Rival teams are already gearing up to respond to Renault’s innovative exhaust system, The exhaust exit points for the Renault R31 are on the car's sidepods with the to-be-launched McLaren rumoured to be equipped with its own iteration of the design concept.

The R31 features a unique engine exhaust layout, with the exit points being at the bottom of the car’s sidepods as opposed to the more conventional rearwards position on a Formula 1 car.

The solution generates more downforce by channelling air flow to the (now mandatory) single-level rear diffuser.

“The MP4-26 apparently has the same trick,” reports Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, referring to McLaren’s (as yet) untested challenger, which is set to be launched on Friday in Berlin.

And it would seem that other teams might look to follow with the ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” mentality, by copying the design of the exhaust layout.

“Renault’s thinking is in the right direction,” said Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn. “We are working on a similar solution.”

“Having a stroke of genius is fairly difficult, but should the competition come up with something, we will respond,” added Red Bull’s technical boss Adrian Newey.

Rival teams were caught on the hop last season when McLaren launched its radical ‘F-duct’ late in pre-season testing, and rival teams battled to install their own versions of the device because the basic F1 chassis had to be homologated at the start of the season.

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.