Innovative exhaust layout is F1's new equivalent of the double-diffuser saga, according to Ross Brawn.
The Mercedes team boss, referring to the controversial diffuser designs of 2009 and 2010 that have now been banned, said he thinks the emergence of clever exhaust layouts could become a huge performance differentiator in F1.
"This is an important area," he is quoted by French language autohebdo.fr, "and maybe even more significant than the double diffusers in terms of performance."
The front-exiting exhaust exits on the new Renault surprised the F1 world when the R31 was launched, and Brawn said teams are also "working with their engine partners to make the most of the exhaust energy".
"This is an interesting new development," admitted the Briton.
The nature of F1 is that the interpretation of the regulations is a challenge for the engineers
"The nature of F1 is that the interpretation of the regulations is a challenge for the engineers.
"It is very rare for people in F1 to cheat, but what engineers do is push the limits of what they are allowed to do."
Brawn said that while the double diffusers did push the bounds of the regulations, the new blown exhaust era is slightly different.
"I think it's a great idea, and I don't think it poses a regulatory problem so I don't see why it should be controversial," he explained.