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Dispute over Red Bull mappings: Red Bull must probably back up

Dispute over Red Bull engine mappings
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D he topic is complicated. So complicated that even the FIA ​​technicians need tutoring from their engine experts. Four hours before the GP Germany, Red Bull and Renault technicians were summoned to the race management. 'Something is wrong with the engine software', they whispered to each other in the paddock.

The evening before, the FIA ​​had checked the engine software of all teams as part of a routine examination and compared it with the stored programs. This is not an isolated case. FIA Technical Commissioner Jo Bauer was already tapping the teams' engine software in Silverstone. At that time everything was within the framework. This time he was puzzled. In the case of Red Bull, the engine map presented deviated greatly from what he had seen at Silverstone. In the full throttle range.

No precise rules for full throttle range

Here is a brief explanation. In addition to the exhaust position, the regulations for the engine maps were changed over the winter. The aim was to prevent extremely late ignition and the injection of fuel when the engine was being towed to artificially generate exhaust gases, because not only would gasoline be burned senselessly, but the arms race in this area was extremely expensive. The rules are clear and very restrictive between zero and 99 percent accelerator pedal position. But not if the driver depresses the gas pedal 100 percent.

In principle, from this year onwards, the torque curve should be linear with the increase in speed, apart from small deviations. The programs used in Melbourne have been deposited with the FIA. Since then, Mercedes, Renault, Ferrari and Cosworth have refined their software in the full load range, but have deviated from the originally stored torque curve by a maximum of one Newton meter. In the case of Red Bull in Hockenheim, the deviation is said to have been 15 times. That made the inspectors puzzled.

Larger deviations prohibited from Hungary?

As the English magazine 'autosport' reported on Tuesday (July 24th), the FIA ​​wants to before the free practice of Budapest to issue a new directive to prevent the excesses. According to this, only a maximum of two percent deviations in the torque curve should be allowed in the future. Red Bull has to restore its engine software to an old version - not a big problem in terms of effort.

With this, the FIA ​​wants to prevent that in the areaa costly development race begins. Previously, the rules were not written precisely, which Renault used to a trick that the FIA ​​could not punish. When the driver gives full throttle, only the starting value and the end value at 18,000 rpm were set with regard to the torque curve, but not what happens on the way there.

At Red Bull, the torque curve at full throttle in the middle speed range showed a considerable hole. It is whispered that over 30 percent of the power will be cut short in the short term. How Renault did it despite the severely restricted retarded ignition is a secret. Obviously, Mercedes, Ferrari and Cosworth are once again way ahead.

Artificial traction control and downforce dispenser

The trick has two positive consequences. The engine is losing power somewhere on the way to maximum speed. The driver can then give full throttle earlier because he does not have to worry that his rear wheels will spin. And that protects the rear wheels. The competition speaks of a kind of traction control.

The second effect is that the excess energy generated during the combustion process has to go somewhere if it is not allowed to reach the crankshaft. It is plugged into the exhaust pipe, which in this phase generates gases of higher intensity than would normally be possible. That helps the aerodynamics and brings more downforce when accelerating.

Does Red Bull have to back up for the third time?

After two hours of discussion, the stewards in Hockenheim decided that they were on thin ice would move if Red Bull had been forced to use older maps. Nowhere in the regulations does it state exactly how much the maps may differ from one Grand Prix to another. Red Bull would have easily won any case before an appeals court.

The competition then demanded that the rules be adjusted as quickly as possible in order to prevent expensive developments in this area. Should the FIA ​​really solve the problem with a new technology directive in Hungary, Red Bull will once again feel that it has been treated unfairly. Adrian Newey's engineers already had to restore this season because of controversial holes in the underbody and illegal air ducting in the wheel hubs.


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