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Exhausting weekend ahead

Nigel Mansell strokes his moustache and mouths the word 'intriguing.' He's referring to this weekend's Grand Prix at Silverstone, and the debut of the FIA's clampdown on off-throttle exhaust blowing.

Basically, who will be affected most? Which team will have the best solution? 'It is going to be very intriguing to see who is affected the most, and who can move ahead on the grid,' said the former champion and 1991 and 1992 Silverstone winner now turned race steward.

This season, the Red Bull team has swept the board both in the constructors' and drivers' championships. Their rivals will be hoping the new rules will put the kiabosh on their dominance. 'I hope not, although our car was designed to be more effective with the blown diffusers, ' boss Christian Horner told AS this week. 'We trust in our solutions.'

But the car's designer Adrian Newey struck a less confident tone. 'Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari copied our solution,' he said, before adding: 'It's impossible to predict what will happen at Silverstone, but it may well be that they lose less than us because they had to adapt their cars to it while our car was conceived entirely for it.'

But even if the change spells disaster for the Red Bulls, Sebastian Vettel's 80-point lead in the Drivers' Championship is unassailable.

'Realistically, Sebastian Vettel would need to do a really crazy job to lose the title,' said Ferrari's Felipe Massa, 'but we can't give up and this situation changes nothing in our approach.'

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