Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Engine map ruling no concern for Lotus – Allison

2013 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Lotus technical director James Allison says the team is not concerned that Renault’s request to use revised engine maps for 2013 was turned down by the FIA.

Speaking to media during testing at the Circuit de Catalunya last week Allison said the team had discovered in testing there was no gain to be had from the engime map:

“We’re using the same map as we’ve been using all winter testing which is the same we’ve been using since Korea last year when we introduced our Coanda exhaust,” he said.

“You have a set of rules, you want to find out exactly where the boundary of those rules are and you do that by asking questions and probing away. So we were asking questions to the FIA about what’s possible while simultaneously trying what we asked for on the track.

“By the time the FIA had looked at it and said ‘no, you can’t do that’ we’d also found out we didn’t much like it when we ran it. So in the end it wasn’t much of a story, really.”

Allison denied the Lotus’s exhaust had been designed specifically to take advantage of the now-outlawed maps: “All of those Coanda exhausts are trying to blow the floor. Much more weakly than you could manage in 2011 but they try to blow the floor.”

“If there were no rules about how you operate the engine you’d operate the engines like we did in 2011 – using them like elaborate air pumps. So you would like to get the throttles as open as possible for any given power setting because that delivers more energy to where you would like to on the floor. But there’s a set of rules establishing how far you can push that, and that’s all we’re talking about.”

“They all do the same thing. They all try to get high-energy air down to the gap between the tyre and the floor. There’s multiple ways of skinning the cat but all of them try to do that, they all try to get the same flow structure set up via the floor.

“And the more energy you can deliver to that area that better, and all will benefit equally. And in fact everyone is designing their floor to maximise the amount of downforce per unit of energy delivered by the exhaust. If you’re delivering more units of energy you’ll get more downforce, irrespective of the flavour of Coanda system.”

2013 F1 season

Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Image ?? Lotus/LAT

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

16 comments on “Engine map ruling no concern for Lotus – Allison”

  1. Mr. Allison, you can deny until thy-kingdom-come but your denial says nothing about why Mr. Newey had to miss the crucial last test at Barcelona whereas he was seen every single day at the Jerez test. He must be burning the midnight candles to find a way out. or not?

    Helmut Marko also said that suddenly the RB9 does not respond to set-ups whereas it was not a problem at Jerez where the illegal mapping was used? Of course we dont expect you to accept your failings but dont treat us like kids!!

    1. Read the headline again!

    2. I think you are reading a bit too much into everything BBQ2! Its testing and sometimes you don’t need to be at the track to create and affect change.

      Plus also your post is about Red Bull but article is all about Lotus!?

      1. Its testing and sometimes you don’t need to be at the track to create and affect change.

        While you are correct in this regard, Newey’s absence from Barcelona is certainly very strange because Red Bull were introducing race-spec parts on the final two days. I’m not sure if they did due to the rain – I don’t follow pre-season testing too closely once all the cars are launched – buf if so, then Newey would have almost certainly be there. For him to be somewhere else suggests there is a serious situation that demands his attention.

        Plus also your post is about Red Bull but article is all about Lotus!?

        Both Lotus and Red Bull use Renault engines. Both Lotus and Red Bull would have used the Renault engine maps. Therefore, both stand to be affected by the FIA’s ruling.

        1. OMG! Thanks PM for coming to my rescue ;)

        2. Interestingly, all the Renault engines cars ran significantly fewer laps at the Barcelona test.

          Coincidence ?
          Possibly – possibly not.

      2. “Plus also your post is about Red Bull but article is all about Lotus!?”

        Surprisingly all teams supplied by Renault which was the context of my post as Lotus could be seen as worksteam for Renault, has the same problem. Did you read the commentary of Williams drivers after they adapted the Redbull-styled-exhaust? Yeah! they all have the same problem(which is back-end instability on exit) therefore it is not far-fetched that engine mapping is the problem. Dont be surprised if Williams go back to their McLaren-style exhaust though.

        1. Agreed, did speed read it a little too fast.


        2. Surprisingly all teams supplied by Renault which was the context of my post as Lotus could be seen as worksteam for Renault, has the same problem.

          Renault no longer hold a stake in Lotus. It’s totally owned by Gerard Lopez and Eric Lux by way of Genii Capital. If any team is the de facto Renault factory team – the way McLaren served as Mercedes’ unofficial works team from 1995 to 2009 – it’s Red Bull. It’s a bit convoluted, but Red Bull’s title sponsor is Infiniti, and Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury car division (like Lexus and Toyota). Nissan owns a 15% stake in Renault, whilst Renault owns a 44% stake in Nissan, so Red Bull has some unofficial factory support.

      3. I agree that it does not have to mean that much @georetuk, on the other hand we saw exactly the same last year at Red Bull and it later transpired that Red Bull were in a bit of trouble because the exhaust system they had planned on running was not allowed, thereby making us speculate about something a bit similar going on this year.

        And its significant because Lotus use the same engine and copied much of the Red Bull exhaust solution, so if its not a big thing for them, this would likely make it not a big thing for Red Bull either (although you never know)

    3. To my knowledge Newey only missed the last DAY of testing – not the last week of testing.

      1. I thought it was the last two days but I may be wrong. The problem is that Newey is always there, he’s on the grid with a pen and paper 10 mins before the race starts, he’s sat on the pit walls getting photos sent to him of damage to try work out a solution, that who he is, a perfectionist who always seems to be working flat out. The fact he missed the last day of testing could be a sign that all is not well at Redbull. I don’t think Newey would miss any chance to see the car on track, no matter how short the running time as he always seems to be making notes and learning.

        My theory is that the car wasn’t running as expected due to the forced changes, therefore Newey found more value in heading back to work on something else, than sitting track side and learning more about their current car. All theory of course, maybe he just booked the day off :)

    4. Yes I think this Allison guy is complacent in the wake of the recent success of Lotus and the fact that they have a star driver in the team. They will pay for it.

      1. ?

        In what way has Allison shown complacency here?

        Please elaborate.

        (From what I see he’s only clarifying these speculations)

  2. It’d be great to hear from Redbull as well how this decision might impact them.

    1. I can already tell you what their response will be: to downplay the effect of the ban, and talk up the elements of the exhaust that don’t rely on engine mapping.

Comments are closed.