Lotus have dismissed claims that a recent ruling on new engine mapping settings for the 2013 season will have an affect on their pace.
We reported that Renault – engine supplier to Red Bull, Lotus, Williams and Caterham – had sought clarification from the FIA on the matter of engine settings for the opening four races.
Last season the governing body clamped down on the practice of ‘off-throttle blowing’ by specifying that teams must elect a standard ‘map’ from one of the four used during the opening four races.
That rule, it has now been confirmed, also applies to the new season. Therefore a team must choose from one of the four from last season, to use this season, rather than starting from a clean sheet, as Renault believed to be the case.
Lotus technical director James Allison admitted they had used ‘exotic’ settings during testing, but dismissed the idea that they would be slowed by the ruling because they never completed any significant running whilst using them.
“To suggest it will slow us down is nonsense,” he is quoted as saying by the BBC. “The amounts [of advantage] we’re talking about are tiny.
“Renault had come up with some alternative engine maps to try. They talked to the FIA about it but Charlie Whiting didn’t want us to use them.
“Kimi has used the new one once on an installation lap and hated it. Romain used it in the wet last week on the final day and it finished up OK. But all his running in the dry has been without it.”
Mercedes boss Ross Brawn believes both Red Bull and Lotus have designed their exhausts around the concept, and will therefore need to modify them before Australia.
Allison rubbished the claim: “For Ross to talk about it like that is utter rubbish.”