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Video: Leading F1 engineers discuss diffuser changes for Silverstone and F1 secrecy
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Jul 2011   |  12:20 pm GMT  |  22 comments

Three of F1’s leading engineers, McLaren’s Paddy Lowe, Renault’s James Allison and Red Bull’s Paul Monaghan met face to face with 300 F1 fans at the Fans Forum UK hosted at McLaren technology centre.

The fans made it clear that to them F1 should remain the pinnacle of technology despite cost restrictions and asked the experts what changes they all were making to their exhaust blown diffusers for Silverstone to fit in with the new interpretation of the rules.

There was also some amusing banter about secrecy and Red Bull’s practice of getting mechanics to block the rear of the car from view.

“Although it’s in some ways amusing what Paul’s guys do behind their cars, the reality is that James and I know exactly what’s going on behind that because we have photographs from other occasions – something we all do – and I quite enjoy sending the odd photo to Paul after a race of his floor! ” said Paddy Lowe.

“What’s fantastic about the fanbase of F1 is that it’s generally a very technical audience. That sets you apart from the football fan let’s say. You understand, and you want to understand, technology and we want to keep feeding that.”

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

It definitely agree with the erstwhile message


Hi James

I was lucky enough to attend the day last week, and like everyone there really enjoyed the experience.

The banter between the Tech guys was excellent, and James Allison came across as a very competitive and funny guy. One to watch.

I don’t know if anyone else is having problems, but I’ve been trying to post comments since the website change on Iphone 4 and on a laptop. My entries seem to be posting sometimes, and just disappear on other occasions.

Have your tech team had any similar issues?


I particularly liked the smirk on Paddy Lowe’s and James Allison’s faces when Paul was talking about secrecy. You just know there were about 15 different thoughts that they were thinking about that they weren’t allowed to say… stuff that we’d all love to hear. Such a tease!


For some reason you’ve been going to Spam. We’re looking into it.


Maybe it is working then James 😉

Thanks. All seems ok now


Watched you with Peter Windsor, really liked the flow of discussions. For sure Bernie and FIA will be influenced by your point of views and the fans too.

jamesallenonf1.com is the cult of Formula One today!


Hi James,

A bit off topic, but I just listened to Peter Windsor and you on The Flying Lap and really enjoyed the interaction between you and Peter as the questions came through; as well as not holding back on (most) of your answers.

Maybe something you could do with Peter more often?

There’s was a good flow in the show this week, probably because you guys are both TV people.


Thanks. I enjoyed it and he’s said to come on anytime. I’d like to do it again in the Autumn


You might have missed it but I think I heard that Autumn begins next week.


Usually just before Silverstone, right? End of British summer!


I think the less secrecy there is, the better. They’ll always find something extra to hide so they should be forced to reveal as much as possible. In addition to giving something for the fans to look at, it might help the smaller teams catch up (probably not much really).

Personally, I think the winning constructor should be forced to expose every last detail of their car at the end of the season, just so that no-one gets left too far behind, though I know no team would ever agree to that.


Might as well make Adrian Newey Chief designer for all the F1 teams then… 🙂


I love to see some light hearted banter between the teams. There can often be too much politicking and sour grapes.

Great to see.


Why just 5 minutes? Why not the whole interview, James?


It’s 45 mins long! The whole thing was posted in audio on Thursday. We’ll look at different ways of getting the video out there


Perhaps look into Vimeo. It seems like a neat video site, and I’ve seen a few longer videos on there. Not sure of the details, however.


James a quick (perhaps off topic question):

what goes through your mind when you see this?


Will we get a similar sound with the new turbo engines? And something as spectacular as that?



If you can get this kind of mechanical music out of a 750cc V4 running at not much more than 10,000rpm, why shouldn’t a V6 1.6 litre engine revving to (I think) 18,000rpm should good?


Correction – 15,000rpm 🙂


I’ve always enjoyed the technical side of F1 and the fact that teams often push the rules to their breaking point.

The only down side with this is that the bigger teams get to bend the rules to near their breaking point. Their rivals complain while secretly copying the idea then when all the big teams have a version it gets banned.

I always feel sorry for the smaller teams who notice what is going on and have to try and guess if its worth developing, or will it be banned before they get their own version? I’m thinking here of Lotus (sorry: “Team Lotus”), who if I’m correct have only recently brought their own blown diffuser, just before it’s banned outright.



Mercedes had blokes hiding the back of their car last year on the grid. It’s a bit much to make fun of Red Bull doing it!


Why anyone would want to copy parts off tHe 2010 merc who knows 😉

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