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Louder F1 engines, but which team will find a performance gain from extra exhaust?

Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe has said that he is confident F1 fans will appreciate the louder F1 engines this season, thanks to a specific r...

Louder F1 engines, but which team will find a performance gain from extra exhaust?
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Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe has said that he is confident F1 fans will appreciate the louder F1 engines this season, thanks to a specific regulation change allowing a second exhaust pipe.

But F1 teams are all looking at each other, as we count down to the new car launches, to see whether any of them has managed to turn the regulation to their advantage and get a performance gain from the second pipe.

In response to widespread complaints from fans and promoters since their introduction in 2014, that the hybrid turbo engines are too quiet and not exciting enough, the teams and rule makers came up with a solution for 2016 whereby a second exhaust pipe was introduced, the idea being to boost the sound without introducing a major drop in efficiency.

Instead of the single pipe used in 2014 and 2015, teams must now use separate exhaust pipes for the wastegate, rather than a combined one for turbine and wastegate as before. The rules allow for the possibility of using a twinpipe for the wastegate, but in that scenario the secondary pipe exit must not be more than 100mm from the main pipe.

F1 exhaust pipe

The teams have been working on it for several months, since the new rule was specified, but F1 teams are famous for going beyond mere adoption of regulations, to look for ways in which a new regulation around the wastegate could provide a performance benefit for some kind.

Exhaust blowing into the diffuser was banned with the advent of these hybrid engines, but there have been some indiscretions that manufacturers and teams are looking at a way to re-introduce some blowing into the rear aerodynamic surfaces, as there is no specific guideline about the positioning of this second pipe, unlike the previous single pipe which had to be out of reach for blowing onto the rear aerodynamics.

F1 exhaust

"We'll see how much louder, but some measurements have been made in the labs and they have seen a significant increase," Lowe said.

"The reason for that is the wastegate was causing a sort of silencing of the main exhaust pipe, so by removing it from the main exhaust pipe we have less silencing going on of the main flow.

"In the last two years we have had a situation where the main exhaust goes through one tailpipe, [and] we have a wastegate to spill out extra pressure from the exhaust. We now have to duct that air separately through an extra tailpipe, and this is intended to make more noise. It will work."

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