FIA race director Charlie Whiting has warned Formula 1 teams against using a "false" engine mode to take advantage of the new exhaust-blown rear wing design debuted by Renault during pre-season testing.

Renault's design takes advantage of an angled exhaust placement in order to direct gases towards the rear wing, acting in a similar way to the blown diffusers seen towards the end of the V8 engine era.

While the design is legal, there was unrest in the paddock through pre-season testing in Barcelona as it was deemed to be against the spirit of the technical regulations.

Speaking to select media including on Tuesday in London, Whiting said that while the benefit to be gained from the practice was minimal, the FIA would be watching closely to ensure no teams used a false engine mode in order to enhance the aerodynamic gain from a blown rear wing design.

"I think we had a little concern about exhaust blowing last year, because of course with wings coming 150mm lower than they were in 2016, there was more benefit to be gained there," Whiting said.

"That is why we put the exhaust pipe in the middle and the minimum angle it could go, all those sorts of things, but teams managed to build monkey seats and things like that which we got rid of through changing bodywork regulations.

"But there is still a little window of opportunity because you know what teams are like. If you take one thing away they will try to get 10 percent of what they had and still do it.

"I think it is minimal what they will get from it and I don’t see any problem with it provided that we are sure that they are not using their engine in a false mode, shall we call it, a mode which wouldn’t be normal."

"I think we’ve got to accept the fact that there is and always has been some exhaust effect. In 2012 and 2013 it was massive but we’ve chipped away at that when we set out the new rules as I say.

"One of the things for the 2014 rules was to ensure there was no effect from the exhaust. But there must be a little one and we will have to deal with that and will see during the course of the year whether we need to do something to minimise that.

"The most important thing is that they are not doing anything silly, I believe, with the engine modes which is unnatural."


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