• British Grand Prix

Teams fall short of exhaust agreement

ESPNF1 Staff
July 10, 2011 « Engine performance turned down for reliability - Renault | »
Ferrari and Sauber do not want to change back to Valencia levels © Sutton Images

Formula One teams have still not reached an agreement on exhaust regulations for the rest of the season after a lengthily meeting on Sunday morning at Silverstone.

The heads of the teams' technical departments met for 45 minutes to try to put an end to the row that has overshadowed much of the on-track action at this weekend's British Grand Prix. However, a unanimous agreement could not be reached as Ferrari and Sauber (which is powered by Ferrari) are not yet ready to agree with the other teams to a return to the regulations used at the last grand prix.

The issue centres on the use of exhaust gases to improve the performance of the diffuser, a concept that the FIA has banned for this weekend. Due to the complexity of the issue and the different ways in which each engine works, a fair and equitable ban has been difficult to achieve. As a result the FIA said on Saturday it was willing to return to the rules to Valencia levels if the teams could all agree.

"We haven't quite reached an agreement, but it seems to me perilously close to doing something sensible that means we can just get on with the motor racing," McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe told ESPNF1.

On Saturday Renault team principal Eric Boullier said F1 needed to find a solution for the good of the sport and Lowe agrees.

"None of this mess has been good for anybody or suits anybody," he said. "So even going back to Valencia [levels] doesn't suit ... it represents pain to some degree for everybody. But it's the only solution that is arguably fair, because it's where we were when we arrived at that set of performances by a free-market development. We all know we can run it because we have all been there."

The cars will race with off-throttle restrictions at the British Grand Prix, as was agreed on Saturday, and will have to meet again before the German Grand Prix if the rules are to change back.