Red Bull under investigation use of an illegal engine map? UPDATE German Grand Prix race stewards have decided to take no further action against Red Bull over torque map irregularities. The stewards stated that, while they did not accept all of Red Bull's arguments, there was no infringement of Article 5.5.3 of the technical regulations.
This means that Sebastian Vettel will be allowed to line up second on the grid for the race, with teammate Mark Webber eighth after a gearbox change.
The statement from the stewards read as follows: "The stewards received a report from the FIA technical delegate, along with specific ECU data from Red Bull Racing cars #1 and #2. The Stewards met with the team representatives and the representative of the engine supplier Renault.
"While the stewards do not accept all the arguments of the team, they however conclude that as the regulation is written, the map presented does not breach the text of Art 5.5.3 of the Formula 1 Technical Regulations and therefore decided to take no action."
The equivocal wording of the stewards' statement suggests that Red Bull might be not entirely within the spirit of the regulations. If the FIA is unhappy with what Red Bull is doing with its engine mapping, it is possible that there could be a rules clarification at a later date closing any potential loophole.
07/22/12 Controversy again surrounds Red Bull's car, this time at the German Grand Prix, where the FIA is investigating the alleged use of an illegal engine map.
|Red Bull under investigation|
According to a statement released by the governing body's Technical Delegate Jo Bauer, the map gives the RB8 an aerodynamic gain via the blown diffuser effect.
Furthermore, the governing body has suggested the team's Renault engines are delivering less torque than has been seen at other races. This could have the effect of improving traction.
Bauer's technical report read: "Having examined the engine base torque map of car numbers 01 and 02 it became apparent that the maximum torque output of both engines is significantly less in the mid rpm range than previously seen for these engines at other Events.
"In my opinion this is therefore in breach of Article 5.5.3 of the 2012 Formula One Technical Regulations as the engines are able to deliver more torque at a given engine speed in the mid rpm range.
"Furthermore this new torque map will artificially alter the aerodynamic characteristics of both cars which is also in contravention of TD 036-11."
Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel respectively romped to their second straight world titles last season when the team led the way in the off-throttle use of blown diffusers.
That usage was clamped down upon at the end of 2011 - together with the engine maps that helped make it possible.
Article 5.5.3 of the 2012 Technical Regulations states: "The minimum and maximum accelerator pedal travel positions must correspond to the minimum and maximum available torque with the currently selected power unit torque map."
With FIA stewards investigating the matter, it raises the possibility that Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber, who start second and eighth respectively on the grid for Sunday's race, could race under the threat of protest from at least one of their rivals.
A spokesperson for Red Bull refused to comment. Sky Sports