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FIA agrees ‘grace period’ for blown exhaust limits

The FIA has agreed a “grace period” as it clamps down in 2011 on the extreme blowing of exhaust gases through sophisticated diffusers.

We reported on Tuesday that ‘Technical Directive 15′ issued last week banned the blowing of exhaust gases beyond 10 per cent of full throttle when drivers are braking or not accelerating hard.

The directive was issued with immediate effect, but Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that a “grace period” has subsequently been agreed to give affected teams more time to adapt ahead of the Spanish grand prix this weekend.

According to the report, the FIA has determined that the engine has in effect become an aerodynamic aid controlled by the driver, which according to the regulations is not allowed.

It was planned that the restrictions would be imposed in Barcelona, but Auto Motor und Sport now says the teams’ technical working group will agree a new imposition date that does not unfairly affect some teams over others.

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn said that when the ban does drop, it will have a major effect.

“These sort of staccato exhausts that you hear, I don’t think you will be hearing any more,” he is quoted by Reuters at Silverstone on Tuesday.

The clampdown could be the result of a complaint by rival teams who believe superior engine control is a secret of Red Bull’s speed, particularly in qualifying.

Asked if that is the case, team boss Christian Horner answered: “It is inevitable and the unfortunate consequence of success.”