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Protest on Brawn imminent
Posted By:   |  25 Mar 2009   |  11:09 am GMT  |  0 comments

Just landed in Melbourne and I see that Red Bull has confirmed that it will protest the diffuser on the Brawn car, which it believes is worth half a second per lap.

Seven teams believe that the interpretations of Williams, Toyota and Brawn are outside the rules. It’s one of those classic F1 moments you often get with a rule change, where someone spots a loophole, gets a performance advantage from it and the others cry foul. You can bet that if they had thought of it they would have gone for it, because that’s the nature of the beast.

Red Bull’s technical chief, Adrian Newey, used to be the king of the new rules loophole, I remember when they brought in high cockpit sides after Karl Wendlinger’s accident Newey had a brilliant solution to that on the Williams.

The quotes are quite strong on this from Flavio Briatore said
“It looks like there are two sets of regulations: the one that allows some teams to have the diffuser built in a certain way that is forbidden to others because it’s considered illegal,”

“It’s illegal,” agreed Red Bull’s Helmut Marko.. “We’ll make a protest [Thursday] if the component isn’t modified to conform to the regulations, because that diffuser guarantees a five-tenths [of a second] advantage per lap. Seven teams are certain it’s illegal.”

Ross Brawn is such a consummate organiser, I imagine he has a plan B in case the diffuser is thrown out. How much that might damage their lap times will be interesting. I reckon they had a good second over the midfield and maybe six or seven tenths over the Ferrari/BMW/Toyota battle.

FIA president Max Mosley gave an enigmatic response,
“It’s a very clever device and you can make a good case for saying it’s legal and a very good case for saying that it’s illegal,” he said.

It’s the steward’s call, here in Melbourne. As last year they are headed by the FIA’s Alan Donnelly.

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  1. natef1 says:

    If they had 6/10ths over the rest of the field, and the Diffuser is *supposedly* worth 5/10ths, Brawn could theoretically still be faster!

    This is annoying from the teams, it’s damaging ingenuity again and they’re jealous they didn’t come up with it.

    It’d be nice to see the diffusers passed as legal, because you can be sure the rest of the teams will develop their diffusers if they can by the time we get to Barcelona, which could make a very interesting start to the season, then have the season turned on it’s head by the 4th-5th races.

    Make it legal, keep it exciting, I say.

  2. barrifon says:

    We’ll see… this reminds me Renault and the ‘mass-dumper’ in 2006…

  3. Moog says:

    “It’s a very clever device and you can make a good case for saying it’s legal and a very good case for saying that it’s illegal,”

    If this is the case then the regulations are badly written and need to be clarified/rewritten, and I’m sure they will.

    However, IMO, I wouldn’t have thought it fair to change the rules to make it illegal at the event. Sure change it, but put a time limit on when the new clarifications become law.

  4. Dave R says:

    The sooner this whole thing thing gets resolved the better!
    Personally I think that if there’s a loophole then that’s the FIAs fault and so the teams shouldn’t be punished for that.
    However, more important to me is wanting to see some great racing this year. Whatever decision the race stewards come to I’ll be glad when we get past all this.
    Hope you enjoy Melbourne anyway James – look forward to reading more updates in the coming days!

  5. Phil W says:

    This diffuser debate is going to ruin the start of the season if it is not stamped on by the FIA. Surely there must be a procedure for this type of situtation to be solved well BEFORE we go racing. If Brawn, Williams or Toyota win in Oz it will be wonderful news for the sport, but if the win is subject to protest, investigation and debate it will be nothing but bad news and nonsense.

    F1 shooting itself in the foot yet again.

  6. Albo says:

    This is getting rather irritating! The FIA should have made a decision a long time ago regarding this. They have had ages to investigate it.

    It shouldn’t be up to the race stewards to interpret the rules, its the FIA that should declare whether a car’s specifications are legal / illegal.

    Now we will have a GP dominated by questions over the result before the race even starts. Pity…

  7. Oliver Drew says:

    You would expect a reasonable approach from the teams. If the stewards find the cars legal in scrutineering (today I believe) that should be the end of it. The teams should then, well, lump it and start work on their own versions.

    However we all know that very few parties in F1 are ever totally reasonable.

    Hopefully they will resolve this quickly, though quite how this could be resolved before the first European round in late April is beyond me.

    I read somewhere that Toyota have apparently brought various different diffuser designs to Melbourne (can you confirm or deny James?) just in case. Wonder if BrawnGP and Williams did the same?

    Frankly though in the case of Brawn it won’t make a lot of difference. Their car is fundamentally fast, Brawn is a top, top team principle and they have the funds to develop an alternative so I expect them to be up there fighting for the title all season (though I expect I’m in a minority).

  8. I can see this ending with the Brawn cars racing under appeal, potentially for the first two races if the WMSC can’t meet until after Malaysia.

    Not a great situation for the sport, and one you have to imagine could have been avoided.

  9. Finn says:

    A protest will help to clarify the rules, so I welcome it.

    (As an aside, why no mention of Renault/Alonso in your ITV preview of the season piece? Do you think they are out of the frame? Or did ITV edit them out of the article?)

  10. Kevin M says:

    I’m not sure I can understand why this diffuser should be deemed illegal. It seems like a case of sour grapes. There should be reward for being clever in f1. Instead it gets you labeled a cheat.

    I sure can’t wait to get to the racetrack tomorrow though!

  11. Mattw says:

    [sigh] It is simply not good enouph – when this issue was first flagged up 2+ months ago – to wait for the first race before deciding these designs are legal or not.

    And under what basis are the ‘steward’s’ qualified to judge on this technical matter?

    Is it possible that the FIA has delibrately delayed dealing with this matter inorder to put pressure on the teams unity within FOTA?

  12. Dennis Dithmar says:

    “It’s the steward’s call, here in Melbourne. As last year they are headed by the FIA’s Alan Donnelly.”

    In essence Max Mosley ;-)

  13. Craig says:

    Will they rule on this before or after the race? I assume once you have built your chassis it is difficult to change the diffuser other wise they would of just copied it, or does the geometry of the red bull rear suspension and shape of the rear of the car prohibit them from running a diffuser similar to Williams, Toyota and Brawn?

  14. Jon says:

    Do you know in what way it is deemed illegal?

  15. Glen D says:

    I dont know what’s more interesting. Finding out who has the quickest car in qualifying or getting the result of the protested back to see who is right.

    Personally i hope that Brawn, Toyota and Williams are right and the others just missed a trick!

  16. Matthew says:

    Sore losers already and not a wheel turned in anger. I suppose they have to be? There is a lot at stake.

  17. James Mc says:

    Judging by a Stefano Domenicali comment which ive just read saying;

    “If that extractor is illegal then it must not be used, while if it is legal it’s up to the other teams, including us, to try to adapt as soon as possible, because performance is found in that area of the car.”

    I wouldnt be surprised if Ferrari have a spare diffuser up their sleeve!

    It annoys me that the teams protest as the last minute!, I mean come on!, the Brawn car was fast right out the box, I bet it took 2 days max to figure out it was the diffuser with all those spy photographers at the tests. Red Bull and others should have been faster on the uptake, put up! or shut up!, is what is say!

    Go Brawn GP!

  18. Dave Walker says:

    If the FIA have checked it out along with williams and toyota,and they said its legal then surely its legal and thats that!! why shoud the decision on weather there legal or not ly with the steward at the grandprix ?
    can some one answer this for me, what the point in charlie going to the test to check them out if there not going to take responsibility for there actions, they expect everyone else to!
    Especially as were in such hard times, charlies on a jolly round the world and for what? This “diffuser row” is going to overshadow the australian grand prix, which is wrong they have done a great job to get it ready in time, and they have faced more problems than most nations (understatment) recently.
    I look forward to the racing not the politics!!
    FIA PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS.

  19. rpaco says:

    Within the wording of the rules the Brawn back end is obviously legal.

    If the rules had been worded a little differently, then loopholes would have been avoided. (Bad draughting by the FIA)

    Part of the fuzziness is that the rules are not written to cover each area of the car in it’s entirety.
    The rules covering the rear crash structure are in a completely separate section to those covering the area behind the wheels and there is no interlinking of the two areas in the rules and the method of coincidence or interrelationship of the two.

    I have tried drawing it out to the rules but it is quite a complex collection of volumes at different heights and distances from the car centreline and the rear wheel axis (and indeed 50mm in front of it) Unfortunately not having a working ProE or other solid model programme at home I gave up and had a beer instead.

    There was a very clear explanation of these interpretations of the rules on another site, but it seems to have been taken down now.

    There is already a modification for next year but it only seems to define the rear wing vertical supports and opens an opportunity for a central support. (possibly)

  20. Lee Gilbert says:

    You’re right about crying foul, James. I always find it interesting when the teams challenge other car designs.

    I am confident Ross Brawn will have a back up plan – and it’s suspected Toyota and the other “diffuser hoodies” have brought back up parts in case of any ruling

    But I am also confident that Ross Brawn has done his homework. Ross doesn’t usually make huge errors plus the ex-Honda team did not really have the time to waste on developing risk taking design elements. I expect this one to be allowed to race in Melbourne and in Sepang – but that it will go to the FIA appeal court to over turn race results – a situation the FIA and the sport could also do without.

    It’s for that reason that I suspect that if the Brawn GP car is given the all clear this weekend – the FIA and Bernie will do all they can to prevent any appeal process damaging action.

  21. Leg-End says:

    If it’s illegal they will simply be forced to remove it, if its deemed legal then the 7 other teams will turn up at the next race or at the latest the European leg with the ones that they have sat in the wind tunnel right now.

  22. Peter says:

    Once again F1 is being brought into disrepute by the same old suspects. This is one moan to far for Briatore now, and quite frankly the sooner f1 gets rid of that fat wrinkly old playboy the better. It seems F1 loves controversy, BUT US FANS DON’T.

  23. PaulW says:

    It’s interesting that the most vociferous opponent of the Brawn GP diffuser is Helmut Marko of Red Bull. Yes, that would be the team whose cars (along with sister team, Toro Rosso) are probably the only ones on the grid that could never reasonably be adapted to follow the lead of Williams, Toyota and Brawn GP itself. Red Bull’s decision to go with a ultra-tight rear-end structure and pull-rod suspension means that they cannot enlarge the diffuser which, let’s face it, is the only reason for the intensity of feeling on that front.

  24. Ross Dixon says:

    I love how most of the teams are saying these diffusers are outside the nature of the regulations when they all developed their engines last year when others didn’t. I say let the diffusers stand and watch the others catch up. Better for racing having Brawn, Williams and Toyota maybe ahead of Ferrari and the rest.
    With the proper points system in place once more it gives us the potential for Brawn to get far ahead and then be caught later in the season when Ferrari or Mclaren or BMW start winning the development race. The wins only Championship could have been over after 6 races.

  25. Finn says:

    Do you have any comparative pics/diagrams which clearly show how the different teams have interpreted the diffuser rules and why the Brawn solution is considered objectionable by some people?

    TIA

  26. Al27 says:

    I was always under the impression that part x didn’t usually give y tenths of a second per lap – everything works in harmony, not in isolation.

    I suspect the Brawn car will still be very fast with an amended diffuser, because I assume the whole rear package works well.

    I also noticed that the 3 ‘illegal’ diffusers are much more intricate than Ferrari and Renault’s, even with the top section removed.

  27. David S says:

    Reading between the lines from Max….

    GOOD case its legal….
    VERY GOOD case its illegal

    A pointer to the outcome perhaps…

    My vote is on Brawn, Williams, Toyota racing (and winning!) under appeal then a ‘voluntary’ change occuring without loss of points from Melbourne…..
    ….in other words very similar outcome to the normal Ferrari BENDING of the rules on season start as we have become accustomed to in recent years…

    FIA need to manage carefully so the headlines aren’t dominated by ‘incompetence’ and negativity to the sport. Renault and Red Bull are obviously under pressure…

    Congratulations to Brawn, Williams, Toyota.

  28. Jon says:

    You omitted the part where Marko said that both RBR and Renault discussed the diffusers and went to FIA last year, and it “was a negative answer”.

    Obviously there is some greyness on those comments, for example what if the designs submitted were different to the current trick diffusers?

    But it does put Flavio’s comment into a different light.

    Ferrari have also posted some comments about the diffusers. Declaring them outside the regulations and wanting it resolved ASAP.

    What frustrates me is Marko opened his mouth, and it looks like RBR is fighting it alone. But for all we know most teams already have an agreement behind the scenes. If not before the Barcelona test, more then likely afterwards. So far three teams have come foward, but who knows what is really going on behind the scenes. There is so much of this story that we have no idea on.

    I have thought all along since January that there will be a protest, and also that the teams knew of the possibility for these diffusers. Sam Michael said that most teams were running a variation of this loophole last season. And optimistic McLaren fans hoped to see one bolted on for the final tests, in order to solve their rear end problems.

    However I think it’s no coincidence that the seven other teams have stayed away from them. From possibly before the launch, or even after launch of those cars, I believe a decision might have been made that there was too much risk. Either because FIA had led them to believe the loophole that teams used last year would be closed, or because it would detract too much development time from the other issues (slicks, KERS, their own aero designs). A Ferrari engineer said they can give 2 tenths if rushed, but alot more if they develop it properly which they don’t have time to.

    I think it’s no coincidence that the 3 teams that are “risking it” are the 3 most desperate teams in the paddock. Toyota NEED to win this season to justify their existance, Brawn didn’t exist a few months ago and are running a plain white car, and Williams are in financial debt and likely could have folded without the new cost cutting measures.

    The most unfortunate thing is that this could be seen coming a mile away, and yet nothing was done about it because it’s what Max and Bernie want. A divide through the middle of FOTA (divide and conquer), and publicity (good or bad) for F1 upon the start of the season.

    This is a very passionate issue for some, especially if your team is Brawn/Williams/Toyota. Either way, one set of teams is going to feel hard done by, and Max and co don’t seem too bothered unfortunately. Typical F1.

  29. Alastair says:

    Why is it the Stewards call? Williams say that the FIA approved their design. Who makes the rules?

  30. alex m says:

    I bet Max gave an ‘enigmatic response’ .. he must be very pleased things are going according to plan and everybody’s attention is nicely distracted from his gigantic ‘most wins’ cock up.

    Mentioning Donnely, the unqualified Moseley stooge ‘steward’ has just ruined my afternoon. Why has nobody dared stand up and ask what is going to be done about Moseley’s cronies being used to make such important decisions over the races, using their powers to further his own personal vendettas ?

    F1 must get rid of Max and Bernie, they are using our sport for their own power games at an age when both should be ‘getting on with the garden’.

  31. Luke Robbins says:

    What are your thoughts on the legality of the diffuser james?

    I can’t imagine brawn having a back up to be honest, taking into account their very limited preparation, although ive read that Toyota are taking two just in case.

    Obviously if the diffusers are said to be within the new regs then all of the other teams will scramble to put similar parts on their own cars and that may bring the field even closer together which would be incredibly exciting.

    It’s a shame that it has to be decided on the eve of the grand prix weekend, if Brawn race under appeal and win, it would be yet another farcical situation for F1. Presumably the courts wouldn’t make a decision until after the second round in malaysia and so we would have exactly the same situation there.

    In my opinion it would be far better for FIA officials to inspect each teams car a week or so before the first grand prix weekend to judge the legality and thus giving them a bit of time (albeit a short period) to solve any problems they have with their cars.

  32. Moolander says:

    Didn’t Max Mosley also say it was legal becaus it was an unsprung component? What he meant by that I have no idea.

  33. Luke Robbins says:

    What are you views on the legality of the diffusers on the Brawn, Wiliiams and Toyotas?

    I doubt the Brawn team will have brought another diffuser, i just dont see how they would have had time, especially with their limited preparation for the season, nevermind the first race! However i read that Toyota have a spare incase theirs is deemed illegal.

    In my view, this is yet another potentially farcical situation for F1. If the diffusers are deemed to be illegal, we could have up to three teams not racing this weekend and nobody would want to see a limited field running. If the diffusers are deemed to be legal, it seems teams such as Red Bull, Renault and possibly Ferrari will appeal, meaning the Brawn guys race ‘under appeal’.

    What’s going to happen if they win?! It’s ridiculous, the fans watch the race, see the guy cross the line first then three of four weeks later the car is deemed illegal and the whole gp is thrown out the window.

    As round two in malaysia is only a week later, a decision, should the brawn, williams and toyota teams be racing under appeal would yet to have been made. Therefore if the brawn really is as dominant as everyone thinks then the outcome of the first two races of the season could be undecided until we reach round three!

    In my view, the FIA officials should inspect the cars a week or so before the first gp to determine legality of each teams design. You would have thought they would have realised that something like this was bound to happen with all the new rule changes. [ James, great blog! ]

  34. lbh says:

    If not one but three teams have interpreted the rules in a similar fashion it strongly suggests that this rear end design is legal.

  35. jamie says:

    http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2009/0/622.html — That’s the toyota rear diffuser …. mclarens and williams rear diffusers are on there to but, i say let them run the different diffusers makes for an interesting development war to start again

  36. Dave says:

    It’s total hypocrisy. How can Max and Bernie go on about saving money, when they let a scandal like this go on. How many millions are the teams spending developing two diffusers… the clever diffuser and the secret just incase backup diffuser… and you can bet all 10 teams are doing this because they do not want to be caught with their pants down… utter madness… How Max can casually discuss the merits of its legality ignoring the wasted money when he is the one that harps on about ‘we must save money’ etc..

    How stewards are meant to decide such a technical thing, when the teams designers cannot decide… it is all such nonsense.. the teams should all pull out now and set their own series up outside of the FIA… who said they should be the only legal body…

  37. Broer Sammy says:

    There is an interesting analyzed posted by Racecar Engineering regarding diffuser controversial on: http://www.racecar-engineering.com/articles/f1/313897/diffusers-they-are-legal.html

  38. Ian Abrahams says:

    With the boring regularity of protests etc, wouldn’t it spice it up a bit if they made it like ‘Just A Minute’ and a team could get a point for an incorrect challenge? :)

  39. Steven Roy says:

    This is another example of how badly F1 is run. F1 rules need to be written in black and white and one person needs to be responsible for their interpretation and application. I have no idea why Max is giving an opinion as he is clueless technically and clearly only using this to play politics.

    There is no point in Charlie Whiting giving an opinion because he will change his mind as soon as Allan Donnelly tells him Max thinks he was wrong. Remember this is the guy who twice told McLaren that Lewis Hamilton was in the clear at Spa then after the race changed his mind. He is also the guy who… [told] [comment moderated] the subsequent enquiry..[that] he had spoken to Tony Scott-Andrews and that he had changed his opinion on a previous similar case. Unfortunately for Charlie McLaren had a sworn statement from Tony Scott-Andrews saying that not only had his opinion not changed but Whiting had never spoken to him.

    [... ] {comment moderated]. Bernie and Max will use this row to try to break FOTA so I am not expecting a quick resolution.

    The people who are saying that the people who are protesting because they never thought of it are missing one very obvious possibility. Maybe they did think of it and thought it was illegal and decided not to do it.

  40. LMW says:

    Two words:- Sour and Grapes.

    Well done to Ross for his interpretation.

  41. Manxboy says:

    Lets hope this is just publicity to make some headlines and that the great designers at Willimas, Brawn & Toyota can steal the march on the usual winners strange hold of Ferrari & Mclaren

    I have an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach that if they are ruled to be illegal, then we’ll have a Ferrari whitewash in 2009

    I stopped watching F1 during the last Ferrari whitewash but the rise of Renualt brought me back to the sport i love

    What i’d do to see Ferrari scrapping for podiums again like in the late 80′s and seeing some other teams on the podiums

    If the diffusers are declared illegal, then all 3 teams will be fighting with Force India and Torro Rosso

    It all depends on how much they’ll (FIA) favour Ferrari this year

    At least Hamilton won’t be under the kosh so much!

    Regardless, Max has pulled another storming political coup by getting so much friction into FOTA, whose days are clearly numbered…shame really

    Fingers crossed that the FIA see sense!

  42. sean says:

    You can bet that they will all have a version of this diffuser in there kit.If the brawn one is legal they’l all swap. If it goes the other way then they just sit back and say told you so.First practice on friday will be very interesting.

  43. Oliver Drew says:

    You would hope, as I said earlier, that the teams would be sensible. It appears however that they are not going to be!

    The way I see it is as follows:

    If the cars do not pass scrutineering then the issue is settled and they will have to change the cars before they can race.

    If however they are deemed to have passed scrutineering then they will be legal to race and the result should then stand regardless of any protests made afterwards.

    If however, the diffusers are then rules illegal by an FIA appears court they should be banned from the point of that ruling onwards. I don’t think that results have been changed in retrospect before – certainly the Ferrari floor and Renault Mass Damper incidents didn’t require results changes.

  44. spike says:

    The stewards will have tempates and jigs at the circuit to offer up to all the cars,if various parts dont fit the tempates or fit though the jigs then its illegal,It should be straight forward,The stewards are highly respected technical people,who will know what right and whats wrong,and for the last couple of years have travelled with the teams to all the races,and scrutineer at every race. Problem is, at tests,teams cars dont have to comply with the regs,thats why I imagine its left till now to be sorted out.

  45. rpaco says:

    Broer
    Yup that’s what I was trying to draw, as you can see it’s legal!

    Also notice that there are areas not yet exploited by the teams.

  46. alex m says:

    Moolander

    A vehicles unsprung weight is the which is not sprung…. i.e the wheels and parts of suspension, not the main part of the body, which is sprung by the suspension.

    Peverseley to an amateur, suspension is the art of the body keeping the unsprung weight stuck to the road, not the other way round. This is why light wheels make such a diffference to a car or bike’s handling.

  47. JEFF says:

    it makes me laugh when people talk about sour grapes…if they had thought of it bla bla bla.
    the thing with grey areas is that it not just the design to exploit them, but the judgement as to whether it will be deemed legal. for goodness sakes dont think just because most teams didnt develop the idea, it is only because they didnt think of it!
    The problem is the way the fia deals with technical queries. As is their way, they give a general guidance, but no firm commitment. its also very much down to the team to fully describe what they are doing.
    anyways, this is no big deal…some teams think its legal, others think it isnt. let them protest and the stewards will decide. Thats what happens in formula one.
    i suspect as has been said elsewhere, they will use it, but be given a word in their ear that perhaps it would be good if it wasnt on there by the time they get to europe.

  48. Steven Roy says:

    My apologies if I broke the rules James but I am only stating verifiable facts to explain why we are in the ridiculous situation of not knowing if cars that were launched 2 months ago are legal or not.

  49. Luke Robbins says:

    Firstly, sorry for posting pretty much the same thing twice! Computer was having a mere and i thought i hadn’t posted my original comments.

    In reply to Moog, i thought that most major new parts on all the cars had to be cleared with the FIA? But you are right, the cars are constantly evolving so i guess it would be a nightmare for the officials to constantly check the legality of the cars every week!

    My main point is at the very least everyone should know where they stand before the first race of the season, and i don’t mean the night before the first practise session! It’s a joke and shows no regard for the fans, especially those paying to watch the gp on sunday in melbourne.

    I really hope the cars are deemed legal otherwise it will give critics yet more ammo to fire at F1 and cast a shadow over what should be one great season!

    Fingers crossed for JB that the diffuser is ok and he can hopefully get a few wins under his belt.

    I remember ’04 when he drove fantastically well, that one drive in Germany where he fought with alonso and then had to hold his helmet on driving with one hand was outstanding!!

    Saying that would be nice to see Ferrari and others give the Brawn guys a bit of competition, would really show us all how good JB really is when he comes up against kimi.

  50. murray says:

    I wonder if all of this brinksmanship is coming to a head? The drivers’ license fees, the 30 million quid spend ceiling proposal, the medals hoopla? 25 years ago Niki Lauda sequestered the drivers in a hotel room in South Africa when the usual suspects wanted to lock them into one team, with transfer money payable from team to team if a driver transferred. Back then, Bernie was a team owner, supposedly in FOCA’s camp, and Max aspired to be FIA president. They ousted Balestre, they’re still after the money and the control, but the only relationship that they have with the teams now is adversarial. Now that Honda and Ford have no direct involvement in a threat to build a new series, FIA and FOM are are riding roughshod, seemingly even to the point of alienating Ferrari. I wonder what that’ll lead to?

  51. Mark says:

    One again Formula One shoots itself in the foot. Headline on BBC Radio News this morning – controversy in Formula One. If the front of the grid is not Ferrari and Mclaren dominated this weekend then it would have made for some great headlines which would have attracted people to the sport – instead the headlines will now be turning people away.

  52. H ROBINSON says:

    Best way to get this legal / illegal brawn part banned is to have it fitted on Lewis’ car, he’d be bound to get penalised by the FIA. (SMILIE).

  53. Mike Ellison says:

    I’m happy as long as scrutineering takes place before the cars hit the track so if these parts are deemed illegal, the teams can address it and get on with the race.

    What would NOT be acceptable is if the legality of the parts is decided after the race and the race results changed. Just like the “fan car”, if there is discussion afterwards, the decision should only affect the remaining races.

  54. Mark Robinson says:

    For an organisation as “powerful” as the FIA – saying there is no way to sort this until after the first race …is just inept and inexcusable.

    It’s just that they don’t WANT to sort it before the race – probably due to the controversy and publicity (all publicity is good publicity eh Max/Bernie?)

    The FIA could easily have vetted the cars last week or last month and said “legal” or “illegal – go change them” – but no – they prefer to sit in their ivory towers and wait for the storm.

    pathetic Max – just pathetic

  55. Moog says:

    “In my opinion it would be far better for FIA officials to inspect each teams car a week or so before the first grand prix weekend to judge the legality and thus giving them a bit of time (albeit a short period) to solve any problems they have with their cars.”

    Fair point, but who says that someone like McLaren won’t turn up today with a different car to what they had last week.

  56. murray says:

    Was Ross Brawn still with Ferrari when the flexible floor on Ferrari’s cars were subsequently “clarified as illegal”, but with no penalty to the team or alteration to the race result? Chapman’s maxim – “rules are for fools to obey and for wise men to interpret”. Everyone in F1 considers themselves wise.

  57. James Allen says:

    Steve, thanks for coming here and for your regular comments, please can you have another look at the rules of the blog (tab at top of page) regarding attacks on individuals.

  58. No,

    That was 2007, the year Brawn was on sabbatical before joining Honda in November 2007.

    Just checked, Google is your friend.

  59. But who is going to be Humph?

  60. I’d like to see Ferrari winning, but only on merit, not because the FIA help them with friendly interpreation of the rules.

    But this year, I’d love to see Brawn GP fleece the entire field. What a wake up call that would be to the rest.

  61. Markle says:

    Maybe something to do with the pullrods?

  62. Mandrilo says:

    F1 has become like a religion, a series of Do’s & Dont’s, while the essence of it all, competitiveness, driver skill and excitement of watching the pinnacle of motor racing for two hours every fortnight, is slowly diminishing! FIA’s attitude and modus operandi, make me think of a mentally impaired policeman, who is unable to make any sensible contribution to any discussion or play a constructive part in decision making, but because he wears the uniform, one has to listen and oblige.
    FIA had an opportunity (and duty) to examine the cars during the testing, and if it got ticked off as compliant, that settles the matter. Should they change their mind now because of the “bleating” of other teams (which are buying time by complaining before they have a chance of copying the technology in question & then appeal to have it legal), this would undermine FIA’s role and purpose, which is already seen as a stupid policeman in a shiny uniform!

  63. Mike Ellison says:

    In that case, if the stewards don’t like it. McLaren would have to revert.

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