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Latest on the teams' appeal against Brawn
Latest on the teams' appeal against Brawn
Posted By:   |  28 Mar 2009   |  3:55 am GMT  |  12 comments

The appeal lodged by some of the leading F1 teams against Brawn, Williams and Toyota, will be heard in Paris on 14th April, which is the Tuesday before the Chinese Grand Prix. This means that the results of the first two Grands Prix of the season are subject to the appeal.

The stewards here in Melbourne threw out the protests of Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault on Thursday into the ‘double decker’ diffusers, which give significantly more downforce than the others are getting.

Flavio Briatore is incandescent about this, frustrated as he is by his team’s performance and by the process which has seen these three teams build these diffusers. He says that it’s a safety issue as the cars are going far faster than they were supposed to with the new rules intended to take 50% of the downforce away.

Actually it is true that the cars, now equipped with slick tyres, and with a lot of that downforce clawed back, are going very quickly, faster than last year. By the end of the season with plenty of development on the cars, the cornering speeds will be getting very high and they might have to do something to slow the cars down again.

Flav is especially not happy about Ross Brawn chairing FOTA’s technical working group, representing the teams collective interests and then, as he sees it, gong behind their backs and building this device.

I’ve not spoken to Ross on this last point yet, should have a chance this evening, but I imagine he sees it a bit like in the Ferrari days when Michael Schumacher used to sit on the board of the Grand Prix Drivers Association arguing for safety in F1 and then would go out and push the limits of what was acceptable on the track.

Ross saw no contradiction there. For him, Schumacher was establishing the boundaries and then pushing them to the limit.

For all Flavio’s lobbying, the appeal is likely to fail and the rest of the teams will be forced to copy.

What does that involve? Well most of the teams who don’t have trick diffusers have been testing their own copies in the wind-tunnel for three weeks already. It’s a tricky part, you can’t just bolt it on. It has to work with the other parts of the car, so getting it all lined up will mean that the other teams will not have theirs before the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

The cost? To do it properly, with new floor, gearbox modifications and so on is probably around £5 million. That’s about 7% of the budget of a midfield team.

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"...faster than last year".

By how much Sir?
Absolute, or lap times?


More of Flav's bluster. His engineers missed the boat, as they did last year with the engines. He should direct his energy inwards, towards his technical team and encourage creativity. They've done it in the past, with dampers, planks, refueling rigs, etc. only in some cases they outright broke the rules. Perhaps it scared them away from pushing the envelope, but that was a long time ago. Get over it. Get on with it.


Well, you called it spot on James, Button and Barrichello tie up the front row!

Meanwhile, Big Mac are still "sandbagging". 🙂


quali pace in q2 last yr was set by lewis at 1:25:187 compared with button today at 1:24.855


I think it is a classic and normal situation when we got lots of new developments and rules and some teams went a bit closer to the limits of the rules (maybe over). I just don't like the fact that we have quite different cars on the grid (diffusor, KERS, non-KERS). I would love to see the quickest guy to be in the front row and win and not the most cleverly interpreted ideas and rules. Also, just get back to Kimi's make or brake year...I think Ferrari should give the guy the right car first and if Kimi is still not quick than they can criticise him. Or, It can be Dominicali's make or break year as team boss easily, too.


Apologies for this being slightly off topic... At the start of Q3, I saw a shot of the Ferrari pit and it looked as thought it had the traffic lights setup, can you confirm if Ferrari (or any other teams) will be using a traffic light system during the pitstops?


I've just read that Williams are contesting the legality of the rear wing being used by both Ferrari and Red Bull. Do you think this is a legitimate complaint or petty tit for tat?


Flavio Briatore is incandescent about this, frustrated as he is by his team’s performance and by the process which has seen these three teams build these diffusers. He says that it’s a safety issue as the cars are going far faster than they were supposed to with the new rules intended to take 50% of the downforce away.

He already got a performance break on the Renault engines, how easy does he want to the FIA to make it for him?


I think we can be pretty sure that if the best brain in F1, Ross Braun, thinks his car is legal, then it is. He had 15 months to check it against the regs, and he sure don't make too many mistakes.
Where that leaves us is: how determined will the FIA be to cook the books in order to engineer the outcome of the season?
Massa absolutely hit the nail on the head with his comment that Brawn could win the title by halfway through the season. Boy did he touch a tender place. If there is anything more sacred to F1 than the championship being decided on the very last race, I don't know what. So you can bet that the establishment is going to move heaven and earth to cut Brawn down to size before they do the unthinkable and depart from the script by winning the title too early.
I am not too hopeful that sanity will prevail. Just think how many tens of millions Mercedes alone have already thrown at the ludicrous KERS nonsense. In grand prix racing big money talks.


Yeah they're back to using the traffic lights this year - it was announced a while ago in the off season.


Blame the slicks and diffusers.


To understand Snr. Briatore's comments note that the official title of this race is:

>>2009 Formula 1 ING Australian Grand Prix<>ING<< ringing in his ears and his sponsors spitting prawn shells at their host.

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