by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 38
> F1NEWS> T Rear diffusers to ignite protests in Melbourne? HE 2009 Formula 1 season is set to open amidst politics and protest as a row over the legality of the Williams, Toyota and BrawnGP teams’ diffusers threatens to explode in Melbourne. Despite FIA figures publically stating that they believe the teams’ diffusers to be within the 2009 regulations, albeit thanks to the three squads in question utilising a clever interpretation of the rules, it is widely believed that a protest will be lodged at the Australian Grand Prix by rival teams, either immediately following scrutineering on Thursday or following the conclusion of Sunday’s race. Renault boss Flavio Briatore has been the most vocal in his criticism of his rivals’ application of the rules, stating to the Italian press that “it seems that there are two rules: one that allows some teams to have a diffuser done in a certain way, while for the others it is banned because it is considered illegal. It is not what we expected. We want black and white rules for everyone.” Briatore made similar noises in 2008 after he became frustrated at his rivals’engine improvements under the engine freeze regulation – he claimed Renault had stuck to the letter of the law and as such had been left behind. Renault was subsequently permitted to make amendments to its engine. Briatore’s comments this time however seem to fly in the face of the views held by his own Executive Director of Engineering, Pat Symonds, who, far from believing the diffusers to be illegal, recently told Australasian Motorsport News that he believed the design was intelligent and would be adopted by other teams. “Toyota and Williams have found a very good, very interesting solution with the diffuser which we hadn’t done and I’m sure that everyone is looking at that at the moment. In time, I don’t know how long, I’m sure we will see more cars with that sort of feature on it,”he admitted. It’s a view shared by FIA President Max Mosley, who told British newspaper the Daily Telegraph that while their design was undoubtedly intelligent, it was nevertheless set to cause controversy. “It’s a very clever device and you can make a very good case for saying that it’s legal and a very good case for saying that it’s illegal. It’s going to be difficult. “If there had been more time before the detailed objections to the system were sent in, I would probably have sent it to the FIA Court of Appeal before Australia. And, actually, I have given thought to that this week. But there isn’t time. It wouldn’t be fair. I think the thing will probably come to some sort of a head in Australia.” “One possibility is that all the teams agree that it is illegal, and therefore all the teams shouldn’t have it from Barcelona. But then those teams who say it is legal will say ‘Why should we do that?’And those that say it’s illegal will say ‘Why should we lose an advantage for four races?’ “And so probably what will happen is it will end up going to the stewards, who will make a decision. That will almost certainly be appealed by whichever side is disadvantaged. And then that will go to our Court of Appeal and be hammered out.” The cause of the three teams in question will not have been helped by their very promising recent form in testing. BrawnGP has shocked the establishment with its pace, while Williams topped the final test of the pre-season last week at Jerez. Toyota, similarly, has been impressive and is expecting to be competitive in Melbourne. Sadly, all three may be forced to race under appeal or face having the legality of their cars questioned at the conclusion of a race in which they have high hopes of fighting for victory. Jerez testing times 1. Nakajima Williams 1:17.494 2. Button 3. Rosberg Renault Renault 7. Barrichello 8. Hamilton BrawnGP 1:17.844 Williams 1:18.071 4. Kovalainen McLaren 1:18.202 5. Alonso 6. Piquet 1:18.343 1:18.382 BrawnGP 1:18.398 McLaren 1:19.121 9. Hulkenberg Williams 1:20.015