Teams settle exhaust row


Following a day (weekend?) of urgent negotiation all twelve teams have finally agreed to return the rules relating to blown exhaust gases back to their pre-Valencia status.

As previously reported, at this morning's meeting of the team bosses, while ten of the teams reached agreement Ferrari and Sauber did not, meaning that the ban imposed this weekend - and in force for today's race - would remain in place in Germany and most likely for the remainder of the season.

The situation became more confused following comments made by Bernie Ecclestone and Red Bull boss Christian Horner minutes before the start of the race. While the F1 supremo said the situation had been resolved, Horner insisted that one team was still holding out, though he refused to reveal the outfit's identity.

Whilst Ecclestone and Horner were talking to the media on the grid, Stefano Domenicali was meeting with Martin Whitmarsh, the Italian finally relenting after being told that Sauber would 'go with the flow' if there was only one team standing in the way of the majority of the teams reaching agreement.

"This was not really good for anyone," Domenicali subsequently told reporters as his team celebrated a momentous victory at the same circuit it scored its first world championship win sixty years ago. "We need to draw a line and look ahead or else where are we going?

"I don't agree with the process that was taken," he admitted, "but I think for the benefit of the sport, we took that action."

At the end of a weekend in which the row - described as a shambles by Lotus boss Tony Fernandes - threatened to overshadow the race, if not the second half of the season, Horner expressed his sympathy for the man at its centre, FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting.

"One has to have sympathy for Charlie trying to pick his way through all of this," he told reporters. "It's impossible to have equivalence because someone is always going to feel aggrieved, so the maps go in before qualifying. Two teams just wanted to take a little time to think about it."

Consequently, while the ban on changing engine mapping between qualifying and the race remains in place, the ban on off-throttle exhaust blowing is lifted, though this has yet to be officially rubber stamped by the FIA.

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Published: 10/07/2011
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