• Chinese Grand Prix - FP2

Vettel to stick with old exhaust

ESPNF1 Staff
April 13, 2012 « Raikkonen eyes strong race despite Friday struggle | Hamilton 'not happy' with FP3 changes »
Sebastian Vettel prefers the older exhaust solution to the current one that Mark Webber will run © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel will continue to run the older specification exhaust layout and bodywork that he tested on Friday for the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

Having struggled with the RB8 since it was updated at the end of the final pre-season test, Vettel had reverted to the launch specification bodywork for Friday practice at Shanghai to evaluate the difference between the two. Following the end of FP2 Adrian Newey confirmed that Vettel had chosen to continue with the car in its older form.

"For this weekend, yes," Newey confirmed to Sky Sports when asked if Vettel would stick with the changes. "Not necessarily for future weekends but it's something he's happy with; it's kind of a driver style thing to some extent."

Newey explained that the newer exhaust system was a result of Red Bull's previous solution being banned by the FIA towards the end of last year, but that the system Vettel had reverted to was fully legal.

"This weekend we're evaluating some further evolutions on the bodywork with Mark's car. Seb's car we've actually put back to the launch bodywork. We just wanted to re-evaluate the changes between what we launched with and what we introduced at the last test. The last test was always a planned thing; we had a regulation clarification at the beginning of November which banned the route that we had been developing the exhausts so we decided to launch the car with a kind of legalised version of what we had been working on up to that November date. And then from November we started developing the solution that we saw at the last test and carried in to the first two races."

While the changes are in response to McLaren's dominant start, Newey refused to concede that Red Bull would struggle to catch up this season.

"Our attitude is always to do the best we can and see where we get to. There's not much else we can do. We're early in the season, McLaren has obviously got very good pace but there's a long way to go still."