The word innovation is usually applied to a new idea. But innovation can also be a new application of an old idea - and that is exactly what happened with the exhaust-blown diffuser, arguably the defining design concept of the 2009-2013 rules cycle.
The shorthand term really refers to the way in which high-speed exhaust gases were used to generate downforce. This involved variously blowing the diffuser, downforce-producing brake ducts and the way in which the airflow could be used to make the aero at the rear of the car work more effectively, for example by creating 'virtual' skirts.
But the idea of using exhaust gases for performance is far from new. Back in 1983, Renault introduced the concept by blowing exhaust gases directly into the diffuser (see bottom) in a way that was no longer possible once rules preventing running exhaust pipes through the floor came in.
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Edd Straw is Editor-in-Chief of Autosport, overseeing both print and digital versions of the brand. Edd has worked for Autosport since joining as a junior reporter in 2002. He became Editor in November 2014, having previously worked as National Editor, News Editor and Grand Prix Editor.
Originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, he joined Autosport shortly after graduating from university. He went on to cover a wide range of categories from club motorsport to the World Touring Car Championship and Le Mans to Formula 3 before switching to F1 full-time at the 2008 French Grand Prix. He continues to cover a range of international events in his position as Editor-in-Chief.
In his spare time, he was formerly a club racer whose abilities did not match his enthusiasm in a variety of categories.