The Ferrari picture was muddied by an
extensive and effective aerodynamic
upgrade that gave it enough downforce to
get heat into the hard tires for the first
extreme and more effective off-throttle
blowing map for qualifying. That belief
would certainly have provided a motive
to the opposition for trying to have the
whole thing switched off.
Except Red Bull wasn’t even using
hot-blowing! No one believed this before
Silverstone, but they do now. RBR has a
somewhat unreliable KERS system that
isn’t used until Q3 and then only sparingly
in the race. It also has an aerodynamic
profile that makes it less sensitive to the
higher ride heights of qualifying when
the cars are near-empty of fuel.
So, in the brief window that Silverstone
provided – showing limited off-throttle
blowing (fueling off-throttle from only
four cylinders and a maximum throttle
opening of 20 percent at 18,000rpm down
to 10 percent at 12,000rpm) – Red Bull’s
qualifying advantage over everyone but
Ferrari was much as it had always been.
time. What these rules did reveal was
that the McLaren MP4-26 seems to rely
heavily on off-throttle blowing to find a
good window of setup; just as the car was
suddenly switched on at the start of the
season by an RB7-like exhaust, so it
seemed switched off at Silverstone when
off-throttle blowing was restricted.
Two weeks later, it had all blown over
and, in the meantime, F1 had revealed a
lot about its inner workings and those of
the various leading cars. Farcical, yes, but
ultimately fascinating for us observers.
THE PLAN FOR 2014
Just before the storm in a teacup outlined
above got into full swing, the long-term
plan was mapped out and argued about.
The worldwide economic collapse
came at a particularly inconvenient
moment for Formula 1, as the sport
grappled to position itself within a more
environmentally aware world – a process
that was potentially very expensive.
Back in 2006, the governing body was
in the early stages of addressing F1
1986 is the only season in F1 history where
every car on the grid was turbocharged. This
will change in 2014, when a new “green”
breed of 1.6-liter V6 turbo units become
mandatory. (ABOVE) Renault pioneered the
use of blown diffusers way back in 1983.
Don’t recall any objections back then….