The FIA has imposed a ban on off-throttle diffusers that will come into effect this weekend at Silverstone. While most teams sport a variation of it, Red Bull Racing’s Adrian Newey designed machine has made the most of it so far, and the ace engineer admits that the champs will be “heavily affected”.

“I think we will be quite heavily affected because our car was designed around the exhaust in as much as it was part of the design right from the outset. Probably with the exception of Renault and ourselves, everybody else has generally speaking copied someone else’s principal, mainly ours, and adapted to the car that they had pre-season. Because our car has been designed around it, it’s going to be more of a hit for us but it’s very difficult to forecast,” Newey told Reuters.

The RBR chief technical officer is clearly unhappy with the ban, hinting that it’s a move in favour of Ferrari.

“I’m slightly baffled by it because it’s been declared legal forever until this race. The obvious parallel is when active suspension was banned at the end of ’93, where there was no regulation change. Ferrari couldn’t get their active to work and suddenly it was illegal for the next year,” he pointed out.

“It’s easy to fall into the Machiavellian conspiracy theories. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know and I can’t comment. My read of it would be that, of our main competitors, which are clearly McLaren and Ferrari, then Ferrari probably haven’t got their exhaust to work that well so they are quite happy to see the back of it.

“McLaren probably don’t know whether they are going to lose more or less than us. But probably on the basis that they could probably do with a wild card thrown into the pack, they are probably relieved to have something that is different,” Newey added.

Is FIA trying to level the teams and give a leg up to the chasing pack? Will it work? We’ll find out this weekend.