Friday, 17 June 2011

Which Team Will Be Hit Hardest By Diffuser Ban?

The FIA is pressing onward with its blown diffuser clampdown following a meeting with the technical working group and Charlie Whiting Thursday. Despite some discontent at the decision teams have been told to severely limit their off-throttle diffuser exhaust blowing starting at next month's British Grand Prix.

What the ban means is teams will be limited to using just 10% of engine over-run when the driver is off the accelerater, which will prevent the clever mapping systems that have pumped almost full throttle exhaust flow through engines when the driver was not on the power.

More importantly how will it effect the pecking order from Silverstone on depends very much on who you ask.

Ferrari's team boss Stefano Domenicali seems to be the most optimistic and with the pressure on him lately he probably needs to be. Speaking to Sporting Life Stefano hoped the ban will kick start his team's season.

"We need to see at Silverstone what will be the change in effect with regard to the regulations about the exhaust, After Silverstone we will then be able to make a judgment, and if there is one, all I can say is that I hope it (the ban) affects us less than the others."

A little less optimistic is McLaren Team Chief Martin Whitmarsh “I don’t think it will create a fundamental change to the picture, But it will hurt some more than others. Depending on how optimistic you are feeling that day, you like to think that it will hurt others more than you."

“It will change according to which team, who’s exploiting these tactics the most. It’s been a moving feast. It's quite possible we will close up in qualifying by half a second (if there is a ban)," Whitmarsh speaking to Auto Motor und Sport.

Jenson Button is thinking or hoping the ban will impact Red Bull the most "They (Red Bull) use the exhaust gases into the diffuser non-stop on a qualifying lap, but not in the race."

"In qualifying, it means a lap-time deficit of half to one second, although our race modes aren't going to be that different." Button is quoted in Swiss newspaper Blick.

Meanwhile in a interview with ESPNF1, World Champion Sebastian Vettel predicted that other teams will be hit harder. "If it is happening then I think it will hit everyone, I think if you look at the concept of our car then we are not bad off if it [the ban] happens."

"I think there are other people that will lose more, for instance the Renault or Mercedes teams which are completely relying on that technique."

"Surely it will hit everyone as we all rely on it in terms of performance. It does make us quicker, and if you ban it it will slow us down. But I think, compared to others, we won't be at a disadvantage."

The technique was started by Red Bull's engine supplier Renault in the middle of last year, and the sport's pace-setting team is believed to be the most advanced in its exploitation of the technology. It is then Red Bull who are thought to be the team that stands to lose the most.

The question Why Is Red Bull So Fast In Qualifying Compared To Race?? seems to back up the claim of Red Bull standing to loose the most as the "hot blown diffuser" concept is most aggressively used during qualifying. To use the technique in the race to such an extent cancels itself out because of the greater fuel load needed.

Well what we can be sure of is who it will affect the least as Sauber, Toro Rosso, Williams, Virgin and Hispania aren't using a "hot-blown blown diffuser".

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