Adrian Newey says Red Bull endured a difficult start to the 2012 F1 season due to a last minute rule change by the FIA that forced the team to change its exhaust system.
The technical whizz has revealed that his team had discovered a loophole it planned to exploit as it looked for a way to deal with the FIA's decision to ban blown diffusers.
It meant the team was forced to go with a conventional exhaust design at the start of the year and Newey admitted it had been a set-back that he hadn't expected to face.
"It set us back further than we thought," he told Auto Motor und Sport
. "When we looked at the new rules, we thought the effects would be less severe, especially because we thought we could compensate well.
“There was a loophole in the rules for the area behind the rear suspension, so you could have something that collects the gases and transports them where you want them.
"Because of the lack of time [after the FIA said the solution wasn't allowed] we went to the first test with a conventional exhaust in the engine cowling.
"It was hard to find a balance. We had understeer, oversteer, often both simultaneously."
Newey added that it was somewhat frustrating to see innovations banned and said it was important that the governing body didn't become too restrictive.
“We should be careful that the rules don't restrict the inventive spirit,” he said. “The beauty of Formula One is the struggle of man against man but also machine against machine. There is something for every interest. The more stringent the rules are, the faster we move towards 'GP1'. Do we want that? I'm surprised how many of my colleagues at the meetings of the technical working group make the case for more restrictions. It's almost as if we are letting the turkeys vote for Christmas."