FIA to clarify regs to close Red Bull loophole

Monday 23rd July 2012, 20:45 by Ryan Wood 

Red Bull, Getty Images

The FIA is hoping to close a loophole exploited by Red Bull in Germany which resulted in a stewards investigation, though they were later cleared to race.

It's understood that the matter topped the agenda at Monday's Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting, in which top officials from the teams and the FIA meet to discuss potential issues and regulation amendments.

The row centres around the engine map Red Bull used at the German GP. Rival teams and the FIA believe the Austrian team and engine supplier Renault are controlling the amount of torque delivered to the rear-wheels electronically, which acts in a similar fashion to traction control - a device which was banned in 2008.

Whilst the matter was referred to the stewards by FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer on Sunday morning, Red Bull argued their case and were cleared to race, despite the governing body admitting it went against the 'spirit' of the regulations.

Article 5.5.3 of the technical regulations states that "the maximum accelerator pedal travel position must correspond to an engine torque demand equal to or greater than the maximum engine torque at the measured engine speed.

"The minimum accelerator pedal travel position must correspond to an engine torque demand equal to or lower than 0Nm."

Which means that the engine must deliver the maximum power output equal to the travel of the accelerator. However Red Bull's system delivers less power than it should to reduce wheel-spin when exiting a corner.

Rival teams believe this is illegal, but have held off protesting the results of the German GP in order to seek a clarification of the rules.

The FIA is hoping to issue a technical directive closing the loophole this week, prior to the Hungarian GP - which would mean Red Bull must revert to a previously used engine map which doesn't limit torque.

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