Exhaust-blown diffuser will be banned

The FIA has confirmed that it will ban the off-throttle use of blown diffusers from the British Grand Prix onwards, with the details of the ban being agreed to by the sport’s technical chiefs in the Technical Working Group yesterday.

While no official statement has yet been revealed, reports claim that the FIA has pushed through with its Silverstone deadline, having originally agreed to delaying the ban it had wanted to implement at the Spanish Grand Prix. After protests from many teams that the original deadline would prove too difficult by which to implement the changes to their cars, the FIA agreed to extend the deadline to the British Grand Prix.

The rule effectively means that teams will be limited to just 10% of engine overrun when the driver is not applying the throttle, which will prevent teams from being able to map their engines to pump exhaust gases through the diffuser when the driver is off-throttle.

From 2012, the teams and the FIA have agreed that any form of ‘exhaust-blown diffuser’ will be banned, and teams will design their 2012 cars with top-exiting exhausts, as was common in the sport a few years ago.

The changes are expected to deliver a shake-up to the performance of all the teams currently running the device – effectively every team except for Virgin Racing, which had planned to launch its own ‘blown diffuser’ at the British Grand Prix. Just how much this will shake up the competition is unclear, however.

Next weekend’s European Grand Prix at Valencia will be the last race where teams can run under the current exhaust-blown diffuser rules.

[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.