Formula 1’s technical directors have met overnight to discuss the latest controversy in the sport: that Red Bull Racing’s questionable use of engine mapping, which was the headline story just hours before last weekend’s German Grand Prix got underway.
The team was reported by the FIA’s technical delegate Jo Bauer, who noted that the team had adopted an engine map that provided it with better mid-RPM engine torque and an aerodynamic advantage through its use. It is understood that this particular style of engine mapping gave the team’s RB8 challengers an effect similar to what a traction control device would bring. Traction control had been outlawed in the sport’s technical regulations.
The issue was investigated by the FIA Stewards of the meeting – which included former F1 driver Derek Warwick on its roster – who ultimately ruled that it could not penalise the team, even if it did not “accept all the arguments” offered by Red Bull Racing as to the use of this particular mapping setting.
By inference, while the team may have adhered to the precise wording of the technical regulations – which will themselves no doubt undergo further review following this controversy – it did not demonstrate adherence to the ‘spirit’ of the regulations.
The team earned itself few popularity points over the weekend, and Peter Sauber was one of a handful of team representatives prepared to go on the record with his frustration over the FIA’s handling of the incident.
“This must be stopped,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport. “Otherwise all that happens is a lot of money is thrown out of the window.
“And that is clearly what the FIA wanted to avoid with the new rules,” he added.
The outcomes of the Technical Working Group meeting will no doubt be made public in the coming days.