FIA restrict blown diffusers, and then back down again

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Formula One's regulating body, the FIA has moved to restrict the recent push of Formula One teams to burn fuel and push gases through the engine in order to gain downforce. Nearly all teams are using the system, with Red Bull reportedly having a very efficient implementation.

'Autosport' have learned from reliable sources that the FIA has sent a letter to F1 teams that it will reduce the importance of blown diffusers towards aerodynamic efficiency.

Widely considered as one of the most important areas of focus to gain performance throughout this year, teams have been busy to tune their engine mappings in an attempt to have a constant blow of gases through the exhausts and onto the diffusers. As such, it energises the diffuser and provides additional downforce, even under braking.

It is believed that Red Bull has perfected the system, but Lotus Renault, also running the same Renault engines have also tuned their engine mappings to make its forward exhausts working. While some teams were reportedly running 100% flow, even under braking, the new FIA specification is said to limit that flow to just 10%, greatly reducing downforce when the driver is not on the throttle.

Mercedes GP principal Ross Brawn already commented that all teams are currently using the system, and as such a change of the related regulations will effect all front running teams, if not all.

Rumours existed that the FIA was looking into a restriction as of next year, but the move up to the Spanish GP surprises everyone and might see performance levels change considerably in just 3 days.

UPDATE: It has emerged that the FIA has backed out of the new regulation specification and will leave the rules as they are. At least for now, as the FIA is believed to put this on the agenda to be able to lock down engine throttling for downforce as soon as they can, without disadvantaging or benefiting some of the competitors.