Red Bull under investigation
World Champion's car investigated by stewards in Germany
By Mike Wise at Hockenheim. Last Updated: 22/07/12 11:29am
Under investigation: Red Bull
Controversy again surrounds Red Bull's car, this time at the German Grand Prix, where the FIA is investigating the alleged use of an illegal engine map.
According to a statement released by the governing body's Technical Delegate Jo Bauer, the map gives the RB8 an aerodynamic gain via the blown diffuser effect.
Furthermore, the governing body has suggested the team's Renault engines are delivering less torque than has been seen at other races. This could have the effect of improving traction.
Bauer's technical report read: "Having examined the engine base torque map of car numbers 01 and 02 it became apparent that the maximum torque output of both engines is significantly less in the mid rpm range than previously seen for these engines at other Events.
"In my opinion this is therefore in breach of Article 5.5.3 of the 2012 Formula One Technical Regulations as the engines are able to deliver more torque at a given engine speed in the mid rpm range.
"Furthermore this new torque map will artificially alter the aerodynamic characteristics of both cars which is also in contravention of TD 036-11."
Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel respectively romped to their second straight world titles last season when the team led the way in the off-throttle use of blown diffusers.
That usage was clamped down upon at the end of 2011 - together with the engine maps that helped make it possible.
Article 5.5.3 of the 2012 Technical Regulations states: "The minimum and maximum accelerator pedal travel positions must correspond to the minimum and maximum available torque with the currently selected power unit torque map."
With FIA stewards investigating the matter, it raises the possibility that Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber, who start second and eighth respectively on the grid for Sunday's race, could race under the threat of protest from at least one of their rivals.
A spokesperson for Red Bull refused to comment.
Earlier in the season at the Monaco Grand Prix, the team were forced to modify their car after the FIA ruled against holes added in front of the rear wheels for aerodynamic effect.
Then at the Canadian Grand Prix, they were told to modify the design of their car's wheel hubs after suggestions it gave an advantage.