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Whiting: No issues with exhausts

NEWS STORY
15/03/2012

While the usual suspects suggest that F1 is on the verge of a major row over the legality of certain teams exhausts, the FIA's Charlie Whiting insists that there are no issues.

Introduced to stop the phenomenon of the off-throttle blown diffuser, this year's F1 technical regulations specify geometry for the exit of exhausts from the bodywork. Despite the stringency of the new specification, concern has been voiced that some teams are still using exhaust gasses for aerodynamic benefit. However, talking to the media in Melbourne, Whiting dismissed the idea, saying he has no problem with how any 2012 team has met the new regulation.

"There has been a little bit of discussion in general, and most of that discussion centres on different interpretations of the new regulations," he said. "As you know last year there was a very simple regulation, which just required that each car had no more than two exhaust exits. This year there's a whole page on it and it's designed specifically to ensure any aerodynamic effect from the exhaust is incidental to its primary purpose.

"Obviously engineers have had different interpretations on that. All of the systems we've seen so far comply with the extensive new regulations so our position is simple: we are not in a position to be able to say exactly how much aerodynamic influence each individual system has. The aim of the new regulation was to ensure that we don't have to do that. We have no idea how much aerodynamic influence each individual system has, nor really at this point is it anything that interests us. As long as they comply with the rules, we are happy. And as far as we've seen so far, they all do comply with the rules."

While exhaust flow has long been used to gain some aerodynamic benefit, the off-throttle blown diffuser breached article 3.15 of the technical regulations with regard to the section governing driver movement being used to alter the aerodynamic characteristics of the car. Simply banning the practice via changes to the ECU proved difficult to introduce given the requirements of certain current engines to use these characteristics for legitimate purposes also.

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