Red Bull believes that its competitiveness will not be harmed by the FIA’s clarification on engine mapping rules, which closes the grey are that the Milton Keynes team was using in Germany.
Both the FIA technical staff and rival teams believed that Red Bull had an advantage both in traction and aerodynamics in Germany from an engine map which changed the amount of torque the engine produced at medium revs.
Although FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer flagged up his findings as a contravention of the rules, the stewards let Red Bull race on Sunday, but following meetings this week a clarification has been made, which is in force this weekend in Budapest.
It says: “Above 6,000rpm, the maximum engine torque may vary by no more than +/- 2% (from the reference map). And the ignition angle may vary by no more than 2.5%.”
We will find out tomorrow and Sunday how much this hurts them; if it wasn’t worth anything they would not have gone to the trouble of developing the ruse, along with engine partner Renault.
It certainly will have helped in the rain during qualifying with drivability but the aero gain is hard to judge.
World champion Sebastian Vettel, who also got a knock back after the Germany race when he was penalised for passing Jenson Button off the race track has said that he doesn’t think it will harm Red Bull’s competitiveness. “It’s not as if the car doesn’t work any more,” he said. “I’m quite confident nothing will change. There is probably more fuss outside the car than the difference is inside,” he said. “It is a little bit different for here. It is hard to give you, I don’t know, 0.2secs, 0.05secs, nothing. We can’t measure either.”