• Rule changes

Valencia clampdown on engine maps

ESPNF1 Staff
June 21, 2011 « Pirelli makes compound change | »
The way diffusers are exploited is constantly being analysed by the FIA © Sutton Images

The FIA has written to the teams informing them that they will not be allowed to change engine map settings between qualifying and the race from this weekend's European Grand Prix.

With the ban on off-throttle diffuser blowing coming in to force from the British Grand Prix, the latest clampdown is a further attempt to prevent teams from wasting fuel by maximising performance in qualifying that can't be sustained in the race. As a result, the FIA has written to all of the teams officially informing them that there can be no changes to the engine mapping made between qualifying and the race, with the ruling being implemented with immediate effect.

Engine maps are used like a power boost in qualifying, with teams maximising the pressures from the engine that go through the blown diffuser and generate downforce. This in turn increases the temperatures that the floor of the car is subject to, and needs to be reduced in race trim in order to prevent reliability issues and save fuel.

While the potential impact on pace-setters Red Bull will be closely scrutinised in Valencia, it is expected that the ruling will just reduce the performance of the whole grid in qualifying. Theoretically teams who can run closer to the qualifying map in the race could benefit slightly on Saturday, but there is likely to be little or no effect on race pace.