FIA closes Red Bull engine mapping loophole

Red Bull Racing RB7 exhaust manifold detail. Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Preparations, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Thursday 5 May 2011.

Jul.25 (GMM) As widely expected, the FIA on Wednesday issued a rule clarification in the wake of the Red Bull engine mapping controversy which erupted after qualifying for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing with the Wings for Life paint scheme on the Red Bull Racing RB8. Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Preparations, Silverstone, England, Thursday 5 July 2012.The governing body’s technical boss Jo Bauer shocked the paddock last Sunday morning by asking the stewards to look into what Red Bull was doing, amid suggestions that the team had gone too far with a complex form of ‘legal traction control’ and engine exhaust blowing.

“None of us really know what it is that antagonised the FIA so much to provoke Jo Bauer to send the note that he did on Sunday morning,” McLaren‘s managing director Jonathan Neale told reporters on Wednesday.

“It was a quite unusual step,” he said during the regular Vodafone teleconference.

“I hope we don’t get involved in rewriting regulations in the mid-season … (because) in terms of the sport consistency in regulations is good.”

The stewards, however, had essentially admitted at Hockenheim that the current wording of the regulations prevented them from enforcing the so-called spirit or intention of the rules.

Technical directors met in London on Monday and the feeling afterwards was that the FIA would move to close the Red Bull loophole.

The clarification was issued on Wednesday – the crux of which is that  the engine torque controlled by the ‘maps’ will now be limited to plus or minus 2 per cent.

Mark Hughes, Sky Sport’s technical boss, insists that Red Bull was not caught cheating, but had simply “thought of a way around a regulation” – yet again.

“In the last few seasons they [Red Bull] have more often figured out a way past the intent of the wording than others. Red Bull has been surrounded in technical controversy more often because they have had more ideas,” he explained.

Subbed by AJN.

  • Disgusted with 2012

    I heard from a trustworthy source the FIA has a new secret rule, written for them by “anonymous” contributors. It’s called the Red Bull Rule. The rule simply states “Should Red Bull utilize any component or technique deemed unique – it shall be ruled a loophole and clarified out of existence.” One has to dig the fact they are the bad boys of F1 now, continuously working to claw back what was taken from them by 2012 regs obviously written under the Red Bull Rule – while others defend by evoking the power of the FIA through incessant back room whining and cowardly emails.

    More than ever, I’d love to see RBR stomp some red and silver tail come Sunday!

  • Stefan

    Maybe it’s time to consider have just 1 car manufacturer in F1.

  • McLaren Fan

    @ Disgusted with 2012:
    If you do not like the sport as much as you keep saying why do you carry on watching then complaining you have an awful lot to complain about and so much inside information that is total BULL

  • Lol.

    @McLaren Fan

    Cos he is of the same opinion as Helmut Marko.

  • Disgusted with 2012

    Leaving something you’ve enjoyed for years – to be silent and not attempt to give voice to feelings of disappointment – is never an option. If everyone who disliked the state of something just kept silent and walked away, what then? One car make, one engine supplier, one setup choice, one tire manufacturer?… oh, but wait, that was Indycar 2011. You can be forgiven for missing it, as it seems most everyone did. It’s a shame to see F1 going down the same path, as it is so counter to its history. The sport’s innovative root is blighted by regulations and whiners. In time, the F1 money tree itself will wither as a result. Maybe if a few of us keep the flame lit, a new path will be found. Don’t care? Just enjoy the racing and ignore my rants… pretty simple stuff.

  • wtf

    even with ‘legal’ traction control, Red Bull was unable to wrest Pole Position …..IN THE WET


    bye bye Red Bull. bye bye wunderkid

  • Butterfly


    Give them credit, they are the reigning world champions, even if Vettel is immature and spoiled. They’ve earned their success.

  • McLaren Fan

    @ Disgusted with 2012 (Helmut Marko).
    I have been a fan of F1 for as long as I can remember like my father, yes F1 changes and the teams keep having new challenges but the fact is that there are rules that the teams have to follow. Red Bull have pushed the the rules to breaking point and the FIA have decided that they have done that with this map.
    Now the Bull’s have to rethink there strategical steps for the rest of the season.
    I do not think any fan wants F1 to go the way of Indy Car, we want racing I hate the tyres this year and would relish another tyre war but that looks more likely for next season.