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FIA Charlie Whiting expects further exhaust rule clampdown for 2013

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Catalunya testing 2012Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting has admitted that further adjustments to the sport's exhaust regulations are likely to be required for 2013 to stop teams finding ways of replicating the effect of the blown diffuser.

Changes to the rules this year are aiming to make it impossible for exhaust gases to be directed in a way that helps the underfloor aerodynamic performance, but there have been suggestions that some teams are finding ways to achieve a similar effect within the revised rules.

In a Q & A about the 2012 rules issued by the FIA, Whiting acknowledged that the blown diffuser situation was a work in progress.

"Our objective is to prevent teams operating a blown diffuser, which under certain circumstances infringes Article 3.15 (moveable aerodynamic device)," he said. "In combination with additional constraints on engine mapping, as described in technical directive number 36 and incorporated into the SECU code, it will limit designers' ability to exploit exhaust gases for aerodynamic effect.

"However teams will not unlearn the knowledge they have gained and it is quite likely this area of regulation may need to be revisited again in 2013."

Whiting also admitted that the most outwardly obvious technical rule change for 2012 - the reduced survival cell height that has led to teams running 'platypus' noses - had resulted in less attractive designs.

"The height of the survival cell in front of the driver was 625mm - and we wanted to reduce that to 550mm. Our intention was to ensure the nose is lower than the cockpit sides, to protect the driver's head in the event of a 'T-bone' accident," Whiting explained.

"Some teams complained that lowering the whole car forward of the cockpit would force them into a radical redesign. We agreed a compromise that the 550mm height would only apply from a point 1950mm in front of the rear edge of the cockpit template. This achieves the objective equally well, and without requiring the teams to fundamentally overhaul their suspension packaging.

"They do all look like ducks though..."

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