If German publication Auto Motor und Sport is correct, Red Bull and Lotus F1 could have a re-think prior to the first grand prix in Australia in approximately two weeks time. The issue stems from an engine mapping regulation that the FIA gave back in 2012.
While I am incapable of translating the German language, I have brought in world-renowned translator Google to do it for me. From what I can discern, Renault appeared to be using a certain engine mapping that first cropped up in the German Grand Prix in 2012 which prompted the FIA to clamp down on the issue. We spoke about it here.
Reports today, via Auto Motor und Sport, suggest that REnault showed up to testing with an interesting take on the engine mapping that has the FIA re-engaged and a clarification issued that could impact Red Bull and Lotus F1 according to Mercedes boss Ross Brawn.
Brawn says that the two teams have designed cars that could possibly be taking advantage of the engine mapping that Renault had planned on using but should the FIA clamp down and force a change to the mapping, the exhaust may not behave as planned and this would not be as effective without a more pronounced Coke Bottle shape to the chassis.
In essence, Brawn figures that the lack of a more exaggerated Coke Bottle design could have been due to the expectation of an exhaust behavior that was produced by an engine map that could now be disallowed. Much depends on how much aerodynamic effect the engine mapping was creating through the exhaust in medium corners etc.
Time will tell but it’s an interesting issue that we’ll be following. If Renault tried the engine mapping back in Germany in 2012 and Jo Bauer scuttled it then, odd they would assume it was clear to run in 2013.