FIA confirms U-turn on blown diffuser rules

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: The FIA confirms F1 will return to the exhaust rules used in Valencia.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Blown Diffusers Q&A (FIA)

“All cars will run under ‘Valencia’ conditions for the remainder of the season.”

Mark Webber column (BBC)

“If they were worried about the team losing points, one option would have been for us to swap positions, given that I was a fair bit faster at that stage of the race and was putting a lot of pressure on. But I’m not a massive fan of that and I know Red Bull Racing isn’t either. To my way of thinking, the ball’s as much in Sebastian [Vettel]’s court as it is in mine in such situations.”

Renault eyes engine deal extension (Autosport)

“Team principal Eric Boullier says that talks have begun with Renault about longer term plans, and admits they could play a part in efforts to boost the French presence in F1 – through both having a driver and a home race.”

Head: I will take new Williams role (The Independent)

“All I know is I’m not retiring. I probably won’t be involved with Williams Formula 1 in the same way from the end of the year but I’ll still be involved in some Williams activities.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Is Sergio Perez’s Ferrari test a sign he’s being considered for a drive in 2012? Dan Thorn isn’t sure:

I don’t really think this means much, if anything, in terms of Massa’s seat for next year. I think this is merely a case of Ferrari doing a routine test between two of their development drivers and using it as an opportunity to see what Bianchi needs to get into F1 by comparing him to Perez, who’s had some race experience, rather than as a shootout for Massa’s drive.

It wouldn’t really make sense to give Massa the boot so soon and replace him with someone with so little experience (Webber won’t go there, it’s a sideways step for all parties involved). Perez is promising but he could do with another year at Sauber. If he continues to improve then a seat at Ferrari in 2013 would be well deserved, but rushing a relative rookie in for 2012 would be a huge risk (not everyone can be a Hamilton).
Dan Thorn

From the forum

An amusing comparison between F1 and wrestling from Journeyer.

Site updates

See this note on yesterday’s article on Ferrari’s first F1 win.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to JV!

On this day in F1

Wolfgang von Trips led a Ferrari one-two-three in the British Grand Prix at Aintree 50 years ago today.

Team mates Phil Hill and Richie Ginther completed the podium.

Also on the grid was the four-wheel-drive Ferguson P99 featured here during the Goodwood Festival of Speed:

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

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71 comments on “FIA confirms U-turn on blown diffuser rules”

  1. Ok i’m quite lost really.

    What does Valencia spec exhausts mean? Can’t change engine maps between qualy and the race? That didn’t make a difference at all…!

    1. They can do what they like with the blown diffuser under the Valencia specs. The thing that was changed their was the engine map between qualifying and race which Red Bull was supposed to be using best.

    2. Yes, no restrictions on throttle opening percentages etc, no ban on flatulent Renaults or other exotic exhausts (provided they’re made of steel and only vent into the outer 5cm of the floor).

      The only “clarification” therefore in effect is the ban on uploading different engine maps to the ECU between qualifying and the race.

      From the FIA press release:

      What were the measures that were introduced for the European Grand Prix in Valencia?

      Whilst examining the engine maps from several teams it became clear that extreme solutions were being used for short times in qualifying and then being changed for more durable solutions for the race. The felt that this was certainly against the spirit of the parc ferme regulations but, more importantly, the relevant regulations simply do not allow changes to be made whilst the cars were being held under parc ferme conditions, connections to the car may be made and electronic units freely accessed, however, no changes to the set-up of the car can be made.

      We therefore informed the teams on 14 June that we would take these measures in Valencia, this was done and cars run accordingly with very few difficulties.

    3. engine map still cant be changed between Q and R. It did make a difference. The gap between P1 and the HAM in p3 was only 0.400. In Barcelona it was 1 second!

    4. Exactly!

      1. Exactly!

        Which comment was that in reply to?! :P

        1. short for

          Exactly SW6569, they are going back to the full engine mapping, except they are not allowed to change between Q and the race.

  2. Guess we can expect a half second gap again in quali to Red Bull. Hope McLaren can get back the race pace.

    1. I want light rain throughout the race to see them (McLaren) shine.

    2. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about it too quick. Ferrari have great pace anyway so with the aero updates from Silverstone at Nurburgring we will fully know the difference in speed.

      Red Bull may have peaked now to be honest, gaining a 10th now and then but Ferrari and McLaren will most likely be bringing the major updates.

  3. Nurburgring will be a great test, many people think the blown diffuser restriction helped Ferrari but I think it was just simply a real Aerodynamic step forward with the car. It’s not as if Ferrari (Alonso) wasn’t knocking at the door anyway. I’m expecting a few more wins from Ferrari (Let’s hope Massa can get a win too) by the end of the season.

    As for the decision, it was wrong to enforce it in the first place, and while it didn’t affect the order of play too much you can’t remove an aspect that teams have built their car around, it’s just not right.

    Completely agree with Dan’s COTD, Ferrari aren’t a team to just throw a Rookie in without at least 3 years of F1 experience, they naturally bring in proven experienced drivers, or like Felipe after a number of years with a team using Ferrari Engines, bring them in. I do expect Perez to replace Massa in a couple of years though, unless Felipe can strike up his winning form again, then it’s a tough one.

    1. The New Pope
      15th July 2011, 5:25

      What do you think of Kobayashi’s chances of getting a seat at Ferrari over Perez? I’ve been a Kobayashi fan for a while now and I would like to see him get a better drive. Think its possible?

      1. He have to show not only overtaking skill but also consistent&strong qualifying and race result with much less contact to other cars if he want to go to Ferrari. Even if he does, I don’t think Ferrai prefer Japanese driver than European or American what a shame.

      2. +1.

        I would love to see Kobayashi driving a top 3 car, but I think he would be less complacent than Massa and Ferrari’s philosophy would shock with his. Plus, I don’t believe Luca and Stefano want to upset Fernando “faster than you” Alonso

        1. Two years later and people still find jokes like that funny. I am no Alonso fan, but that joke got old real fast.

          1. Yeah they need to get with it.. the man of the hour is Mark “Hold your position” Webber. ;)

          2. or is it Mark “Maintain the gap” Webber ?

          3. I didn’t mean to harm you or even Alonso who’s a good driver, but what I wanted to emphasize is that Ferrari will not hire someone who goes for every gaps and doesn’t give up a fight to share garage with Alonso.

          4. It’s fine man, not offended. Just stating it’s a lame joke :) haha

      3. I don’t think Ferrari will want to go with a driver who is strong in overtaking.

        They would rather build a car that is fast enough to fight from the front and stay there!
        So a ok qualifier, solid racer and light on the tyres Perez might be good for them, if he ups the qualifying and gets a tad more out of racing next year.

    2. I hope Ferrari are strong, to show the British GP win wasn’t all down to the new rules, otherwise having one only race under different regulations would be a farce.

  4. (not everyone can be a Hamilton).

    No, most of them are better.

    1. Well, there’s been 26 drivers so far this year I think (Narain and Pedro being the 2 missing from Silverstone). 5 of them are or have been F1 WDC winners, so straight away your “most” is provably wrong as 21 have not.

      Better trolls pls.

      1. considering we are talking in the context of rookies, and Hamilton is the most successful rookie ever, it’s provably wrong as 25 weren’t as good!

        1. Macca is probably one of those types that chews up what the media serves and fails to realize what history says and well it tends to repeat itself.

        2. Farina *cough*

          1. Yeh, what a “rookie”!

            9 consecutive podiums in your first 9 races. Can’t really argue with that.

            Todfod: Villeneuve won 4 races in his first year in the dominant car, with only Hill for regular competition and sometimes Schumacher (more so at the end of the season). Hamilton had the slightly better car with Alonso, against Massa and Raikkonen. So I’d say it proves something.

        3. I thought Jacques Villenueve was as successful in his rookie year. So that really doesn’t prove much

          1. Villeneuve wasn’t quite as successful as Hamilton. He lost by 19 points to Hill, while Hamilton lost by 1 point to Raikkonen. Hamilton also took 6 poles to Villeneuve’s 3.

    2. I think Peter Jackson is still auditioning for trolls down New Zealand way, you could try there.

    3. Fail!

      You cannot let your emotions take the best of you mate.

      Lewis Hamilton is fairly one of the best drivers in F1, hate him or love him you cannot deny his skills.

      1. What skills? Demolition skils? Yeah, pretty good ones. Driving skills? Absolute zero.

        1. Jeffrey Powell
          15th July 2011, 19:12

          You are correct being faster than your WC. teamate does not mean you have the right attitude or the driving skill required for modern day F1.Drivers lucky enough to have an F1 seat should be setting an example to other drivers .Even young Mr Hamilton teamate the illustrious JB. nearly fell foul of the ultra carefull Massa nearly pushing him of the circuit to maintain the racing line even though JB. was clearly ahead of him.The FIA has sensibly intoduced tyres that put a stop to the childish efforts of some drivers to try and show they are faster than others by catching them up. Drivers should know their place ,driving the cars beyond a moderate pace is wastefull and potentially dangerous.

          1. I merely wrote that to see how many bits I could get. Thanks for showing the world that you all have no sense of humour.

  5. In other news, FIA tests fighter jet canopy for use in F1.

    1. oh god.. please NO!

      1. Why? It would make the cars look even cooler.

      2. oh god.. please NO!

        It didn’t look so bad here:

    2. I’ve been waiting for this a long time, not with excitement but if they could mold it around like the Newey X1 for GT5 I wouldn’t mind it…on the current cars it’d look kind of stupid. But anything to protect drivers that much more is good.

    3. Scarbs was saying on twitter that he’ll probably do a blog on the pros and cons of closed cockpits soon. He said there hasn’t been a fuel fire in F1 in the last 20 years, but there have been plenty of close calls with driver’s heads and errant tires, debris, other cars, etc. Off the top of my head I imagine Senna would still be alive and Massa never would’ve even had his crash in Hungary if that type of aerospace cockpit had been in place.

      1. Yea certainly an interesting topic.

        If it is to be deflected off a canopy, who knows where the part its going to end up. Its basically eliminating the risk of one group and giving it to the other. Unfortunately the latter is far greater in number and densely placed around the circuit.

      2. HounslowBusGarage
        15th July 2011, 13:07

        The heat build-up could be quite severe, couldn’t it?
        I think the closed LMP1 Audis and Peugeots have pretty intensive ventilation/chill sysytems on board, but it still gets pretty hot in the cars compared to an open car.
        F1 with a canopy in Austin or one of the Gulf races would be dangerous without air conditioning!

    4. Once this is adopted there can be no logical argument for leaving the wheels exposed, maybe we should be looking towards a smaller monoposto Le Mans type car in the future?

      1. There would be very good reasons for F1 cars not become clones of LeMans cars and keep to their identity as open-wheel racers.

      2. Wheel fairings for safety? Do it for the childrens.

    5. Awkward.

      What’s next? airbags?

    6. My first thought was aerodynamics, and how to incorporate into the design. Would there be a spec canopy, with spec mounting locations? Would teams be free to design their own? Also, how much would they weigh?

      My second thought was to ventilation; imagine the condensation buildup and stifling muggy air during a rain race. I have no doubt ventilation systems could be developed to prevent that, but that again is added weight to the car.

  6. In the FIA blown diffuser Q&A the question is asked…

    Is its illegality an unforeseen side-effect of the rule to ban F-Ducts?

    Seriously, who asked that question? and why?

  7. The most stupid decision of the year

    1. Are you saying that Red Bull should look for a different engine supplier, or that Ferrari shouldn’t test Bianchi and Perez?

      1. No I mean blown diffuser row.

  8. NetBurst (@)
    15th July 2011, 5:58

    […] we should revert to the specification we had specified in our note to the teams on 20 June. This is how all teams then ran on Saturday and Sunday in Silverstone.

    So they ran in Silverstone under Valencia spec?

  9. ralph schumacher
    15th July 2011, 6:32

    Glad they are reverting to the Valencia spec exhaust systems, that should see McLaren back infront of Ferrari.
    Still dont get the fuss behind Kubica’s come back, he was just the front runner of the mid-field.

    Lewis for champion!

    1. I wouldn’t count on Mclaren being quicker than Ferrari. It seems Ferrari’s upgrades worked pretty well in Silverstone, so I would think it should be a level playing ground between the the two.. with Red Bull a few tenths advantage in quali

  10. Very nice article by Mark

    more drivers should write such frank articles

  11. The right decision from the FIA. It’s a pity they couldn’t have come to their senses sooner but I guess we would have missed out on all that lovely F1 drama ;)

    That’s exactly the kind of statement I expected from Webber. Sure, he’s vocal at times but he’s also fair and honest and wouldn’t shy away from speaking his mind.

  12. Mark about Prince Harry from that article;

    I thought I’d give him a little heads-up before Fernando Alonso, Seb and I started spraying the Champagne. I said: “You need to get out of here now, mate, if you don’t want to get wet.” And he said: “Cheers, mate.”

    He’s a good guy.


  13. Congratulations Dan! As ever, I agree.

    A week later and the FIA finally pluck up the courage to admit their U-turn. Bravo.

    I’m seriously considering picking Massa for a win in the predictions this year. The Ferrari should be much more competitive and did win on a track that on paper should be one of Red Bull’s favourites. This could be predictions suicide but he’s just got to have his day at some point.

    With the rules going back I don’t think Mclaren are going to suddenly bounce back. They’ll be a little more competitive I expect but they were struggling a tad in Canada and Valencia too. Hopefully, Ferrari will have properly jumped them.

    1. Webber on pole Alonso next to him, behind Vettel and Hamilton, then Massa and Button, 1st.cnr its Alonso on the outside of Webber, Vettel barges Hamilton to the outside before diving down the inside of Webber to a gap that never existed, 4 car pileup, Button pits for wing and Massa gets through unscathed. Piece of cake.

    2. Pick Massa for a win? Be serious dude, forgot Hockenheim 2010 already? I really doubt his day will ever come (at least with Ferrari). About McLaren I agree – I think we’ll see a repeat of the second half of last season with them falling to 3rd fastest car.

      1. Why not Klass? He was in the mix at China and had a chance at pole at Canada. I’m convinced he’ll bag a win by the end of next season.

        1. Massa has often been a bit hot and cold. The day will come again when he is hot, but good luck picking the day.

          1. It’s been chilly for Massa after Interlagos 2008 and with Alonso’s arrival at Ferrari it looks like the Ice Age began.

        2. Let’s see: China: Q-6 R-6 Am I missing something? What achievement is that? Canada: it was Alonso who had a chance at pole not Massa.
          Massa winning by the end of next season – maybe, this season – no way. Man, if Felipe Baby grabs a win this season you can call me ‘camel dung’.

          1. Stats alone don’t give the full story. Massa as right in the mix for a podium at China. Massa was right on the pace all through qualifying and didn’t miss out by much and that can’t be ignored. He had a real chance. And I won’t call you that as I’m not like that :P

      2. You respond to Steph by saying “Be serious dude”? O_o

    3. But Alonso must be out of the race for that.
      There’s usually a perfect time to pit in a given strategy. While in Silverstone the pit crew for Massa finally got it right (at last!), strategy wise they simply pitted him ‘in the best time that wouldn’t affect Alonso’s strategy.’ That’s not enough for a win in normal circumstances.

      McLaren tries to go with different strategies for Button and Hamilton so as not to be evidently unfair with one of them (that’s what it looks like).

  14. So all in all, we won’t have changes at the top five teams. Shame, I would love to see some new kid battling it out with Alonso, Webber at Renault next to Kubica and of course a Vettel Kimi battle at Red Bull (instead of at the badminton court – anyone knows who has the upper hand there?). But Schumi-Rosberg and Button-Hamilton I’m ok with.

  15. Now people can quit moaning about rules favouring Ferrari

    1. And hopefully you can quit moaning about people moaning

  16. Funny how Ferrari gets the shifty eyes from the rules change for Silverstone.

    When it was the Renault-powered teams who have been given concessions to run more percentage because their reliability was affected at the standard (lower) levels.

    It’s all a farce of course, but let’s not kid ourselves about Ferrari enjoying the same kind of mistress it did earlier in the naughts – after all, who’s in charge of the governing body now and wants to keep himself there? And his number one priority is to distance himself from anything Ferrari, understandably so, and that probably comes with shutting the door on their foot every now and then.

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