• British Grand Prix

Red Bull accepts performance hit ahead of qualifying

ESPNF1 Staff
July 9, 2011 « New exhaust clarification to hurt Red Bull | »

Red Bull has accepted the FIA's decision to limit its exhaust blowing for the British Grand Prix this weekend, but is planning to challenge it at the upcoming races.

As a result it will run its engine on the same map that it used in FP3, which will limit both aerodynamic and engine performance. The decision was made during an extraordinary meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) involving FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting and the team principals that took place just over an hour ahead of qualifying.

On leaving the meeting, team principal Christian Horner admitted that Red Bull had sacrificed some performance to come to an agreement with the FIA.

"It is in nobody's interest to have the lack of clarity that currently exists," Horner told BBC Sport. "Charlie made an offer and Red Bull has also offered a concession this weekend to run as we are."

He added: "At the moment, in our opinion, we are running at a disadvantage compared to some of the other engine manufacturers. But we're trying to find a solution which is clear, moving forward to put this behind us."

Adrian Newey told ESPNF1 that the pre-qualifying meeting was not the end of the issue.

"It's an ongoing meeting," he said. "It was very useful with a frank exchange of views and hopefully it will lead to a resolution of the problems in the coming races."

He added: "This is about the medium and long-term, I don't really want to discuss the short-term."

The ban had been known about for some time but flared up on Friday when a heated exchange between Horner and McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh revealed that the FIA had made concessions to the engine manufacturers. Rather than limit the opening of the throttles to 10% when the driver is off the accelerator as originally planned, it emerged that Renault engines - as used by Red Bull - were running at 50%. Meanwhile, Mercedes, which powers McLaren, had agreed with the FIA before the grand prix weekend that it would still be allowed to inject fuel through its combustion chambers.

Both concessions were at odds with the idea of banning off-throttle blown diffusers, but were allowed on grounds of reliability. On Saturday, however, the FIA withdrew the concession it made for Renault, sparking the extraordinary TWG meeting.

The rules are now set for the rest of the weekend, but the issue will be debated again ahead of the German Grand Prix in two weeks.