
“It's a bit like the mass damper for example, when it's use, when first introduced by one team, was fairly benign when it came to aerodynamics. But, the more it got developed, the more extreme the designs were. There were four or five or six mass dampers on the car, and they were clearly being used for aerodynamic reasons. These things escalate, as we all know, to the point where something has to be done. It's exactly the same type of approach that we're taking [with blown diffusers].”
Whiting confirmed that the ban had not been prompted by a formal protest, but confirmed that one team, thought likely to be HRT, came close to make an official objection ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.
“I gave the team the assurance that we were going to follow this through, we weren't going to give it up," he said, “That's what they were concerned about. They were concerned about us changing our minds completely, letting things go for the rest of the season. On that basis we haven't had any protests yet, [although] I've always emphasised to the teams that that option is open to them.”