Renault is considering giving its rearward facing exhaust layout another trial at the Hungarian Grand Prix, even though it elected not to race it in Germany this weekend.
As part of a major update push from the Lotus-sponsored team, it tested a new Red Bull Racing-style blown diffuser layout in Friday practice at the Nurburgring. The exhausts on the new diffuser exit at the rear of the car rather than at the front of the sidepod, as the R31 had been originally designed.
Nick Heidfeld, who evaluated the prototype version in Friday practice, said that the initial feedback from the rearward facing exhausts was encouraging, but the team was not convinced enough with it to keep it on for the race. However, team principal Eric Boullier says that there is likely to be further evaluation of the concept at the Hungaroring, as it believes there is good development potential for it going forward.
When asked about the team's feeling on the exhausts, Boullier said: "It became pretty obvious that it is a good technical solution, but it had some stalling/unstalling effect which we could not fix here. So we decided to postpone the introduction of this.
"Maybe we will try to bring it back in for the Hungarian Grand Prix. We need to tweak it a little bit to make sure there are no strange effects. With this stalling and unstalling it is not very comfortable."
Boullier says a final green light to racing with the new exhausts will only be given when the concept proves to be a good step forward in pace compared to the current version.
"We have found a lot of developments with our concept, but there will be a point where we decide to keep going or stick with what we have," he said. "Until we have clearly demonstrated to ourselves that the new exhaust is clearly a step forward, we will not go for it."