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GP Week : Issue 148
The 2012 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix It’s the event everyone’s been waiting for. Don’t miss the biggest celebration of the year at the Bahrain International Circuit. It’s the passion that races throughout the nation. 20-21-22 APRIL 2012 TICKETS: +973 17 450000 / BAHRAINGP.COM Writing F1 regulations is like painting the Forth Bridge – as soon as you think you’ve finished, you have to begin all over again. What the FIA bans in their Technical Regulations, the teams circumvent by finding new ways of getting the same effect. Or as much of that effect as possible. Where the last few years of racing have been dominated by variations on the exhaust-blown diffuser, the FIA this year changed the rules governing the layout of a car’s exhaust system in order to prevent teams from blowing hot exhaust gases over a car’s rear bodywork to maximise downforce. The rule change has been moderately successful, but FIA race director Charlie Whiting thinks there are still some changes to be made before gains from exhaust gases are brought back under control. In the latest issue of InMotion, the FIA’s in-house magazine, Whiting said the rules on exhaust system layout would probably need to be revised. “I suspect we'll have to have another go at it in 2013,” he said. But speaking to the media in Australia, before any real running had taken place, Whiting was confident that the exhaust systems on show all complied with the new regulations. “As you know, last year there was a very simple regulation, which simply required that each car had no more than two exhaust exits,” he said. “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. “We are not in a position to be able to say exactly how much aerodynamic influence each individual system has. Hence, it’s impossible for us to say: ‘that’s too much, or that’s OK.’ 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.” EXHAUST RULES LIKELY TO CHANGE AGAIN IN 2013... 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS