Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has faith that the FIA is handling this year's spate of technical controversies in Formula 1 in the right way, even though the number of changes that Red Bull has had to make to its car has left some rivals uneasy.
In the mist of a wide-open championship fight, Red Bull has found itself under close scrutiny from both rivals teams and the FIA over design aspects of its car. Since the Monaco Grand Prix it has been asked to change the design of holes in its floor, its wheel hub concept, revise a system that allowed manual changing of suspension settings and also ditch clever engine maps.
Each time, the changes have been enforced the race after the design has been used – which has led some to question why the FIA has not acted tougher against the team and punished it at the time. But Lotus boss Boullier, whose team has emerged as a dark horse contender for the championship, believes that the FIA has acted correctly. He suggests that there is a big difference between arguing over an interpretation of the regulations, and going all out to cheat.
"In theory, if you are illegal and you don't get a penalty there is something wrong," Boullier said. "I am not involved in the process with the FIA, but you need to make sure that when a team does something really illegal, then you obviously have to be penalized.
"But if you just exploit a loophole, then that is something different. I think if you look at the mapping situation, for example, it was legal and a clever idea."
Red Bull's technical chief Adrian Newey said that the key thing for the FIA is to ensure that all teams are treated equally when there is debate about an interpretation of a specific regulation.
"What is important is that teams are treated fairly and equally when they come up with things that are in the gray area," he said. "For example, the double DRS is in the gray area but has been deemed legal [until the end of the season], which is fine. As long as everything is consistent, then that is the nature of it."