A change for the better: double diffusers likely to be banned in 2011

The double diffuser was an important part of Brawn's BGP 001

The double diffuser was an important part of Brawn's BGP 001

Autosport reveals the F1 teams are planning a change in the technical rules to ban double diffusers – but not until after the 2010 F1 season.

The thinking is this will help keep cornering speeds down and hopefully reduce the turbulence coming from the back of F1 cars, allowing them to follow each other more closely.

However with the teams already deciding to get rid of them in 2011, it does suggest a feeling that double diffusers may hamper the quality of racing this year.

Most if not all teams are likely to have an interpretation of the double diffusers on their cars. Teams like Red Bull and Ferrari, who did not have them on their cars at the start of 2009, will be able to fully integrate the designs into the 2010 designs.

Providing the teams can agree on a suitably tightly-worded rule this time, I think the double diffuser ban is a sensible decision. As I wrote earlier this week:

The design of the cars has a serious effect on how closely they can follow each other. If that?σΤιΌΤδσs going to be improved, the FIA needs to look at long-term changes as well as quick fixes it can make in the next two months.

Electing to get rid of double diffusers at the end of the year, when everyone has ample time to design revised cars to meet the new rules, makes a lot of sense.

While they’re at it, can they also do something about the less consequential but still quite ugly pod-wings which appeared on most cars last year, despite hopes we were going to see the return of clean sidepods?

Double diffusers

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63 comments on A change for the better: double diffusers likely to be banned in 2011

  1. Martin said on 7th January 2010, 19:34

    The DD should have been banned for 2010 but they wanted Button’s title to look somewhat credible.

    • Scribe said on 7th January 2010, 19:56

      Boring, three other teams had DDD an what did they manage.

      • Martin said on 7th January 2010, 22:10

        Scribe, it was three teams including Brawn, not three plus one. And you should know better the story of the little Red Bull team and how they kept themselves in the race.

        Toyota did all their podiums during the very first grand prix of the season. Williams did nothing. Not a surprise.

        It remains that the title was won thanks to the diffuser advantage. Fair or unfair that is not the question. It was a collective mismanagement of the technical regulations.

        This is why the DD was not made illegal asap.

        • Scribe said on 7th January 2010, 22:38

          Sorry for the belligerant response but I took you for yet another bore questioning the worth of Buttons championship.

          Incidentally Button didn’t have a championship at the point they legalised it for the season and or when they had the oppourtunity to ban it for next season, so the question of the credibility of Buttons championship wasn’t an issue. While it was a procedural error that resulted in the loophole there was no reason not to make the DDD illegal for the 2010 when the new regulations where released around the time of the Bahrain GP.

          Unless it’s a giggle, I might point out that Redbull is not a little team, while it’s certainly not the biggest team they were spending at least 200M a season back in 2006 and the whole thing is backed by a multi billion empire and Dietrich Mateschitz, himself a billionaire.

          Also didn’t Toyota gain P2 in Singapore and Suzuka? The second entirely on merit.

          Finally you are right, it was three teams only with DDD’s, my grammar slipped, thank you for correcting me.

  2. This will keep cornering speeds down… Why do they have to make f1 slower all the time. Isn’t it supposed to be the pinacle of motorsports? And yes I know there is a limit on what the human body can take but still. And for it being a loophole, it’s great that some teams found it. That’s what I want to see. As far as I see it F1 is all about technical innovations. Not technical limitations (As long as it is safe, I do not want to see a driver getting killed each year).

    • Scribe said on 7th January 2010, 22:41

      See my earlier post for a for a full size rant on aero and innovation in F1 (nt the 1 to martin) but this move is more for cutting turbulence than downforce.

  3. Bartholomew said on 7th January 2010, 20:23

    No DD and smaller steel brakes is the way to go

    Also : make the cars shorter !!!!!!!! they look like a train. At least half a meter shorter, and let the best driver win.

  4. HounslowBusGarage said on 7th January 2010, 20:34

    I think I’m quite pleased with this rule change. But I wish that someone with the ingenious and devious brain of Ross Brawn was in charge of the F1 rules and regulations. If Ross could see the problem, as could the designers at Williams and Toyota, the FIA regulations must have been very badly written.
    So when he retires from being a team principal at Mercedes after six straight WCC wins, I’d like Ross to become technical head bloke at the FIA. I think he’d enjoy that and I’m certain he could close all the loopholes before they open.

    • Scribe said on 7th January 2010, 22:43

      His job title should definately be Technical Head Bloke.

      • Adrian said on 8th January 2010, 9:31

        That’ll be the type of job title they have at (Sheffield based) Virgin Racing I hope…

        …instead of Technical Director it’ll be Head Design Fella…

        …Team Principle will simply be The Gaffa…

        …and the mechanics will now be known as The Lads…

  5. Oh I see, NOW they’re illegal!! :|

  6. Icthyes said on 7th January 2010, 22:08

    Hooray! Shame it can’t be for next year, but never mind.

    I’d go even further than Keith and ban not only the ugly side-pod wings, but all the little add-ons to the front wings and make the rear wings simple too, the shark fin (Toyota’s effort for Singapore 09 made me want to vomit), and the spinners which I think are going anyway.

    Take the rev limit off the engines (to aid overtaking – if you have a rule that requires engines to last, the drivers will turn their revs down anyway), have bigger tyres, and of course limited ground effects. Maybe then we can even go back to lower rear wings for the sake of aesthetics.

    • Scribe said on 7th January 2010, 22:57

      How about, one unbroken section of bodywork to make up the entire outer chassis, and no apedages at all. Can you immagine? A widened nose swoping up around the driver down over the engine and up again forming a scoop for rear downforce.

      And manufacturors are free to get their tyres from anyone, at any size and tuned mass dampers, active suspension brake steer etc are all unbanned.

      So long as the undersides where flat and without slots, or maybe you could even have a DD in this form of the sport, the effect on the front wings wouldn’t matter so much, an most of the air going to the DD comes from under the car anyway so it might not be effected that much by the guy in front.

      Anyway this way you could massively slash downforce, aerodynamics an the problems that come with it, while massively boosting mechanical grips importance to keep up the innovation.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys said on 7th January 2010, 23:05

    About time. I was reading the other day that conservative estimates suggest that by the middle of next season, the cars will be generating more downforce than they were at the end of 2008.

    And the designers complain about the circuit design, claiming that the circuits are the ones responsible for the lack of overtaking. Typical of them: they know that more aerodynamic grip produces a better car, so they then pile as much of it on as possible and do anything they can to protect tat advantage.

  8. Younger Hamilton said on 7th January 2010, 23:26

    what do you mean ugly pod wings and clean pod wings explain to me keith please!!

  9. Younger Hamilton said on 7th January 2010, 23:30

    its good the FIA are getting rid of Double Diffusers when i started watching F1 i was wondering why Brawn(Now Mercedes) were so quick i was thinking it was kind of a Computer chip that makes the car fast but i knew that was very silly thinking

  10. F1Yankee said on 7th January 2010, 23:44

    the more aero removed from race cars, the better the action is. i hope they go after wings next.

    • David said on 8th January 2010, 0:05

      Stupid. How developed the aero is the only reason F1 cars are as they are. Otherwise they can’t accelerate as well as they can, corner as well as they can, brake as well as they can. Just cop the effects of heavy-aero-based cars on the chin.

  11. wasiF1 said on 8th January 2010, 2:19

    It’s a good decision but they should have ban it in 2010.

  12. Adrian said on 8th January 2010, 9:32

    Can anyone tell me whether the Anvil (shark) Fins are allowed in 2010???

  13. Macca said on 8th January 2010, 9:55

    I would love to see the cars go back to how they looked in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

  14. I take it 2011 is going to be another big stepping stone in the cars design. I know its abit to early but have they said how many years there running no fuel stops for?

  15. I have to say that I would like to see more data showing the difference the ‘with or without’ double diffuser has made to following and cornering etc. Like you say, some cars did not have the double diffuser at the beginning of 2009 at yet I personally did not notice that much of a difference…

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