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Posted By: Darren Odam  |  26 Mar 2009   |  12:00 pm GMT  |  18 comments

The latest dispute over diffusers has generated a fresh wave of media ink, along with the appropriate dose of disbelief, humour and frustration at the capacity of F1 to generate news of fresh upheaval.

For our part, we could not help seeing the funny side of the issue, as well as the potential for a “cunning” new business proposition for the powers-that-be … with all due respect, of course, to all involved, including all price-comparison site creators and advertisers, etc.

comparediffusers.com

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18 Comments
  1. Finn says:

    What exact aspect of the diffuser designs is being argued about? size? position? layout? depth? weight? height?

    What EXACTLY has Brawn done which the other teams regard as illegal?

  2. Jason C says:

    McLaren’s diffuser certainly isn’t the best

    Do excuse me, but I thought it relevant to the post.

  3. John Kilmartin says:

    I’d love to see a comparison of these diffusers with the designs RBR and Renault had rejected by the FIA as early as March last year.

  4. rpaco says:

    Finn: Brawn and 2 others have studied and interpreted the WHOLE technical regulations for the volumes behind the rear wheel axis and seen that there are some areas which can be exploited by raising some parts of the back end of the diffuser to meet the rear crash structure and to create multiple sections. Most other teams have made a different interpretation along the lines of “Oh well then it probably means that they want a flat top on the diffuser so we had better do that” Now being jealous of the success of Brawn and co they are protesting. They will look very stupid if they themselves bring a similar diffuser in later on.

  5. Alex says:

    From my limited understanding of the issue; i understood that the rules state that the diffuser must be a horizontal line. However Brawn and the other 2 teams have apparently created a curved device which bolts on top of the diffuser hence creating better airflow. Clearly the FIA were trying to achieve something by making the teams use a horizontal diffuser, so why are they allowing some teams to get around it? If the purpose of the rule change was to reduce so called ‘dirty air’ and improve racing then it’s clear Brawn et al are in breach. I would hazard a guess that the FIA are actually very happy to see a bit of an order shake up in F1 and this is why they are allowing these teams to get away with it. It’s all very political.

    I actually wanted to ask James a question about budget capping; ‘To me it looks like a ploy on the FIA’s part to grab control of the sport and dilute the power of the big teams like Ferrari and Mclaren. Previously it has been very difficult and expensive to start a team and hence the teams have had a lot of power (threatening to breakaway), the new budget rules should reduce barriers to entry for new teams and hence will reduce the power of existing teams, Do you agree?

  6. rpaco says:

    Nowhere do the rules say the top of the diffuser should be flat! If the FIA wanted that then it would have been simple to write the rues to say so.

  7. Finn says:

    So between rpaco and Alex, do the rules say it has to be in a flat/horizontal line or not? Surely it should be either black or white (which means one side is definitely wrong and the other right) or grey, which means everyone is legit diffuser-wise and the flat heads will be playing catch up all year.

    I can see they would protest, rpaco … but understand that if they lost the protest they would want to copy the design in order to get the same benefits.

  8. Ross Dixon says:

    A diffuser doesnt create more dirty air as far as I am aware. It actually allows the air under the car to return to “normal” speeds like the air around the car. By allowing the air to expand it sucks the car to the ground. This would not effect the car following behind as far as I am aware

  9. Alan says:

    Hey!

    Whats up? I cliked on the Meerkat but there is no link!

  10. Chris G says:

    Perhaps Flavio should consider sacking certain members of his design team. They appear to be consistently conservative. Renault were allowed to play catch up with their engines this season (simply because they’d been unimaginative in their interpretation of the rules it seems) and a similar situation has now arisen regarding their rear diffuser.
    Several teams seem to have been deficient in this area. Surely they’re missing the point of the game if they’re letting these things slip by. Formula1 throughout it’s history has been sustained by innovative and imaginative interpretation of the rules.
    Without it F1 would just be any other series and it would not attract the best designers, engineers etc. which make it the pinnacle of the sport. Anything which stifles this creativity does F1 no favours whatsoever. The cars should of course be ‘legal’ but creativity within the stated rules should surely be encouraged rather than punished.
    Any other stance could be seen as detrimental to the sport. It certainly wouldn’t highten my interest, quite the opposite.

  11. Marcin C says:

    The stupid thing is, we now have another 2 or more weeks of uncertainty, and so 7 teams now have to work on making a new Brawn-like diffuser, so they can catch up, and 3 teams have to work on a standard diffuser, so they can compete in remaining races after the appeal.

    Another example of the FIA’s commitment to cost cutting.

  12. Sasquatsch says:

    According to Sam Michaels, the FIA allowed Williams diffuser more than a year ago, so I think they are pretty confident awaiting the appeal.

  13. Liquid says:

    Well for one.. its good to see some customer cars threating their engine suppliers for a change.. Whether its redbull and renault or brawn and mclaren… and no doubt lil Bernie and Mr.FIA would be happy to see tat..

  14. Johan Smithers says:

    LMAO at the meerkat! Unfortunately comparediffuser.com links to somewhere else!

  15. moderator says:

    On serious note, James will be not be able to report on the outstanding technical issues until there is a ruling and he has had a chance to review the report.

  16. Finn says:

    Thank YOU so much, rapco.

    By raising some parts of the back end, they are creating more downforce?

  17. James Allen says:

    Big topic. Difficult to answer simply, you have a point and being an independent team is becoming attractive again for sure. It’s about many things, money, politics, manufacturers being weakened by credit crunch. Huge subject.

  18. Sasquatsch says:

    No, the rules say that the top of the diffuser must be a continuous line. And this line may not exceed the heigth of 175mm. And the backside of the part below the top must be closed (except for a small hole for the starter)

    It says nothing about the area above this line and this is the loophole Brawn, Toyota and Williams exploit.

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