Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Blown diffusers - So what exactly is being banned?

The Formula 1 teams have been on notice for a few weeks that the practice of "hot blowing" and "cold blowing" exhaust through the diffusers is to b...

Blown diffusers - So what exactly is being banned?

The Formula 1 teams have been on notice for a few weeks that the practice of "hot blowing" and "cold blowing" exhaust through the diffusers is to be banned and yesterday the FIA confirmed that this would take effect from Silverstone onwards.

Meanwhile the whole concept of blown diffusers will be banned in 2012 as new rules will insist that the exhausts exit out of the back of the car, as in the past.

The Technical Working Group, which consists of the FIA's Charlie Whiting and engineers from all the teams, will meet this week to decide exactly how to frame the wording of the ban so it is policeable.

But what exactly is "hot and cold blowing" and what is being banned here?

Cold blowing - When the driver lifts off the throttle pedal the engine throttles go to 100% and it cuts all the fuel to the spark, so there is no drive from the engine but all the air is flowing through the engine to give about 75% of the exhaust pressure you get on the power. Everyone has been doing this for the last 12 months.

Hot blowing - For the last two or three months this practice has come in. In hot blowing they start to inject some fuel and put a spark into the engine to increase the energy into the gas. So they end up with more downforce. To do that they have to retard the ignition and kill the torque, because if you don't then the engine is going to create torque and the engine is going to keep going when the driver lifts off the throttle.

The performance gain is around half a second to one second per lap. But this drives fuel consumption up by around 15% and is very hard on engines, so it means costly reliability programmes. This is not the way the FIA wants the sport to go.

The question everyone wants to know is, will this slow the Red Bulls down relative to the opposition?

Renault, Red Bull's engine supplier, has been working on this technology for longer than the others, but Ferrari and Mercedes are very active in this area too. The majority of Red Bull's advantage is the power of its DRS wing, which can be used in fast corners and gives it a couple of tenths of a second in qualifying over McLaren in particular and also Ferrari. In the race this advantage goes because the DRS can only be used on a straight and when following another car. Hence why the races are much closer than qualifying.

Hot blowing is something Cosworth haven't been engaged in, so teams like Williams can only do cold blowing.

Fans at Silverstone, who have already attended a race this season, will notice the absence of the distinctive crackle sound when the driver lifts off the throttle.

The FIA's memo to the teams, issued on Saturday in Montreal, makes it clear that the reason for the move is that the direction these devices are taking the sport is completely opposite to what the federation is trying to achieve.

The memo says, "The financial, technical and human resources required to support such developments, as well as the impact on engine reliability and on fuel consumption are totally contrary to the objectives pursued by the FIA, the teams and the engine manufacturers."

For next year exhausts will go back to looking conventional, they will have to extend to between 330-350mm beyond the rear wheel centre line, be situated in the area between the bottom of the rear wing and the top of the diffuser and have to be circular, with a vertical cut-off.

shares
comments
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Tags innovation
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Prime

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

Formula 1
Apr 22, 2021
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021 Prime

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for 2021

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021