FIA says Brawn, Williams and Toyota diffusers are legal – what happens next?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Toyota's diffusers have been cleared along with those of Williams and Brawn
Toyota's diffusers have been cleared along with those of Williams and Brawn

Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota will be allowed to continue using their controversial ??double decker? diffusers after the FIA rejected an appeal against them by four other teams.

The verdict was handed down at a meeting of the International Court of Appeal attended by the seven teams involved, plus McLaren. So which of the teams will now equip their cars with the feature? And will there be any more fall-out from the hearing?

The FIA’s procedures are under scrutiny once again. The first concerns about the diffusers were raised in January and it has taken until the middle of April to get a final verdict. In this time they’ve been passed once by the FIA, again by their own stewards, and now by the International Court of Appeal. Did the process need to take so long?

Renault are especially aggrieved at the outcome have claimed during the trial that they approached the FIA when they were designing a similar diffuser to judge if their interpretation of the rules was correct. It ceased development after a discussion with the FIA led it to conclude that such an interpretation of the rules would not be allowed. Were Renault misled, or did they just drop the ball?

Nigel Tozzi, the Ferrari lawyer, also made a very strong representation to the FIA. The veteran of the spygate scandal, is quoted by the Press Association as saying: “The position of the FIA is totally baffling. We urge you to save the FIA from itself.”

Ross Brawn appears magnanimous in victory, issuing a statement saying: “We respect the right of our competitors to query any design or concept used on our cars through the channels available to them.” This is in marked contrast to the hammering he took from Tozzi who branded him “arrogant” during the hearing.

The role of FOTA – the F1 teams’ association – has been the subject of much speculation. Some observers have looked at four teams protesting against the work of three other teams and drawn the conclusion that the FIA allowed the diffuser row to go on so long in the hope of eroding their unity.

The seven teams that are not using the diffuser are now expected to try to integrate it into their cars as soon possible. As the next two events are ??fly away? races in China and Bahrain, this may take some teams until the Spanish Grand Prix next month. This could include Ferrari, who have said it will have to make “fundamental” changes to its F60 to integrate the new design. But there are also rumours that McLaren will have an updated diffuser even sooner for their troublesome MP4/24.

Brawn maintained that the diffuser was not the only reason why they were so much quicker than the opposition. Their performance advantage over Toyota and Williams supports that claim. But will the other teams now be able to get on terms with the BGP001s?

Read more: FIA to rule on legality of Brawn, Williams and Toyota diffusers (Poll)

126 comments on “FIA says Brawn, Williams and Toyota diffusers are legal – what happens next?”

  1. Good to hear, I think making them illegal would of caused more problems, especially if they decided to take the points away from the teams. British fans, like myself, would of been horrified.

    Go Button!

    1. what about hamilton

    2. What about him?

    3. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      15th April 2009, 16:00

      What happens next? Simple, Button wins the championship!!!

    4. Has anyone any more info on the Renault case? they maintain that they had a similar device which was deemed illegal, the Renault board could feel strongly about this, they have pulled out before, their loss would be bad news for F1…

  2. We need to get clarity also on how much the new diffusers will impact the ability of the cars to follow closely. The OWG had a specific recommendation to halve the downforce from the diffuser. If this is now not the case, and cars are back to being aero-sensitive while following, will we go backwards with regard to the goal of promoting overtaking?

    Not that 2007 & 2008 weren’t exciting. If this year can throw up that kind of stuff, I’ll be pleased.

    1. I agree; the specific rules regarding the diffusers are silly. They should have had an objective measure, such as the amount of turbulence encountered at a range of distance close enough for streamlining.

      Within the constraint of this, plus the overall dimension of the cars, plus the need for structural integrity, teams should be able to design their cars anyway they want.

    2. @kurtosis:

      I agree; now it seems the OWG’s work has been wasted, and if (I believe) the DDD’s create dirtier air behind them, then all teams will have taken a step backward.

      Even though the cars would be able to go faster, I’m not sure that will compensate for the increase in air turbulence behind cars.

    3. I think most of the turbulent air was actually from the rear wing, by making it narrow and taller they got rid of most of the “dirty” wake (along with the aero appendages). The diffuser was more about making them slower in corners for safety (and also more daring outside lane overtaking moves like Trulli).

    4. If OWG recommended to halve the downforce due to diffusers plus the rear wing had to be reduce its width then where the car is gonna get enough grip to keep the rear stick to the track and avoiding oversteering in medium speed corners?
      You can not regulate the effect of certain devices by simply putting a box as the limiting volume the device can occupy, the sloppy regs wording is unjustifiable nowadays. IF three teams came up with a good solution to increase downforce without breaking the rules then hats off to them. If what the FIA wants is to keep downforce levels below certain value, good for them but to my knowledge that’s almost impossible to enforce so its useless.
      The bottom line here is; FIA must focus on writing and illustrating the regs, keep them simple, clean, no sloppiness. Leave the team engineers to do their job. At the end of the day, variety and good racing is what everyone is looking for.

  3. dave thomson
    15th April 2009, 14:04

    how come they can use them all cars must be the same thats what the FIA say but yet once again one rule for one and one rule for others.
    The FIA need to get to grips as people theses days will loose intrest like they are now.
    People are saying its getting boring and i watch it every year and i have to say its is getting boring.
    cheers toma

  4. Good decision. I think the regulations will be changed at the end of 2009 to make this type of diffuser illegal explicitly. It was a great piece of engineering to find the loophole but they won’t be allowed to keep it in 2010.

  5. would it be possible for the FIA to require all cars, or perhaps designs, to be ready for inspection by a certain date? this way, the FIA can deem the legality of all ideas, and perhaps allow teams to question other teams’ designs, all before the season begins. i for one, am getting tired of all this horse **** going on throughout the season. if it indeed was the goal of the FIA to drive a wedge between the teams, well then, the whole system stinks. get max and bernie out of there.

  6. AnOldFormulaOneFan
    15th April 2009, 14:09

    Well, now, the other teams must rush their already made designs into test and production and adapt them to their cars, improving them, not slowing them down.

    I always bet that this would be their decision, after in 2 GPs the stewards declared the 6 cars legal.

    If FIA vote against them now, we will now have a 4 front war – FIA / FOM / FOTA / Stewards (I know they are nominated my FIA, but still they a strong group of individuals…

    Now the ‘normal’ 3 way war continues – FIA / FOM / FOTA until (I hope) as Keith saw a few days ago – they open their eyes and backup a FIA presidential candidate, so the teams can have, as it would be NORMAL, more saying in all matters in Formula One!

  7. I think it is great how the diffusers are legal now.

    However, if the other teams start to put on diffusers, will that result in a lack of overtaking? or even more?

    Im not trying to be negative here but if these diffusers make the cars go faster then surely this is not making the sport any safer.

    Anyways, if they make better racing, then i’m all for it!

  8. Great news… it’ll not be long until everyone else in the paddock has their own double-deckers (yum yum) and I guess then we’ll see a turn around in the front runners. I hope Brawn are still up there fighting for the lead though.

  9. Thinking back to the Australian GP, Rubens Barrichello lost his rear diffuser, and damaged his front wing, and yet was still able to stay close to the opposition. I’m wondering, could a significant part of Brawn’s speed be in the chassis? Obviously the new aero rules along with the move back to slick tyres has changed the balance of the cars. It must be said also, the Brawn cars just look better than all the others. I would be quite supprised if all the other teams seem to catch up to Brawn with the new diffuser, I suspect Brawn’s dominance is much deeper.

    Personally I’m loving this season so far, visually the cars are following much closer than they have for a long time, and passing much more easily. The long standing dominance of Ferrari and McLaren has been well and truly shaken, and Hamilton has shown that even with an inferior car, he can still drive like a man possessed.

    1. Brawn must be loving it. If the diffusers are legal, his team will be battling mostly Toyota for the world championship (Williams have squandered so many points already, plus they have Nakajima). If the diffusers are illegal, they still have some speed advantage left, and now Toyota and Williams will be splitting the good points with the chasing pack.

    2. Don’t rule out Red Bull yet. If they get a decent DDD on the back of that thing, they’ll be taking the Brawns to the cleaners IMHO.

    3. the Sri lankan
      16th April 2009, 1:21

      yeah people here and in f1 teams have a hard tme realising it’s not just the diffusers that make the difference.

    4. Toby Bushby
      16th April 2009, 1:40

      Michel S. – The diffusers are legal.

      John H – Spot on. Red Bull already have the second fastest car in my opinion, and it’s (once again) absolutely mega in the wet. A beneficial Dx3 will see them pull right alongside the Brawns. Plus, surely they can develop faster than Brawn, even though they can’t match the big spenders.

      Don’t put Button’s name on the Cup just yet! Messrs. Vettel and Webber may have something to say about that.

  10. For once I agree with a decision the FIA have made, although their handling of the whole affair could have been a lot better. Some work colleagues who only follow F1 with what they see on the main news said they don’t know of another sport with so many controversies and court room goings on etc, this has defiantly not done anything to help F1’s image.

    When do next years technical regulations need to be finalised, because I wonder if the FIA will decide to rewrite the rules to close this loophole and the ones which allow those side pod deflectors and barge boards.

    I think these are the sort of areas where the rules will differ if the FIA introduce their budget cap for more technical freedom idea.

    Even with the resources the big teams have, I can’t see them managing to get a new diffuser fully developed and integrated with the rest of their car for quite a few races, especially with the testing ban. Unless Brawn suffer reliability problems or just bad luck they should be able to build a commanding lead in both championships before other teams can match them in terms of performance.

  11. I’m thankful for his decision. The 3 teams in question having their cars deemed illegal after two Grand Prix would NOT have helped Formula One’s public image, which we all know has already been tarnished enough by scandal.

  12. Its the best thing that could have happened to f1. Now we’ve got 2 races.ontrack & offtrack.i.e.all the vastly funded teams like ferrari,mclaren,bmw will be pushing their design teams to the limit. Now that the diffusers have been declared legal, the team that is good at damage limitation is most likely to catch up with brawn mercedes in the latter half of the season. This desicision has imo played into the hands of mclaren. I expect them to be winning races in the latter half. As for ferrari:better luck next time. Italian cry babe.

  13. Good news: a clear ruling has been made.
    Bad news: it took far longer than it should have.

    Can you really imagine this in any other sport? Is there another regulating body in all of sport that would have allowed a season to begin when there were obvious disputes on fundamental sections of the regulations?

    Nigel Tozzi, in all HIS arrogance, was nevertheless right that the FIA needs saving from itself. This a beautiful sport that is being pushed towards ridicule by guys sitting around in a boardroom. This sad saga is all the proof I need to know that if they really go ahead with a budget-based, two-tiered technical regulations system for next year, it will be recipe for nothing but continual litigation and we will see a season decided at hearing, after hearing, after hearing…

    1. Is there another sport that is like Formula 1? No. So imagining this applied to any other sport is utterly irrelevant.
      If you want a totally fixed formula then look elsewhere.

  14. Great News.

    now i think that there will be a few challenges opening up this season.

    wich othe the other two of the original diffuser gang catch up to brawn and challenge them.

    which of the non-diffuser teams will be the first to implement the modification.

    which of the non diffuser teams will match the original diffuser gang’s performance at the top first after having made the modification.

    will Brawn stay ahead now that all the teams can actively pursue development of the diffuser that are said to make them gain so much of an advantage.

    a lot of questions, and this season’s racing looks excellent so far. lets just hope that this modification doesn’t distance the cars as much. but i have a feeling that they wont….

    can’t wait to see what happens….

  15. Well at least we all know where we are going now. There are some more questions that need answering from this:
    If the Brawn cars are still fastest after everyone else fits the DDD, will there be more appeals?
    Renault have said that to include the DDD into the car will require a major rework of the whole aero package, they might be able to afford such a thing, but what about Force India? Are the poorer teams going to be penalised just for being poorer?
    Is the FIA going to send inspectors to the factories to check how much wind tunnel and test-track time is used to develop the DDDs?

    1. F.India might be able to get one from McLaren (similar to how Sauber once ran a complete Ferrari backend, IIRC?); they are already using the engine and gearbox after all.

      Mind you, that’s not as much an advantage as it would normally be, given how much they’re struggling so far.

  16. I think ultimately this is the best result for the “face” of F1, though I wonder what diffusers (double/triple/quadruple etc etc) we’ll see on the back of these cars in the coming races. In the end anyway I don’t see them using them for long, in that the FIA will close the loophole in the regulations for coming years.

    As for Renault, we don’t know what exact diffuser design they came up with, in the detail their diffuser may well have been illegal… we don’t know, and obviously Renault are not going to be open about that.

  17. As for if this season is more exciting with the aero changes etc… damn right it is. With the intro of KERS being used to attack and defend, and the wheel to wheel racing we’ve seen so far, this promises to be a good season for some decent racing!

    Roll on the weekend!

    1. Don’t forget that Brawn are still not running KERS. Their advantage will be chipped away race by race. I agree this may play into the hands of renault and Mclaren. Let’s hope the FIA wants to avoid more trouble and doesn’t penalize Mclaren and Hamilton. Could Mclaren survive another constructor’s ban ?

    2. McLaren won’t get penalised if they don’t do something wrong. Thats the easy solution. They do bring this upon themselves.

  18. I am happy about the outcome, but this issue shows there is a huge problem with the FIA, certainly if Renaults claim that they were told it wasn’t legal while others were told it was (But as Dougie points out, it could have been slightly different, enough to make it illegal). If anything, however, the FIA should be charged with bringing the sport into disrepute over this and the Hamilton saga.

    Also, I think Ferrari should be embarrassed of the behavior of their lawyer Nigel Tozzi. Brawn acted like a grown up, and Ferrari continues to act like a bunch of children. As upset as they may be, both sides had valid points in this situation, there was no reason for name calling, certainly from someone in the sport as insignificant as a lawyer.

    1. I think Ferrari are annoyed as a statement from them on the FOM site says that they also consulted the FIA during development and were told that their DDD was illegal.
      As per the comment about Renault’s argument, it may well be that Ferrari didn’t make it compliant, but we will never know.
      I wonder if all the teams consulted the same FIA technical person about this, since thay all seemed to get different answers, or if the legality of a car being designed and built is down to the interpretation of the rules by the local FIA representative?

  19. Great News !!

  20. Scott Joslin
    15th April 2009, 15:17

    I think it will be interesting to see if the FIA moves to change the rules on the diffusers for next year.

    As Keith has already pointed out that the cars with these D.D.D’s are almost or as fast as last year, so with another year of development these cars are going to be even quicker and more dangerous.

    If the FIA moves to change the rules on the diffusers it will prove that they have failed to manage the situation and have made this decision to reflect better on them than the good of the sport – eeek I am starting to sound like the Ferrari lawyer!:)

    I hope the FIA come out and explain exactly why they are legal so we all can see where Brawn, Toyota and Williams where correct and why the others were wrong.

  21. As an optimist, I don’t think this ruling will create less overtaking once all the teams have fitted their new diffusers. We’ve already seen the diffuser cars running just as closely as the non-diffuser cars in the first 2 races. Rosberg vs Barrichello vs Raikkonen in Melbourne comes to mind.

  22. I don’t think this is a case of the FIA drawing out the process. This is just the system of appeal. It is of no fault of the FIA if they say “That diffuser is legal”, and the other teams say “could you say that again louder please?”

  23. @iBlaze,

    You may be right. You have to remember though that RAI was on fast-degrading softer compound tires – so that particular example (ROS, BAR, RAI) isn’t much to go by if we’re trying to estimate the impact on overtaking.

  24. “its not a huge surprise that yet again the FIA support anything predominately british based. the fact that the diffuser does not comply with the rules is irrelevant”

    This was a comment I just read on another site. The ridiculousness annoys me quite a bit. Someone who is very obviously bitter towards Britain ignores the fact that one of teams involved was Japanese, one was Japanese owned onaly last year, one of the opposing teams was British and nationality doesn’t matter that much anyway, as quite a lot of F1 parts/expertise/r&d/etc. seem to come from Britain regardless of where the teams’ headquarters are.

    And the diffuser clearly did comply, otherwise it wouldn’t have been ruled as legal and teams opposing it wouldn’t have started making their own versions weeks ago. That shows that those teams knew it was legal, their only problem with it was that they failed to spot the loophole themselves and as a result have damaged pride in their engineering capability and lost performance at the beginning of the season.

    1. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      15th April 2009, 16:10

      Yeah, it’s a bit rich considering all the help Ferrari were given by the FIA to beat Hamilton (Brit) & Mclaren (Brit team!) last year…

    2. @ matt
      I knew the moment I read that quote who wrote it and on what website….don’t let that guy get to you,he is very anti-brit and ignorant.Stay on Keith’s website if you want intelligent conversation and posts.

      Glad this diffuser thing is sorted….now on to “liargate” and maybe after that,some RACING!

    3. yeah liargate will be even more fun I expect. Can’t wait. I hope that will be it for the rest of the season. Probably just wishful thinking. Oh well, on to China!

  25. Toby Thwaites 93
    15th April 2009, 15:48

    Apparently Ferrari and Redbull will have alot of trouble with a new diffuser because of the arrangement of main parts near the rear of the car, which they will have to completly rearrange and move them around to achieve a “double decker” diffuser
    BMW on the other hand are already very far in development of their diffuser.
    In my opinion it will make the racing even more competitive :)

    1. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      15th April 2009, 16:07

      I’m not totally convinced that the diffusers are the be all end all of Brawn’s (et al) speed. I’m sure it’s helping, but dont forget, Red Bull, sans conplex diffuser, aren’t exactly that far of the pace.

  26. Why dont we hear anything on this from McLaren? Have they started devloping a new diffuser.
    Suppose they are just keeping quiet and low profile for the time being. Afraid to say anything.

    1. I should hope so to..

  27. …or Barrichello…

  28. David (Brazil)
    15th April 2009, 16:10

    I’m going to stick my neck out and say this gives Hamilton (and maybe Alonso) a good chance of fighting for the WDC, presuming, as seems likely, that McLaren (and Renault) have a diffuser lined up and McLaren don’t get utterly pasted by FIA at the mega-lie, punishable-by-whipping, scandal hearings. If they strike lucky, their own diffusers should push them close enough to Brawn to make the KERS bonus count. Should be interesting. As for Ferrari, their own KERS problems plus the need to develop a diffuser, plus internal mayhem, could be difficult to surmount. BMW will be up there too I guess.

    1. Mclaren’s diffuser had gaffer tape holding a blanking plate (presumably to cover a rear facing hole (a la brawn) during the first two GP’s. Expect a hole in the MP4-24 this weekend at least…there’s a reason why they didn’t speak at the hearing…

    2. David (Brazil)
      15th April 2009, 17:50

      Matt – Yep, I’m half-expecting an immediate surprise package from McLaren too.

  29. PLEASE BAN DIFFUSERS
    15th April 2009, 16:10

    I’m sure we’ll some serious speed,serious injuries,serious deaths. I would caution vettel & webber against racing, that red bull looks overly radical. Not to mention the presence of Dr death adrian newey. Its going to be a repeat of 1994 i’m dead sure,we’ll see some horrific deaths. The cars are not safe enough thats all i can say. If i were to be the parent of one of these drivers, i would immediately withdraw their superlicences. I’ve a feeling that silverstone could witness its 1st death in decades. I just hope it does’nt happen. Plz ban diffusers. Max u r a idiot.

    1. You are aware all the cars have diffusers, right? What we’re talking about is some cars having different diffusers to other cars.

      Red Bull don’t have the double decker diffusers, so your comments about Newey are ignorant, as well as cruel and verging on libellous.

      I don’t think a technology that gives a potential speed advantage estimated at 0.5-1 second per lap merits anything like this sort of hysterical over-reaction. Even with double-decker diffusers the cars are barely any quicker than they were last year: 2009 F1 cars quicker than in 2008

    2. You’re a very serious young man aren’t you Keith..

  30. I’m an ardent Mclaren fanatic & i’m quite sure the team is working hard at its workshop to catch up with the brawn fellas. I trust & know they have been quitely developing replacement diffusers for the MP4. It might not be so soon but will definately be a sure thing when F1 comes to europe. Watch out!!

    1. Yes, but if the FiA sees McLaren have their car developed so they have a crack at the championship, they will probably disqualify the whole team for 2009. This is the crap that McLaren have to work with. Should they delay their development until after 29/4/09 and risk losing more points or go for it. Whatever happens, McLaren will be penalised. I so wish McLaren were one of the diffuser teams as the diffusers would surely be banned by now if that were the case.

  31. Quite in agreement Huges. I believe the FiA picks easily at Mclaren on every litle wrong (?) step. But who blames them…Da Mc are simply the team of envy! I just miss so much of Dennis…i have this innate feeling the team feels so much unsecured with him not around!
    Remeber the Renault case? They were forced to remove their diffusers…but i cant remember them loosing no point!
    My strong point here is a feeling that the FiA is dying to have a new team (?) win the championship!

    1. Yes Kutigz. That is quite obvious. I don’t think some F1 followers have quite got the hang of how it works yet, because it is so simplistic you see. Anything that McLaren or Lewis touch is to be judged harshly, penalised or disqualified. That’s it, period. This year the FIA want Brawn/Button to win and they probably will looking at how things are going. Last year the FIA did everything they possibly could to get Ferrari/Massa to win, and they just failed on the last corner of the last race. This year, they are going to make sure McLaren/Lewis don’t win from the outset of the championship, so there’s no doubt by the time we reach Abu Dhabi. Simple really!

    2. Scott Joslin
      15th April 2009, 17:12

      Guys, if Mclaren hadn’t lied in the first place they would not be in this situations to be judged by the FIA.

      If it had been open at the investigation last year in to the Ferrari documents and also told the truth at the stewards meeting on Australia then they would not be meeting the FIA again to be punished.

      It’s not as if the FIA are laying this little traps to catch them in – Mclaren are slightly inept at managing the raw competitive nature of their organisation.

      I cannot help but think they certainly don’t to anything the help themselves. Why cannot they just keep their heads down and race without getting in to an funny business, then if they lost they would only have themselves to blame and not have any of the paranoia that fills its team and many fans.

  32. Reading up on the various reactions, it’s increasingly looking like Renault and Ferrari in particular are in deep trouble this season. Renault at least have a driver who is excellent at development. Ferrari not so much.

    Even so, doing a fundamental redesign with a ban on in-season testing (except straight-line) and a forced reduction in wind-tunnel usage means that the development cycle must slow to an absolute crawl.

    In fact, they may be better able to spend efforts on incremental improvements (non-fundamental changes) and get competitive like RBR has done without the DD diffuser. This approach may pay dividends next season if the FIA introduce new regulations to ban this sort of diffuser. So they may want to focus on extracting performance in other areas in spite of having a regular diffuser.

    Of course, BrawnGP and the rest will be doing the same _with_ the DD diffuser, so that brings us back to square one.

    So it’s game over for Ferrari and maybe Renault as far as this season is concerned. I’ll put my neck out and say Ferrari end the season at the bottom third of the constructors championship.

  33. I support FIA’s decision. Let the whining stop and the racing begin, about time we had the first complete race !

    Look out for Barrichello in Shanghai.

  34. Does anyone else feel that if the positions were reversed and it was McLaren/Ferrari/BMW that had come up with the controversial design that they would have been ruled illegal because those teams are so used to having that sort of advantage? Anyway, that being said, LETS RACE! I am excited to see what the other teams come up with now…

    1. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      15th April 2009, 17:40

      no

  35. a number of points
    1. I think we’ll see McLaren turn up on Friday with the rear of their mark II diffusser cut out!! I’m sure it was designed to be a double deck design in the first place just waiting this decision.
    2. As for Ferrari, BMW, Torro Rosso and to a lesser extent Renault, catching up is going to require a new gearbox design.
    3. Jon Tomlinsonm (Williams) has admitted he gained knowledge about Honda’s diffusser from an ex Honda employee who joined Williams. Well if my memory serves me correctly Stepney and Coughlan did the same back in 2007. I guess because of the engine supply and the required shape of the gearbox, Williams let this slip to Toyota. Hence 3 DDD’s. Another spygate then.
    4. The reason this design is passed as legal is more about the top deck of the difusser being part of the deformable crash structure. Which is what I assume the FIA have confirmed.
    Oh dear what a mess Formula 1 gets its self into.

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      15th April 2009, 17:01

      Only ferrari and redbull need new gearbox designs..

    2. Not too fast Del, the Mc team i suspect wont cut-out & replace the MP4’s diffuser just yet…the Mc team have got the lie-gate scandal at hand with the Appeals team. They’d probably be on hold till a more comfortable time…wat ya think?

    3. Scott Joslin
      15th April 2009, 17:19

      On Point 3 Del, that is not really like the Stepney and Coughlan situation.

      Both were being paid by rival teams at the time. Key personnel move from team to team all the time and key personnel’s market value to other teams in considered in what knowledge they can bring from other teams.

      For example, does that mean Adrian Newey could not work for Mclaren after working for Williams – after all, he would have known a lot about what made that team successful. It just isn’t the same in my opinion.

  36. Engineering loop holes are as much a part of racing as spying and team orders. If i could have one wish it would be that F1 could go back to being a (comparative) minority interest sport. The FIA find it hard to be autocratic these days and the reason is the overwhelming public interest.

    Watching the racing clips on the Jackie Stewart documentary the other night i realised how far we still have to go before the racing is anything like it should be but it is much much better. Carry on FIA, an impossible job.

  37. Delboy, again the details are scarce, but I’d imagine regarding your point3 that the employees in question used knowledge gained from memory rather than printing out, photocopying, and passing on the full schematics of the Honda design in question.

    Anyway, having read this Autosport report I wonder why the teams haven’t yet learned to stop clarifying things with someone who obviously is not in a position of authority or of detailed enough knowledge.

    Marko says Red Bull was angered by the decision to approve the three double-decker diffusers because it had already submitted a similar design for approval and had it rejected.

    “What angers us is the fact that we had approached [Charlie] Whiting for a clarification on a diffuser solution like the one in question and we were told it was illegal, therefore we did not pursue it any further though our design team had similar ideas,” said Marko.

  38. They’re legal. Really no suprise. Score one for innovative engineering and rule reading/interp. Now let’s see how long it takes for the others to adapt.

  39. How does the Double Diffuser make the cars dangerous?
    With the tracks being built lately having run off areas as wide as a small county, the drivers are more in danger of hitting a bird in flight or an errant dog.
    I hear lots of arguments for banning the diffuser, that it makes the cars faster, and I’m talking about readers on here. If the FIA wants the cars to go slower let them run with F3 specs, engine and all. I guess that would satisfy the hunger for slow speed.

  40. By the way Keith, I am seriously concerned about the competency of Charlie Whiting. It seems both during races and regarding technical clarifications, he often seems to say one thing and goes on to implement something else.

    1. First the Spa thing and now this, doesn’t look very good at all does it?

      What I want to know is, when Brawn and the other teams asked if their interpretations were legal, who did they ask? Was it Whiting? If so…

  41. ‘diffusers legal”, now there is a shocker folks, who would have predicted that decision ehh!

    Wasn’t this whole thing with ‘rule changes’ supposed to even up the filed a bit and allow for more overtaking.
    I would like to play devils advocate, and here is what i think the broad message that Bernie’s maFIA are sending out these days:

    In my opinion all this rule changing has done is promote 3 teams to the top, where overtaking is almost impossible amongst them, because, ironically enough, of the ‘diffuser’! at the same time creating a pace differential between the diffused and non-diffused cars, farther reducing overtaking opportunities between the top 3 and the rest.

    The only exciting racing and overtaking we’ve seen was amongst the BMWs, Red Bulls, Mclarens, Renaults and Ferraris etc… all the teams that complied with letter of the maFIA rule changes…. the diffuser lot are romping away at the front almost unchallenged and not passing each other either.

    So to remedy this Bernie’s maFIA, rule diffusers legal, thus trumping their own reasons for introducing the rule changes in the 1st place, closer racing and more overtaking, because now the other teams will get diffusers and no one will be able to follow anyone else’s slip stream because the diffusers will not allow this aerodynamically!!!

    Go Figure!

    More importantly, I think, they’ve sent out a message to the teams saying ‘you can work hard over many decades building highly skilled well managed and innovative racing organisations, but unless you have a mate on Bernie and Max’s maFIA who can set you early on in the game down the right path and with a ‘nod and wink’ bend the rules in your favour whilst making your opponents life an utter misery, then you haven’t snow ball’s chance in hell of competing on a level field in this sport’!!

    F1 is most certainly ‘not cricket ol’boy’

    1. the diffuser lot are romping away at the front almost unchallenged and not passing each other

      well, as far as I remember, so far this season the only driver to complain about aero difficulty in overtaking was Glock after being “stuck” behind Alonso in Australia – which kind of suggests the opposite of what you claim…

    2. Toby Bushby
      16th April 2009, 2:05

      SYM – Didn’t Rosberg overtake a Brawn and a Toyota at the last race? Trulli and Glock both passed Rosberg in Australia, as did Barrichello. Barrichello passed Trulli and Glock in Malaysia too, I think. That sounds to me like a fair bit of overtaking in one and a half races, don’t you think? It seems the only cars that are hard to pass are the ones running KERS, and I’m guessing you support one of these teams, right?

      As I said in a previous comment on this site, possibly the only way that the diffuser ‘enhancements’ could be made illegal is if someone presented evidence that the wake behind the cars with this design made it harder to follow them, and it seems that no conclusive evidence was presented. That makes your argument against these devices inaccurate. I guess we’ll find out more when the full decision is released.

  42. @Maciek
    Perhaps the relative riving abilities of the 2 is a factor in this single example and also fuel loads i think may have been another. Where as I would turn your attention to the many battles in the mid-field, where positions were being swapped several times over a single lap eg Hamilton/Webber, Kubica/Vettel and so on

    1. And again, Glock was saying that it was tough to get past Alonso primarily because of KERS.

  43. Glock wasn’t “complaining” about aero difficulties, he was noting that ALO used KERS every time he (Glock) got ALO lined up for a pass.

    We can’t really draw a conclusion on the impact on overtaking just yet. We only know that this goes against _one_ of the OWG’s recommendations.

    1. Ummm, ditto :)

  44. KingHamilton
    15th April 2009, 18:26

    brilliant news. thank god the FIA actually got something right for once. Halelula! i am now very pleased that Brawn can continue their superb form, although they’ll need to look behind them soon………..

  45. 3 teams evolved an FIA approved design of diffuser which is alleged to give them a performance advantage though it is yet to be proved how big that advantage is. Vettel led 5 of the 6 cars so equipped in Australia until Kubica who was also not so equipped but safety car enhanced misjudged his overtaking move.
    Ross Brawne says that the diffuser design cannot be held responsible for all of his cars performance. Adrian Neweys Red Bull would appear to confirm that. We have a feast to look forward to.
    None of these technical features have any political connotations. It is sad that Ferrari sent a QC along to a technical meeting to contribute his views on Ross Brawne rather than the subject under discussion. Probaly got right up the stewards noses but I would have hoped that Ferrari owed Brawne more loyalty than that for his part in all the years of success and for Todt’s contribution to his leaving Ferrari.
    Away to the dustbin with politics and QCs let the teams race and outwit each other if they can.

    1. Toby Thwaites 93
      15th April 2009, 23:01

      I think the whole Kubica vs Vettel thing has already been concluded. It was Vettels fault.
      Plus its Brawn…

  46. hello 2004. button for pole in every race.

    1. Yes yes and lets have Lewis Hamilton’s and McLaren’s penalties be handed out at least 24 hrs before each race….yippi

  47. Well if I read correctly, RedBull claimed they sought clarification from Whiting a double decker diffuser, similar to the one the 3 teams are running and were told it was illegal. The interesting thing is Williams got on the idea about the diffuser from an ex-Honda staff. Williams must have known it was legal to proceed with it as definitely Honda had already got the go ahead from the FIA.

    Is it possible the FIA are trying to keep toyota interested in F1 by allowing them some early results?

  48. How separate are the diffusers from the rear crash structure? Is this what is going to take the time, having to have the car re crash tested? I can fully understand Macca keeping their heads down and going with majority until the ruling then whipping a ddd out of their sleeves almost straight away,

  49. So, since all the confusions about the diffusers are cleared today, it’s time to concentrate on racing again. There will be another race at the factories between seven teams that don’t have DDD and It will be interesting to see who will bring their new car first. But one thing which is obvious is when everybody has DDD and KERS, there will be no difference in overtaking to last year. Cars will have more downforce and corner speeds and all the regulation changes that have been made on behalf of overtaking will be wasted.

  50. @Scott Joslin.

    Read what Coulthard says about F1 truth & lies. He says that as a driver, you go into the stewards office only when you get summoned there, and when you’re there your only thought is to limit any damage the stewards can do to you and your team. Truth and lies don’t come into it. You say whatever produces the best result. This rule applies to all drivers, team leaders, mechanics, everybody in the team.

    In fact, they behave just like most of the rest of the human race.

  51. I’m not quite sure where we collectively are coming from. This type of situation is just pure F1. Over the years disputes over designs, some teams evolving technical superiority over others. Front runners dropping to the back, independents coming to the fore.

    Psychological & intellectual warfare with team managers, technical directors, engineers & drivers all having a go at each other for all the right and all the wrong reasons. Pure passion.

    The life blood of F1 – a fusion of politics, business, engineering & people management skills like no other sport I can think of. All topped of with sublime driving skill once they hit the track.

    I absolutely love it.

  52. Banning the diffuser on grounds of safety doesn’t make sense at all. I’m sure F1 cars can go 3 seconds a lap faster maximum with no fears of safety. It’s not the first time that drivers these days say that an F1 car is one of the safest things on Earth.

    The FIA was wrong in introducing these rules to slower cars and THEN, to aid overtaking. F1 cars should be allowed to go faster and this will naturally result in more over takings. What the FIA did well though is remove those body work appendages to the cars. It’s still a little way off succeeding though.

    If Ferrari argued that the diffuser breached the spirit of the rules, why were they the first team to present a car with aerofoils around the side pods and the winglets on the front wing? I’m sure no F1 fan welcomed these, especially the aerofoils on the side pods. I was quite shocked when I saw the images because I thought that these were things of the past.

  53. @Leon
    you remember spygate 2007. Its surprising that one never heard any of the other teams condemning the Mclaren supposed possession of the Ferrari designs, apart from Ferrari itself.

    1. Not supposed, a document was indeed found in possession of Mike Coughlan, with detailed engineering specs of the F248. I think this was the model number for the car in that year. Why the other teams didn’t make a noise about the same, is beyond me.

      Yes, as someone pointed it out earlier, people move to different companies with information in their heads. Companies try to protect their interests by asking them to not take up work immediately with any competing company. That’s what most companies do. However, no one asks for entire, ahem, design document(s)/ blu-print to a rival companies car, or for that matter, any other product(s)/ service(s).

      I found it rather weird that no one else cried foul. They should have had. All companies try to protect their IP’s (over)zealously. They spend considerable amount of time and effort acquiring the same, so it is also understandable.

      You would not, ever find someone crying foul against Sir Williams and his team. Think why and you’ll have your answer, as to what McLaren gets wrong every single time.

  54. i totally agree with SYM the most interesting racing has been down the field webber,kimi,alonso,vettel etc thats what bbc covered mostly in sepang button was just running away with it ala schumi 2004.So whats been achieved nought, brawn will dominate maybe challenged by toyota until the others get and refine the packages.We could have the scenario that the championship is decided halfway through the season then those teams never win or placed in the top five again and as for over taking Sym is correct thats over the only cars overtaking will be the kers cars on the straights.

    1. Toby Bushby
      16th April 2009, 2:19

      Sean, I think that the most overtaking has been achieved down the field for as long as cars have been racing. What’s good about this season is that it’s happening more often! And it IS happening at the front too. Rosberg went from fourth to first off the start in Malaysia, and with Alonso’s great start, the first few laps at Sepang were overtaking heaven! What’s with all the complaining?

      If Button gets every pole and every win this season, then yes, it’ll be a bit boring. But at least it’s not Ferrari or McLaren doing it, or going win for win. Now that’s what I’m sick of…..

  55. That was stupid of me, I was just replying to someone else who suggested that saying that would be easier! Also, it was a badly placed dig at people who veer off topic, usually towards something to do with Lewis Hamilton. Sorry. It won’t happen again.

  56. pSyrng –
    That’s gotta be one of the best posts I’ve read so far…spot on!

    This is part and parcel of F1, it has been the same over the years with ground effect, turbochargers, wings, sidepods, V8 vs V12…The FIA and the court simply could not have ruled DDD’s illegal!

    The non-DDD gang will catch up, with other little tricks and tweaks, KERS and so on. What does bother me is that the implementation of a new diffuser is mighty tricky. You don’t just bolt a new one on. There’s a whole raft of handling, balance and aero characteristics to take into account. I do suspect that the other teams have done a lot of work already on DDD’s, it’s going to be very interesting indeed to see if Brawn can keep the others at bay. It is quite amazing!

    I’d love to see Ferrari catch up, but I also think with their lawyer Tozzi making so much noise against DDD’s it shows that the Maranello boys are in quite a bit of trouble.

    Shanghai in a couple of days; I think were are in for a memorable season folks!

    1. The FIA and the court simply could not have ruled DDD’s illegal!

      Except they have ruled loads of developments that existed in similar gray areas of the regulations: McLaren’s independent rear brake in 1997/8, Michelin’s tyres in 2003, Renault’s mass damper in 2006

  57. For the first time in about 2 years; i actually fully support the FIA’s decision. Hey Brawn, Williams, and Toyota were just hell of alot cleverer than the big guns at Ferrari, McLaren, and Renault. So the big guns got cot so off guard they’re freakin out. As a Ferrari fan I will say that Ferrari really are not wanting to admit to their mistakes. They dont want to say that the “almighty” Scuderia Ferrari were not clever enough to read through the regulations a few more times and think “Hey lets try this”. I do hope that the damn FIA will just drop the “Lie-gate” scandal. There have been millions of times that the other teams have been caught lying to the stewards. So why is this time so damn bad.

  58. The thing that would annoy me about this, were I a technical director or team owner/principal is that several teams, most notably Red Bull and Renault, sought clarification regarding a DDD and were told it would be illegal. However you then have Ross Brawn stating he told the OWG that the wording was loose and could lead to just this sort of thing happening in ’09. The wording is not cleaned up and as a result three teams start the year with a diffuser design that seems to the others to not be legal.

    So long as the racing is still good with DDD then run with them. If it suffers, ban them from 2010 onwards

  59. Leon, how would you rate Schumacher, Coulthard, and Hamilton as men? Fight the good fight and don’t shrink in the face of self serving bad behaviour.

  60. Great topic Keith!

    I think that this was the right decision by the FIA. had the DDDs been banned, F1’s (and the the FIA’s) reputation would probably have been sullied even more for allowing such a gaff in the rules especially two races in (though you could argue the converse and say that they should have clarified this much earlier). Plus as Brawn GP has won the hearts and minds of many, I’m sure many fans would have been ready to riot if their championship points were void.

    However, I am particularly interested in what Renault (and I read somewhere on here, Ferrari) had said about approaching the FIA about their own DDDs sometime ago and they were deemed illegal. I wonder what made them different from the ones that were determined legal today. If Renault and Ferrari’s designs would have been considered legal according the most current ruling, then we have some seriously troubling disconformity going on here.

  61. Whatever the decision was – it’s a joke – as you very well put it in the introduction… so much time to solve these issues. Can’t those guy get their a**es out of their big chairs a hold more than a meeting a mouth? It’s ridiculous… I’ve never seen a season (only 2 races done) with some many problems OUTSIDE the track as this one and if we see them right – there is only one guilty party – FIA. It’s not an organization – it’s a joke. If this is allowed to go on, I’m looking at more teams joining Honda… in the stands… and then Bernie will have a grid like that Indianapolis GP with 6 cars, or better 2 cars and 4 carriages…

    Please Somebody STOP these guys! Because you’ll know – more is to come this week, next week, and so on… Now they know they can do whatever they want and no team, no team association, to driver’s association, NOBODY can stand to them… It’s like the mob… and when they choose a target, it goes down, whatever it takes… There’s a lot of money involved and a lot of it going into many private accounts of all those guys in charge… so they want to keep it that way… all the way… We, the audience, are monkeys to buy tickets, merchandising, pay closed signal channels to see the circus at home… (I still remember when Bernie stood up against that all in all countries, the channel with the rights to transmit F1 could only be an open signal channel… Well times change and money talks loud…

  62. quite right Mig.Golf ferrari, bmw,mclaren,renault,red bull, will be pouring basicaly the same amount as brawn will spend in a season into catching them, thats good economics in these depressed times and at which point do they say thats it we cant justify this see ya.

  63. Well, as the 2009 Mclaren and Ferrari cars seem to be CARP, maybe this will help.

    Once they have got the DDD’s they should be at least a bit quicker than they are now.

  64. @mesut
    Renault has already issued a statement that they would be ready with the diffusers by Spanish GP..then it would be a even playing field for all the teams

  65. Prisoner Monkeys
    16th April 2009, 3:13

    I think a lot of the criticism being levelled at the FIA is undeserved. It seems a lot of people are attacking them over the verdict not because of this indivdual case, but because of decisions in the past that have been perceived as being specious, biased and outright wrong; it’s strange given that the poll a few days ago showed so much support for the diffusers being declared legal. Perhaps ‘support’ is the wrong word, though. It was really just a poll as to whether or not you thought the diffusers would be legalised, not whether you felt it was the right decision to make them legal. But the point I’m trying to make here is that if the FIA had banned the part, stripped Button of his two wins and the other drivers of their results, there would still be people who thought they made the wrong decision and attacked them over it. The FIA has to decide what is best for the sport.

    Regarding Red Bull and Renault, I’d like to see what they were looking at as a potential design when they approached the FIA. As they’re playing the double standards card right now (sometimes I rate Flavio Briatore as being no better than Paul Stoddart), I doubt we’ll see anything any tme soon, but I suspect that while their designs were similar in theory to those created by Brawn, Williams and Toyota, in practice they were still outside the rules.

    Personally, I think the FIA made the right choice, even if the diffusers are technically illegal. They’ve been pushing for the 2009-spec aero regulations for a while now, trying to make the sport more competitive, and new teams are emerging as a force to be reckoned with while the old powerhouses of Ferrari and McLaren are struggling. As a added bonus, you’ve got the story of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, who were all but out of a drive three months ago only to qualify and finish the race one-two in Melbourne. In short, the uncertainty over who would triumph with the new regulations has attracted significant public interest, and the unexpected results of the Brawns has only intensified it. If the FIA banned the diffusers and stripped the team of their results, the backlash would be worse than that over the Spygate fiasco in 2007. Everything the FIA had worked for up until now would count for nothing, and all because a few designers thought outside the box. That’s not to say they deliberately designed an illegal part with the intention of manipulating the sport’s popularity to keep them competitive – doing so would likely result in their bing banned a la Andrea Moda – but rather that if I were the FIA and I had the choice of either cracking down on the underdog for the sake of enforcing the rules or declaring a previously-illegal part to be legal, keeping the results as they stand and then amending the 2010 regulations to prevent it happening again, I know exactly which one I would take.

    Besides, Ferrari, Red Bull, BMW and Renault aren’t the innocent bystanders who suffer because of the evil designers at Brawn, Williams and Toyota that they make themselves out to be. This whole “Spirit of the Rules” thing is a kick in the pants at best: there’s no way their protests were lodged out of a purely altruistic sense as they implied. All four teams stood to gain something if the Diffuser Club had their parts banned. I was shocked at the nerve of Ferrari’s QC when he accused Brawn of supreme arrogance given that this was the team who prosecuted the competitive McLaren in 2007 for possession of technical documents when they took no action against an uncompetitve Toyota hen their staff were found to have Ferrari data a few years previously.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys: I think your absolutly spot on here about if the diffusers were banned-it would have been a travesty on many levels. It definatly seems like there was a careful cost-benefit analysis in weighing their decision, even if the diffusers were illegal, at this point the FIA had much to lose by banning them.

      I posted before also wondering about the teams who approached the FIA earlier about their DDDs. They very well could have been more clearly in violation of the rules than Brawn and co. We cant know this now. Also, unfortunatly, I do not know when this all happened, but I wonder if timing had anything to do with this decision? Maybe if these teams approached the FIA again, in light of the recent ruling, their designs would not be be rejected. Anyway just some thoughts. It would be very interesting to see those designs, and find out exactly what had happened there!

  66. Thank you, Now can we get thought the year with out anymore of this political stuff and go racing.

  67. Could this decision doom F1?

    Think about it, in the middle of a global financial crisis almost all of the teams will have to spend up massively to get back on an even footing with the diffuser three. Not only that, but Renault, Ferrari and McLaren (the teams that bring in the most money for the sport) will be underperforming for the whole year. This could give sponsors an easy excuse to bail out.

    Force India is basically screwed for the whole season.

    Next year they will probably close the loophole for safety reasons, so all the spending on diffusers will be wasted and budgets to redevelop the cars will have been slashed to ridiculously low levels because of the ’09 spending.

    I think this is very bad for F1 teams’ finances.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      16th April 2009, 8:43

      The doom of F1?

      Yeah, right. That’s a little dramatic, don’t you think?

      Just think for a minute: firstly, the teams would have set aside a portion of their budget for developing the car. Just because there is a ban on mid-season testing this year doesn’t mean the designers won’t be coming up with new stuff to make the cars perform better. Those teams without a double diffuser will just have to allocate a part of that upgrades budget to making their own double diffusers. The worst that happens is that the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault won’t be able to develop other parts of the car – or at the very least scale it back slightly – but the overall effect it is likely to have it minimal.

      Secondly, banning the diffusers and stripping Brawn, Toyota and Williams of their results is far more likely to kill the sport, and much faster, too because of the public backlash over it. Formula One is more popular than it has been in years, and with the rags-to-riches story that is Brawn GP, more and more people are taking an interest in it. To deny them of that would see the casual fan lose interest, and the fact that the results were changed a month later following a protest from Ferrari – everyone’s favourite punching bag – would see even the long-standing fans walk away.

      To suggest that this decision spells the death of F1 is hyperbole at best.

  68. I think it F1technical where I saw a report that Force India already had a DD diffuser being tested pre-season.

  69. but teams are trying to save money max’s said the sport can’t survive at the present spending level’s must save money staff are made redundant.BMW and FERRARI have now said that they will have to spend millions RED BULL will have a totally new car at monaco how is this saving money already the RED BULL car is very fast and you can be sure that FERRARI,BMW,MCLAREN and RENAULT will be steaming shame the championship will the max and bernie will outlaw these aerodynamic aids as there was no overtaking in the latter half of the season dont think merc will be selling there kers system to brawn so they will be back of the field.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      16th April 2009, 10:39

      Okay, so Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault and co. have to spend millions of dollars redeveloping their cars. What’s the alternative?

      Brawn have been severely downsized following Honda’s withdrawal; despite their successes, they were forced to offer redundancy payouts to a lot of their staff.

      Williams are losing sponsors left, right and centre. Lenovo have withdrawn, while Hamley’s and My Diamonds followed suit after 2008. RBS is gone courtesy of the recession. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team is near bankrupt.

      Toyota have been constantly under the threat of being withdrawn by the Powers That Be in Tokyo unless they start to perform.

      In short, banning the diffusers would jeopardise THREE entire teams. Richard Branson’s money can’t keep Brawn afloat forever. Frank Williams needs sponsors, and soon; to get that, they need results and they need them now. If Toyota loses is newly-found competitiveness, the plug will be pulled. If just ONE team is out, the terms of the Concorde Agreement are violated, though there may be provisions made for the remainder of the season. If all three were to go, Formula One might not recover. Suggesting that Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault are hard done-by because they’ll have to fork out a little bit extra – and as a part of their yearly budget undoubtedly accomodates upgrading the car, they’re hardly going to be pinching pennies – is like Aaron Spelling’s wife complaining tat she was forced to downgrade from an eighty-million dollar home to a twenty-million dollar one. Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault can AFFORD to spend a little extra in redesigning their cars. The simple fact is that Brawn, Williams and Toyota CAN’T. Not without jeopardising the entire future of Formula One. You seem to have forgotten that while Max wants costs to come down, the teams currently running diffusers would have had to spend money – money they would be hard-pressed to come up with – to redesign their cars. It wouldn’t have been as much as Ferrari, Red Bull and Renult will have to spend, but nor is it a case of taking one diffuser out and sticking another one in.

  70. For sure the diffuser loophole will be closed next year in 2010.

  71. I think FIA is struggling to minimize damages as a result of her own incompetence(or may be its just pure chaos in there). Their thinking is the damages could be much bigger had they ruled against DDD.

  72. David (Brazil)
    16th April 2009, 14:20

    A point I can’t find made anywhere: isn’t there something a bit dubious about Ross Brawn being director of FOTA’s technical working group, which drew up specs for reducing aerodynamics/downforce for F1 this season, then being the guy who ‘circumvents’ these specs?

    Apologies if I’ve got that wrong. Kind of seems odd that someone in charge of drafting the technical rules then – in a stroke of brilliance – immediately knows how he’s going to bend them…

    1. David (Brazil)
      16th April 2009, 14:23

      I should point out this was the observation made by Celso Itiberê, a Brazilian F1 journalist, in today’s Globo.

    2. Yeah, its the same Ross Brawn that as director of FOTA’s technical working group offered to close a lot of loopholes and clean up the FIA regulations. It was this offer to circumvent this exact situation we find ourselves in now, that Ross Brawn laid on the table last year, that the teams (now throwing their toys out the pram because Ross did not stick to the “spirit of the rules”) rejected. Probably because they all greedily saw an opportunity to get one up on their rivals.

      Who has the last laugh now? Enjoy Ross, you got one over the establishment, and I for one applaud you for that big time!!

      Nice one!

    3. David (Brazil)
      16th April 2009, 19:02

      Dougie – I’ve tried to track down material on the internet about what was discussed by this working group last year, so far no luck: any links?

  73. Ferrari have come out of diffusergate very badly. They accuse Brawn of supreme arrogance- the man that led their renaissance. They say Charlie Whiting is embarrassed and out of his depth as hes not an engineer – he was chief mechanic at Brabham. They squeal that the changes will cost too much money, ha! how much is their budget compared to say Williams..anyone bar Mclaren? Their car is a dog, their no 1 driver is disinterested and their lawyers loud mouthed spivs.

    A strong Ferrari is great for F1 but a weak one is more amusing.

    1. @David, within seconds I’ve found this article that I’d never seen before… am sure I can find loads more to support it, but we both know I don’t need to bother.
      http://www.forumula1.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5746

    2. David (Brazil)
      17th April 2009, 1:44

      @Dougie

      Cheers; it was a genuine request, though, I wasn’t asking you to back up your point, just wanting to know more. Brawn’s position is fairly clear:

      If I’m frank I didn’t say ‘look we are going to do this diffuser if you don’t accept this rule’ because I’m not going to tell people what we’re doing, but I explained that I felt that we should have a different set of rules to simplify what needs to be done. I offered them and they were rejected, so my conscience is very clear. […] For sure there are periods when I am very happy to say what is good for Formula 1 and that is the period a year to 18 months before you start doing a car. What’s the best thing to do?.

      Read carefully and Brawn’s admitting that his actions were determined by the difference between what’s best for F1 and what’s best for a particular team. The point is that his position as director of the F1 technical group was obviously to judge what was best for F1 – improving overtaking/F1 as a spectator sport, reducing costs, clarifying rules, whatever – yet he was already anticipating his team interests (understandbly for sure). But the question is whether he fulfilled the first role appropriately. Personally I’m not bothered if he tricked/got one over on his rivals, but it leads me to think (following Brawn’s own rationale) that the double-deck diffuser won’t necessarily be good for F1 – at least eventually, when all the teams use it. Though it is good right now in terms of spicing up competition by skewing the pitch – which is presumably one of the reasons why FIA/MM/BE like it.

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