Red Bull will protest Brawn GP diffuser

Brawn GP face a protest threat at the Australian Grand Prix
Brawn GP face a protest threat at the Australian Grand Prix

Red Bull have confirmed they will protest against Brawn GP’s BGP001 if it is passed legal to race.

The cars will be scrutineered by the Australian Grand Prix stewards in Melbourne on Thursday.

Williams and Toyota’s diffuser designs have also been called into question. But Red Bull’s Helmut Marko focused his claim on Brawn’s diffuser which Marko claims makes the car half a second faster per lap:

It’s illegal: we’ll make a protest on Thursday if the component isn’t modified to conform to the regulations, because that diffuser guarantees a five-tenths-advantage per lap. Seven teams are certain it’s illegal.

Marko claims seven teams support the protest, which presumably include both the Red Bull-backed outfits.

As Toby Bushby pointed out in the comments here earlier today the FIA have failed to clarify the diffuser regulations and missed chances to prevent the row dragging into the first race of the year:

February 5th, Max Mosley: ?σΤιΌ?τThe current FIA view is that Williams and Toyota have been clever and have exploited the wording of the rules in a clever way?σΤιΌ?ͺ.?σΤιΌ?Ψ and ?σΤιΌ?τ?σΤιΌ?ͺ.The view of our technical people is that it is okay, we will wait and see if someone challenges it.?σΤιΌ?Ψ

March 18th, Amendment to technical regulations states: ?σΤιΌ?τOne of the purposes of the regulations under Article 3 below is to minimize the detrimental effect that the wake of a car may have on a following car.

Furthermore, infinite precision can be assumed on certain dimensions provided it is clear that such an assumption is not being made in order to circumvent or subvert the intention of the relevant regulation.?σΤιΌ?Ψ

March 21st, Max Mosley: ?σΤιΌ?τAnd 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.?σΤιΌ?Ψ

And most importantly ?σΤιΌ?τI have an open mind on it at the moment – I can see it going either way. I really can. But somebody has to make their mind up and fortunately it?σΤιΌΤδσs not my job.?σΤιΌ?Ψ

Although the FIA could have cleared up the regulations sooner they may have been caught out by the late debut of the Brawn GP car.

But it’s frustrating to see a new F1 season begin under fresh controversy that might have been avoided. Once again we have to think of the FIA’s radical budget caps proposal, which would involve F1 cars running to two different sets of technical regulations, and marvel at how the governing body thinks they could get two sets of rules right when they can’t handle one.

For more on this read John Beamer’s excellent piece on the new diffuser regulations and how different teams have interpreted them: F1 2009 Technology: Rear wings, diffusers – and the inevitable controversy.

You can also find the full 2009 technical regulations on the F1 Fanatic drop.io.

82 thoughts on “Red Bull will protest Brawn GP diffuser”

  1. Obviously a case of jealousy. Red Bull won’t be able to touch the BGP with their slow car so they protest the legality of the opposition. Hmmmm….

  2. Just a thought – would there be quite so much protest about it if it had been say Ferrari or Mclaren that had the Brawn style diffuser and was topping the testing as expected, rather than the Brawn – who has shocked everyone by making a humungous step forward – and therefore ‘must’ have something illegal about it?

    Possibly, possibly not – it does seem like people/teams were looking for reason why the Brawn is so fast. The main focus is on Brawn, rather than the Williams and Toyota – even though they are all under scrutiny about it – but the Williams and Toyota havent been huge steps ahead in testing. If the three teams have been down the back end of testing times would there have been quite so much protest…

  3. Keith says:
    You only say that because simple cars are easier to paint

    hehe you know where i come from keith,maybe i should paint bob sleighs

    anyway first 09 car is painted/posted.
    thought i do the most ugly one first,then things can only get better…

  4. Who says one of the seven won’t turn up with a copy or different interpretation of the rules at scrutineering.

    I bet they haven’t been sitting around on their hands for weeks.

    1. They certainly have’t been sitting on their hands for weeks, but it takes quite a long time to freight bits over to Melbourne, so I should imagine any changes that are ready today, won’t be on a car for a fortnight or so – certainly not if they would require such an extensive redesign of complementary features such as rear wings as has been suggested earlier in this thread.

  5. This part of the regulation is very misleading because it is based entirely on interpretation

    “Furthermore, infinite precision can be assumed on certain dimensions provided it is clear that such an assumption is not being made in order to circumvent or subvert the intention of the relevant regulation”

    Like Newey said, “There is no spirit of the regulations” otherwise all the engineers can just read a FIA “blueprint” and be done with it. Or better yet, let Ferrari make all the cars and teams just set them up and race.

  6. It’s all hilarious to me. Sam Michael and Ross Brawn were both on the technical committee and both know what the intent was and what was stated. Charlie Whiting examined the BrawnGP element design and pronounced it within the regulations. Toyota also seized on the opportunity, and the other teams did not.

    If this goes to an appeal is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that the FIA (steered by Spanky) will find in favor of Brawn, Williams and Toyota? Why you ask? Just to twist the noses of Ferrari, McLaren, and BMW for calling for Max’s resignation, and in Ferrari’s case for Luca’s leadership of FOTA and wanting more of Bernie’s money.

  7. I’m sure they will rule in whatever way benefits Ferrari the most. They prefer is Ferrari win every champion ship till the end of time.

    Go Timo Glock!

  8. Brawn and co will go down!

    They will be removed from this year F1

    I comes from the inside,
    scream, laugh or cry.

    15 Evening you will read and lisen the same as here

    Have a nice F1 year

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