Engineers speak out on Silverstone rule change

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Leading Formula One engineers have spoken out about the influence of hot blown diffusers, and how their teams have had to adopt their cars for the upcoming rule change. At today's fan forum, James Allison declared teams could easily lose 4 tenths with the ban.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Race Engineering, Red Bull Racing:
"It affects how we operate the engine. Your first step in addressing this is to ensure your engine complies with the latest interpretation of the rules, which is a reasonable chunk of work in itself. Assuming you accomplish that, you can have a look at the effect on your car and all the cars will be affected differently. The first thing we'll look at is what's the loss of downforce and how does that affect the balance of the car around the lap? We can at least tailor our investigations to suit Silverstone. You do your utmost to identify the deficiencies it will give you and concentrate your efforts on how you‟re going to get back what you've just lost. I'm sure these guys have been as busy as we have and on Sunday afternoon we‟ll see who‟s been the most successful at achieving it. I don't think it will particularly change tyre degradation and I don‟t think it's necessarily going to be the magnitude of change that‟s being forecast in some areas. As long as we‟re still on top, I don't mind!

James Allison, Technical Director, Lotus Renault GP: "We're all a bit coy with one another about the power of these devices. It will vary from team-to-team. I won‟t give you our number, but I‟ll give you a sense of it: if you imagine they‟re worth 0.8s compared with having no blown diffuser. We're now going down to about half of the previous authority of it. You've still got plenty of blowing going on because you've still got an engine running and that exhaust is still going right into your floor. We‟re not able to optimise the use of the engine to make it also efficient as a pump when we‟re on partial throttle. That‟s the new interpretation that‟s being applied."

Paddy Lowe, Technical Director, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes: "For next year the teams have all agreed to a change in regulation on the geometry of the tailpipes. They will go back towards the high level exits that we had a year or two ago. Generally the teams are finding this change mid-season not the best way of solving the problem. Also, the problem is a little bit difficult to understand because teams have been blowing exhausts through diffusers for 20 years, so the timing of the rule interpretation does seem a bit strange. But we all have to react to it and we'll see where we turn out at Silverstone."