Clampdown is ‘big blow’ for Red Bull according to Schumacher image

( The major players are telling a different story, but the blown exhaust clampdown is a “big blow” to Red Bull.

That is the claim of Michael Schumacher, who commented on the likely impact of the the FIA’s new restrictions on the technology to the SID news agency in Valencia.

“But it will affect everyone else as well,” the seven time world champion added.

Runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel, however, has sounded cool when asked about the mid-season rule changes, as has Red Bull’s team boss Christian Horner.

And Mark Webber said on Thursday: “I don’t think it will turn the field upside down.”

This weekend teams will no longer be able to tone down aggressive exhaust blowing engine maps between qualifying and the race, before the real effective ban comes into force in Silverstone.

“I don’t know if I can get pole just because of mapping changes,” insisted Fernando Alonso, after Red Bull’s Helmut Marko alleged the rule changes will particularly favour Ferrari.

“I don’t think it will change much,” added the Spaniard, “because Vettel was sometimes 8 or 9 tenths faster than us even in the race, so we saw a superior dominant car and we cannot underestimate our opponents.”