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Coughlan defends exhaust solution

ESPN Staff
February 19, 2013 « Live Barcelona testing | More to come as circuit improves - Vettel »
The Williams exhaust features a gap between the two pieces above the exhaust exit © Sutton Images

Williams technical director Mike Coughlan insists the Williams exhaust solution is legal after the team launched the new FW35.

Caterham's Coanda-effect exhausts had a turning vane above the exhaust exit at the first test in Jerez which had its legality questioned and was subsequently removed, though cars don't have to pass scrutineering during tests. Williams, however, revealed the FW35 on Tuesday morning with a two-part cover above the exhaust exit and Coughlan insisted it was a legal interpretation of the regulations.

"I know the fuss about the Caterham one, for me the Caterham one is clearly not allowed," Coughlan said. "But ours is OK, because if you look at ours it's actually not a single piece it's two pieces. The rule is an aperture size, and ours is an aperture size; ours is one aperture because it's joined by a small piece in the middle.

"You're governed by total aperture size, but singular aperture, and ours is a single aperture joined by a very small slot. So it's actually two pieces, if you look closely you'll see."

As a result of not connecting the two pieces of bodywork over the exhaust exit, the Williams complies with Article 3.8.5 of the FIA's technical regulations which states that: 'Single apertures either side of the car centre line [are permitted] for the purpose of exhaust exits. These apertures may have a combined area of no more than 50,000mm2 when projected onto the surface itself. No point on an aperture may be more than 350mm from any other point on the aperture.'