Newey furious with exhaust restrictions
(GMM) An off-the-record Adrian Newey, designer of this year’s dominant Red Bull RB7, was furious on Thursday as the big topic in Valencia was the FIA’s mid-season clampdown on blown exhausts.
When talking about the impact on Red Bull, Newey’s private conversation to Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio was off the record. “Too bad I can’t write what he said. Nor use the tone of his comments,” said the O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent.
Team boss Christian Horner added: “Directly, the FIA’s decision was based on a technicality. Indirectly, you should ask the FIA.”
The ban that takes effect this weekend applies to the aggressive engine mapping settings that some teams, notably Red Bull, have been using in qualifying before reverting a race mode.
Red Bull’s engine supplier Renault admits it is worried.
“If Saturday is 30 degrees and Sunday is 15, the temperature difference requires a very different operation of the engine,” said Renault Sport F1′s Brazilian engineer Ricardo Penteado.
“So (the ban means there could be) a high risk of damage to the engine. We have explained it to the (FIA) officials and they said we will only be allowed to intervene with their consideration.”
“I’m not really a friend of rule changes during a season,” agreed Michael Schumacher, whose Mercedes team as well as Renault and Red Bull are tipped to be the biggest losers of the clampdown that takes effect across this weekend and also the British grand prix in two weeks.
“I don’t know or understand all the background,” added the seven time world champion, indicating the FIA decision has a political flavor.
Schumacher predicted the clampdown will affect all the top teams but is a “big blow” to runaway championship leaders Red Bull, the pioneers of the technology.
Eric Boullier, Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov were also outspoken about the fact the ban is taking place right in the middle of the 2011 season, because the Renault R31 is built entirely around the innovative concept of its front-exiting exhausts.
Red Bull designer Newey predicted: “Renault is going to feel it because their entire exhaust concept is based on having the exhaust gases (flowing) all the time.”
The RB7 has so far won five wins and two runner-up finishes in the seven races so far helping Sebastian Vettel to 161 points, 60 points more than his closest rival in the drivers standings.
Red Bull have 255 points in the constructors table compared to their closest