Hot on the heels of Williams and Caterham’s dubious exhaust exit solutions for 2013, trouble could also be brewing for F1’s two other Renault-powered teams.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that, after Renault and ‘works’ partner Red Bull were told to cease using certain ‘engine maps’ last year, the same issue is now back on the table.
Correspondent Michael Schmidt also said the similarly Renault-powered Lotus, who according to most pundits has been the second most impressive team of the 2013 pre-season, is also in the spotlight as the latest controversy brews.
The report said that despite the FIA issuing a technical directive about engine maps last August, “it was not clear what should apply for 2013″.
Ferrari’s engine boss Luca Marmorini was quoted as insisting “Everything remains the same”.
His Renault counterpart Remi Taffin does not agree, claiming “a new benchmark” for engine mapping in 2013 will be set down by teams in Australia next month.
“The (August 2012) directive referred exclusively to last year,” said the Frenchman.
According to journalist Schmidt, however, the FIA has confirmed that the August 2012 directive still stands.
Renault was reportedly unaware of the federation’s stance until as recently as Thursday of last week, having developed new maps to optimise the exhaust-blowing effect for 2013.
Ross Brawn, Mercedes’ team boss, thinks the situation could now harm Red Bull and Lotus, as their similar exhaust solutions for 2013 were probably designed to work in conjunction with “a clever engine management system”.