Schumacher admits 'no friend' of mid-season rule change

By on Friday, June 24, 2011

Jun.24 (GMM) An off-the-record Adrian Newey was furious on Thursday as the big topic in Valencia was the FIA's mid-season clampdown on blown exhausts.

"I'm not really a friend of rule changes during a season," agreed Michael Schumacher, whose Mercedes team as well as Renault and Red Bull are tipped to be the biggest losers of the clampdown that takes effect across this weekend and also the British grand prix in two weeks.

"I don't know or understand all the background," added the seven time world champion, indicating the FIA decision has a political flavour.

Schumacher predicted the clampdown will affect all the top teams but is a "big blow" to runaway championship leaders Red Bull, the pioneers of the technology.

Eric Boullier, Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov were also outspoken about the fact the ban is taking place right in the middle of the 2011 season, because the Renault R31 is built entirely around the innovative concept of its front-exiting exhausts.

Red Bull designer Newey said: "Renault is going to feel it because their entire exhaust concept is based on having the exhaust gases (flowing) all the time."

When talking about the impact on Red Bull, Newey's private conversation to Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio was off the record.

"Too bad I can't write what he said. Nor use the tone of his comments," said the O Estado de S.Paulo correspondent.

Team boss Christian Horner added: "Directly, the FIA's decision was based on a technicality. Indirectly, you should ask the FIA."

The ban that takes effect this weekend applies to the aggressive engine mapping settings that some teams, notably Red Bull, have been using in qualifying before reverting a race mode.

Red Bull's engine supplier Renault admits it is worried.

"If Saturday is 30 degrees and Sunday is 15, the temperature difference requires a very different operation of the engine," said Renault Sport F1's Brazilian engineer Ricardo Penteado.

"So (the ban means there could be) a high risk of damage to the engine. We have explained it to the (FIA) officials and they said we will only be allowed to intervene with their consideration."

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