McLaren: No fear over 2012 exhaust rule

Date published: October 27 2011

McLaren tech director Paddy Lowe insists his team is not worried about next year’s ban on blown diffusers exhausts…

McLaren tech director Paddy Lowe insists his team is not worried about next year’s ban on blown diffusers exhausts.

The device, which utilises exhaust gases to enhance performance, will be banned for next year’s Championship, however, there are some concerns that teams could exploit loopholes in the regulations.

“I don’t think it is 100 percent sorted unfortunately, and there is another meeting of the TWG,” Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn recently told Autosport.

“I think everyone, as they get more and more into it, are trying to close off the loopholes, but there is no guarantee that somebody will not come up with some scheme.”

Lowe, though, doesn’t share Brawn’s concerns, saying teams will “of course” always find a way to use their exhausts to improve performance – it’s just a race to see who can do it better within the new regulations.

“I’m not in fear over it,” he said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-in. “I don’t quite understand when technical directors say they fear stuff like that. What is their fear of?

“The clue’s in the name – Formula One. It’s a formula – a set of constraints – that we define in the regulations. And once they’re set we’ll go and work as hard as we can to do as much as we can to make the car quick within those limitations.

“We had a bit of a crisis in Silverstone this year with the exhaust blowing situation and reached some agreement in terms of intent next year.

“The teams have since worked on a range of limits to reduce the amount at which exhausts can be used to create downforce, but it’s never been expected that it would eliminate the effect of exhausts on downforce.

“That would be unrealistic. No regulation we’ve ever written has eliminated an in-car effect. There will be a finite effect.

“The simple point is that pointing an exhaust out the back will give you a large degree of thrust. That is an aerodynamic fact, but we all know that we can get a lot more than that. And the teams went into that with eyes wide open.

“So I do find it a bit odd when people claim that they fear that people will generate performance from exhausts. Well of course they will. That’s what we have to do.

“It’s just that some very extreme limits have been put in place to reduce that drastically from where it was.”