Rival teams look set to try and copy the radical exhaust system seem on the new Renault R31 during the opening pre-season F1 test of the year in Valencia.

The new car features an exhaust which exits from the edge of the car's sidepods, which is seen as an attempt to try and replicate the downforce levels achieved by the double diffuser last year given that the part is now banned under F1 regulations.

The exhaust system is part of the risky design employed by Renault in its attempt to challenge for championship honours during the year ahead, with both McLaren and Mercedes now being tipped to try and produce their own versions of the system prior to the season-opener in Bahrain.

Mercedes' W02 was launched in Valencia earlier this week while the new McLaren will break cover for the first time in Berlin tomorrow [Friday].

"I'm happy that we have some creative designs on the car," Renault team boss Eric Boullier told Sport 360 when discussing a design he admits is risky. "We want to be fast and we want to be at the front. It takes time and a team like us has to be creative.

"It's all about creating more downforce and we're confident this does that. We have taken this patch since 2010 and we're hopeful we can get further gains from it in testing.

"It works well in the wind tunnel and the suggestion is it will work on the track but we will see."

Driver Robert Kubica has now sampled the new exhaust for the first time after joining the test on Wednesday although he said it was tough to compare to the older system it replaces.

"I see the difference that the exhaust is longer and it's blowing gas in different places but to compare it is impossible," he told the BBC. "It's nice to see something new which came from our designers and our factory and we hope it will work and we'll have some more clever ideas."



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