Inside the exhaust soap opera
Autosport Plus

Inside the exhaust soap opera

By:
, Tony Dodgins

Formula 1 had its most news-packed GP of the year at Silverstone amid the topsy-turvy saga of the exhaust rules clampdown. Tony Dodgins explains how it unfolded from the media's side

What an entertaining weekend!

It all kicked off on Friday morning with lots of off-throttle exhaust blown diffuser squabbling. Going to Silverstone, we all assumed that things were going to be as Charlie Whiting suggested in Valencia: with the driver off the throttle, engines would be permitted throttles 10 per cent open at 12000rpm and 20 per cent open at 18000rpm. With the proviso that the FIA would have a look at its data from 2009 and if it discovered that greater throttle openings had been used then, without the trick exhausts, then dispensations could be made.

When we arrived, we discovered that Mercedes had claimed it needed to fuel on the over-run for reliability reasons, apparently to do with maintaining crank case pressure, and had been given permission to do so on four of the eight cylinders. Renault felt that it would be disadvantaged by that and had been allowed to run with 50 per cent throttle opening to compensate. Ferrari and Cosworth, unimpressed, had followed suit without permission. And so, on Friday morning, nobody ran as expected.

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Behind the scenes at Silverstone

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