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GP Week : Issue 42
> F1NEWS> ettled, but it turns personal The FIA says the DDDs are good to go, but Flavio Briatore has a revenge plan for BrawnGP ... THE FIA International Court of Appeal reached the sensible decision in the days leading up to the Grand Prix of China and declared the Double Decker Diffusers run by the Brawn, Toyota and Williams teams as legal. In a move that caused little surprise, the Court announced that it had denied the appeal because “the Stewards were correct to find that the cars in question comply with the applicable regulations.” The court case itself, although lasting barely more than one full day, had caused much controversy as the mud- slinging between rival lawyers became personal. Ross Brawn was dubbed “a person of supreme arrogance” by Ferrari QC Nigel Tozzi, who went on to plead that the FIA saved itself from itself. Brawn himself argued that he had tabled a solution which would have closed the exploited loophole back in March 2008, but that his proposals were shot down by BMW and Renault, two of the three teams protesting the very interpretation Brawn had offered to make impossible over a year ago. With a decision reached, the protesting teams were, nevertheless, united in their disappointment. “We are not happy with the decision,”said BMW-Sauber boss Mario Theissen. “We cannot be happy with the decision, but we will definitely accept it and now we have to work and find a solution ourselves. It will take time [and] it will take a lot of money. You cannot simply put it [a Double Decker Diffuser] on the car. We have started development, but so far we don’t have a result.” Red Bull Racing, whose cars went on to score a famous 1- 2 in the Grand Prix, were so quick to react to the decision that chief designer Adrian Newey missed the China race. “We are working flat-out on a new solution already,”Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said. “As the verdict became official, Adrian immediately cancelled his flight to Shanghai, and will stay in the factory. If everything goes according to plan, we will have the ‘new’ car ready for Monaco.” Ferrari and Force India are expected to have a version of the diffuser ready for the European season, while Renault and McLaren had already tried interim solutions over the China weekend which helped Fernando Alonso reach the front row of the grid in qualifying and saw Lewis Hamilton top his first session of the season on Friday. But Renault boss Flavio Briatore is furious over the decision and was overtly vocal over the China GP weekend. In a move which threatens to break the unity of FOTA, Briatore has said he will table a motion which sees the BrawnGP team treated as a new entry to the Formula 1 World Championship and one which therefore will not qualify for television revenue or financial help towards its travel costs for its first three years in the championship. GPWeek understands that because Honda announced it was withdrawing from Formula 1 at the end of 2008, and BrawnGP is considered by the FIA to be an independent entry to the previous Honda Racing F1 Team, Brawn has already lost out on the chance to profit from the moneys owed to Honda by the F1 commercial rights holder, and that Briatore therefore has a good case should he decide to continue on this line of attack and hit Brawn where it hurts – financially. In a move which threatens to break the unity of FOTA, Briatore has said he will table a motion which sees the BrawnGP team treated as a new entry to the Formula 1 World Championship and one which therefore will not qualify for television revenue or financial help towards its travel costs for its first three years in the championship. Flavio Briatore has a plan to get back at Brawn