Adrian Newey admits that the ban on blown diffusers has forced Red Bull to go 'back to the drawing board' in the design of its 2012 F1 machine.
Having been one of the pioneers of the part in recent years before other teams copied the part, Red Bull will now have to change its approach for the new season to take into account new exhaust regulations brought into play by the FIA.
Speaking to Sky Sports News
during Red Bull's recent demonstration in Milton Keynes, technical director Newey admitted that the ban had led to a change in approach as it attempts to once again defend its championship titles.
"We haven't got any big (rule) differences next year except for the exhaust position, which we've kind of pioneered over the past couple of years - of putting the exhaust out beside the diffuser,” he said. “That's all taken away next year. Because the car was designed around that, then we've got to go back literally to the drawing board and try and think 'okay, with that taken away how do we try and re-optimise the car?'”
Newey added that it was hard to tell whether the decision to ban the blown diffuser would lead to a closer title fight during 2012, with his own team having dominated both the drivers' and constructors' championships this season.
“Everyone else did a depressingly good job of copying it [the diffuser] - McLaren in particular actually managed to get it on the car for the first race,” he said. “Our car was designed around it, so I'd hope we'd get more out of it than people who retrospectively fitted it.
"Really now, it's about who can do the best job in terms of recovering from that loss, in terms of perhaps trying to find other ways around it or just re-optimise the car.
"It's the usual thing for Formula 1: everyone works through the winter and you know what you've done yourself. But you've got no idea what everyone else has been up to until we get to the early tests and particularly the first race."