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The implications for Red Bull

NEWS STORY
22/07/2012

Mat Coch writes:

Red Bull is currently pleading its case with the FIA in regards to off-throttle engine blowing. A note distributed by the FIA earlier this morning stated that both Red Bull cars had been referred to the stewards for a breach of Article 5.5.3 of the Technical Regulations.

It is believed that the Red Bull drivers experience different responses on the throttle at different parts of the circuit. On some they plant their foot and receive the full force of the engine where in others it's understood it is reduced, a practice which is entirely consistent with exhaust blowing.

The timing of the note is interesting. It's unlikely the cars would have run the engine map only in qualifying, suggesting the FIA probably had some inkling about the issue before. That a note was distributed so widely on Sunday further suggests that perhaps the governing body lost patience with the Milton Keynes squad.

The question now is what, if any, punishment will be handed out. The FIA's note is a damning recommendation, one which suggests the governing body is confident in its statements regarding the Red Bull engine map. The team faces a tough job pleading its case to convince the FIA that the cars are in fact legal.

Should the team be found guilty stewards have total discretion in terms of the punishment it chooses to hand down. Any changes to the cars to make them 'legal' would mandate that both cars start the race from the pit lane, as does any technical change to the cars.

However stewards could simply allow them to start from the rear of the grid, if they choose to let them start the race at all - exclusion from the event is a possibility.

For the moment Red Bull is not making any comment, though it will have to break its silence soon as the clock ticks down towards race time.

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