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McLaren unsure of Red Bull engine map effect

ESPN Staff
July 25, 2012 « McLaren 'right back in the hunt' - Button | McLaren expects tough development race »
The Red Bull came under scrutiny on Sunday morning at Hockenheim © Sutton Images

McLaren's managing director Jonathan Neale says that the team doesn't know how effective Red Bull's engine map is after admitting the FIA's reaction in Germany was "unusual".

Red Bull's cars were brought before the stewards ahead of the race on Sunday after the technical delegate Jo Bauer believed an engine map contravened the regulations. His issues were outlined in an FIA press release, but Neale said that he was unsure what had caused such a reaction.

When asked what the effect would be on Red Bull if the map was outlawed Neale told a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in: "The honest answer is I really don't know.

"None of us really know what it is that antagonised the FIA so much to provoke Jo Bauer in to issuing the note that he did on Sunday morning. It was quite an unusual step, but I don't think the FIA would have referred it to the stewards if they didn't have very serious concerns.

"I've read the press like you have and there are lots of allusions to the fact that there might be some action taken to outlaw it but I haven't seen that, and it's really not for us to know. It's impossible for us to tell exactly what the Renault engine is doing in the Red Bull and therefore how much advantage they get from it on their car as an integrated performance package."

Neale also said that he didn't want to see a repeat of 2011 when off-throttle blown diffusers were banned and then consequently allowed at the following race.

"I know we're not the only ones on the grid who are looking at it very carefully. I think we've all worked really hard through the first six months of this year to work with the FIA and with Charlie to be really clear about what's acceptable and what isn't. And I pledge that support to Charlie Whiting and the FIA. I think they've got a very difficult job there; they did a good job early on.

"I hope that we don't get in to lots of rewriting of the exhaust regulations for the season as we did last year because that provided a reasonable amount of upset and difficulty no matter how entertaining it was for the press at Silverstone last year. In terms of us - the teams - and the sport, I think consistency in regulation is good. I think we just need to put a lot more effort in to enforcing those regulations rather than continually rewriting."