FIA have written to all F1 teams issuing them a warning about rule clampdown

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain

The FIA have informed all teams of a new clampdown on engine modes that increase exhaust flow in corners.

Engine modes labelled ‘Trick’ have caught the attention of the FIA again as Renault came under fire before the season opener in Melbourne following a blown rear wing.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari also came into questioning as photographers noticed a new addition on his car in the opening races - a mysterious third paddle had appeared on the German’s steering wheel.

It has been suggested that Scuderia had been altering the car’s settings to produce a performance boost.

In an article with ‘PlanetF1’ Nikolas Tombazis, FIA’s head of single seater technical matters, addressed the governing body’s stance as they plan to deal with each case individually.

“We do not accept that engine modes specifically designed to increase the exhaust flow in corners are permissible. Such (not permissible) engine modes can be either specific to a compressor-turbine by-pass system, or to flow passing through the cylinders,” wrote Tombazis.

“To be permissible, such flows should be the result of settings that genuinely increase the performance or reliability of the power unit, and not contrived to increase the exhaust flow.”

Tombazis continued: “Notwithstanding the above point, we do not feel that it is practical or easy to write a catch-all rule that achieves this aim in a perfect way.

“For this purpose, we intend to control the usage of engine modes on a case-by- case basis and provide the necessary requests to the teams in order to stay within the acceptable limits with regard to [the above] point.


“While this is clearly not perfectly satisfactory, we feel it is the best possible way to handle the situation for 2018, especially as the effects are not large in any case.”

The FIA are keen to address the issue by acting on the exhaust position for next year, which was discussed at the last Technical Working Group meeting.

“For 2019, we intend to overcome this issue by acting on the exhaust position,” Tombazis added. “This matter was discussed in the last TWG, but we do not feel that a sufficient solution was found.

“Hence, we intend to have a discussion on this topic in the next TWG, with the aim to achieve an exhaust position that clearly prevents any direct aerodynamic gain, thus eliminating the need for checks on engine modes.”

Vettel and Team Ferrari currently lead the F1 standings, with British rival and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton trailing in second, nine points adrift of the top.

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