In an exclusive interview with F1B, veteran F1 car designer Gary Anderson said he believes the FIA should have disallowed the dual diffuser. The logic, and I have to agree with him, is that only 3 of the 10 teams had a dual diffuser and were operating on the spirit of the law. Fair enough if Ross Brawn felt he tried to get clarification and was turned down but was it the correct decision to allow the use of the controversial diffuser in Australia?
There was some dot connecting at the beginning of the year that suggested Toyota had hired former Honda employees who then helped the team and their partner Williams F1 out with the concept. Seems logical if not down right conspiracy worthy. But this cloak-n-dagger issue isn’t what concerned Anderson. His comment was elegantly simple much like his Jordan 191.
Anderson feels that the FIA should have had the gumption to make the right decision as a majority of the teams followed the letter of the law and only 3 teams had double diffusers. Simply put, majority should have ruled in this case as millions were spent trying to catch up. The FIA surely would have known the effect of the diffuser in aerodynamic efficiencies as well as what the teams were going to have to spend trying to catch up.
I must say that I agree. This isn’t really about a team that “just got it right” one year. It is a case of spirit versus letter of the law on the regulation and there is no doubt in my mind that had the teams possessing double diffusers been Ferrari, McLaren and Renault in March 2009; they would have been disallowed.
Does this marginalize Brawn GP or Buttons victory? No. They did what they had to do given the regulations they were given. What about the converse though? Three teams would have had to remove their diffuser at cost to them in order to comply. I agree with Anderson that forcing three teams to comply instead of forcing seven teams to re-engineer their entire cars with no in-season testing is the wrong decision.
What’s your opinion? Do you think it is just the luck of the draw and Brawn, Toyota and Williams were just more clever than the rest? Or did the FIA make a mistake in favor of upsetting the grid in order to provide an exciting year and remote chance for the privateers? One thing is certain, they turned the grid upside down and it cost untold millions for teams to catch up or die trying. KERS added the final nail in the coffin for Toyota and BMW and perhaps the R&D spent on trying to re-design their entire car to be somewhat competitive was a bridge too far. Perhaps we now know why Ferrari stopped mid-year on trying to catch up.