McLaren: Diffuser ban effect not huge

McLaren insists it is not holding out hope that the change to the blown-diffuser regulations will be the key factor that helps it overhaul title rivals Red Bull Racing

McLaren: Diffuser ban effect not huge

With the FIA having informed teams in Canada that it is pressing ahead with an outlawing of both hot and cold off-throttle exhaust blowing of diffusers from next month's British Grand Prix, teams are already working on modifying their cars.

With the blown floor advantage that Red Bull Racing has believed to be a key element of the package that has made its car the pace-setter, some are suggesting that the world championship leaders could be hit the most by the new rules.

However, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is not convinced it will make a dramatic difference to the competitive order - even if it will definitely make some change to form.

"I don't think it will have a fundamental change to the picture, but it will hurt some more than others," explained Whitmarsh. "And depending how optimistic you feel, you hope it will hurt others more than you.

"It will change according to which team, and who is exploiting these tactics the most. But you can hear changes and differences this weekend at some teams, which presumably will not be there when we get to Silverstone."

When asked if it was too simplistic to say that since Red Bull Racing had spent most time on the systems it would have the most to lose, Whitmarsh said: "I hope not - but we will see."

Red Bull Racing engine supplier Renault also thinks that the only impact that the change in the blown diffuser regulations will have on teams is on the money they will have to spend in tweaking their engine mapping.

"It is the same problem. All of Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault will find a new solution and it will cost between $5 million and $6 million each and it will be exactly the same result - exactly the same!," explained Renault's Jean-Francois Caubet.

"We will apply the new rules, spend two weeks on the dyno, spend the money and we have the same result."

Despite Whitmarsh and Caubet believing that the competitive order will change little when the blown diffuser regulations change for Silverstone, Sebastian Vettel's closest challenger Lewis Hamilton is not so convinced.

He reckons that the new rules, allied to developments that his McLaren team have onboard, could help transform his title challenge and still beat Red Bull Racing in the end.

"There is still a long, long way to go," he said. "The great thing is the rules are about to change and things are going to spice up - even though the reality is that there is a three-race gap in terms of points.

"He has had pole position at every race until now, and you have to assume that he will continue like that until we get our upgrades or where the rules change.

"Nonetheless we are pushing as hard as we can. I still feel we can win the championship somehow, and hopefully the things that will happen in the next few months will play to us."

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