2012: Exhaust Blown Diffusers are banned

This is an evolving story, I will update the post as more info becomes available

It has been reported in Pitpass.com that exhaust blown diffusers will be effectively banned in 2012. Currently exhaust outlet can be anywhere on the car, many teams aim the exhausts at parts of the diffuser to create greater downforce. Red Bull for example blow theirs under a 5cm opening in the floor, Renault blow theirs at the floors leading edge and Ferrari\McLaren and many other teams blow theirs over the top of the diffuser.

An example of current exhaust location

Along with the hot overrun engine mappings, teams have been exploiting the exhaust gasses for aerodynamic gain. Something the FIA have been increasingly uncomfortable with. According to the BBC “From 2012, pipes will have to extend to between 330-350mm beyond the rear wheel centre line, will have to be in a space between the lower rear wing and top of the diffuser and will need to be circular in dimensions, with a vertical cut-off”. This is effectively at the trailing edge of the rear tyres. Although some careful placement might find a tiny aero gain, the massive benefit of the EBDs will be lost.

Following the Technical Working Group meeting this week, Autosport reports that the ban on blown ovverrun engine maps will go ahead from Silverstone, but a compromise on the location of 2012 exhausts has been reached.  Teams wil now be mandated to use periscope style exhausts as were the norm from 1998 until this year when low placed exhausts became the universal fitment.  It remains to be seen how the rules will enforce exhausts in this location.

For 2012 the exhaust must exit behind the rear tyre and between the diffuser and beam wing (yellow)

With the initial ban on how overrun engine mappings, Renault and red Bull stand to lose out the most. With the full EBD ban in 2012, it is again these teams with the most to lose as each of these teams blow beneath the floor. Teams such as Ferrari and McLaren who have committed to aggressive blowing the diffuser will also stand to lose from the ban.
Engine suppliers will have to work on ways to make the engines work with such long secondary exhaust pipes, teams will have to work out the packaging of the exhaust, blowing most likely near the cars centre line, which brings the exhausts close the hydraulics and gearbox. In this area blowing the underside of the beam wing could be exploited, or  blowing the gurney at the diffusers trailing edge will also be an attractive option.  Blowing outboard is unlikey to be attractive, as it create the longest exhaust routing and exposes a lot of floor to the heat radiating from the exhaust pipe. In both case the longer exhausts will obstruct airflow to the diffuser, forcing some compromises in packaging.
One benefit for fans will be the clear line of sight to the exhausts, allowing us once more to the flames on the overrun and when revving on the grid before the start.

13 thoughts on “2012: Exhaust Blown Diffusers are banned

    • are you kidding?!?!?! they sound amazing!! especially the renault powered cars and of those especially the renault. Have you heard them in person yet? I was at the race this whole weekend and i loved it. If the broken computer sound isnt to your liking then maybe the Mercedes is more your taste, really smooth and quite pretty sounding

  1. Pingback: Ahora sí. Se prohibirán los difusores soplados. « Tertulias de Fórmula 1.

  2. How about if the exhaust had more than 1 exit? One that blew out of a whistle upper opening possibly destined for the beam wing. The pipe would then have a conventional, if hardly used vertical cutt off.

  3. Having just watched one of the most exciting (they’re all exciting in my opinion) 24 Hours of Le Mans “ever,” it’s back to reality with the farcical FIA treatment of F1! I know that the ACO are very diesel biased (and inexplicably bad at performance balancing in general) but at least we’re seeing innovation welcomed in prototypes. If EBDs are the opposite of what the FIA wanted to see, why weren’t they outlawed during the off-season – or whilst the cars were still being developed?
    (Rhetorical I guess)
    One notable thing about this years running of Le Mans, lots of overtaking for the lead, which once again shows that flat bottomed cars can overtake! In anyone’s opinion, would simplifying the wings make a difference? As in do away with cascades, multiple elements et al… If you want more downforce, run a greater flap angle or slap a massive gurney on the trailing edge – the increase in drag would also exacerbate slip-streaming far more naturally than the DRS.

  4. Is there anything in the regs that says the exhaust cannot have internal turning vanes?

    Does it have to just look like a vertical cut-off? Can the inside be different?

    Do the regs say that you cannot have anything attached or welded to the exhaust exterior?

    I would think that you could manipulate the flow such that it could still pull air from the diffuser.

  5. Rule limitations force the minds of engineers to come up with something new – it’s not the end of the world that with “blown-diffuser” ban the innovation is effectively dead.

    Nice site Scarbs!

  6. Pingback: Kubica could return in Brazil, says manager | F1 Fanatic round-up

  7. This ban will makes RedBull just ‘a seasons wonder’ just like BrawnGP..haha…and love it!!!
    Hope F1 will back on their hirarchy-FERRARI vs MCLAREN!!

    • Because obviously that’s how F1 should operate.

      Newcomers who defeat the old guard need to be put in their place by having arbitrary changes made to the regs mid session with the transparent intention of manipulating the results. Cool.

      PS – are you Charlie Whiting?

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