Brawn GP accused and dethroned in Jerez

Ross Brawn
Brawn GP has been a revelation in testing this year and has caught the attention of drivers, teams and in their case; hopefully sponsors. But with a blinding pace that has dominated the testing in Jerez the last two weeks, they also have placed themselves squarely in the reticle of the top teams.

Ferrari had suggested that brawn GP was performing well in an ‘explotive’ nature. One assumes he refers to the speculation that running ultra-light is an attempt to garner news coverage and the attention of a sponsor. A notion that was quickly rebuked by Team Principle Ross Brawn telling Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport:

“I am looking for long time partners, not sponsors who want to buy a cheap spot (on a F1 car) because of fast lap times.”

Many drivers had conceded that they have very little pace to match the Brawn GP car and some tip them for a drastic upset in the F1 world for 2009. Pundits are quick to point out that the BGP001 is a combination of superior engineering, overseen by the master tactician Ross Brawn, and a Mercedes engine. An engine that apparently has made a lot of difference to Rubens and Jenson:

“Just the driveability of the engine is a dream, Finally, when I accelerate, I have the feeling of knowing what to expect. The power is wonderfully manageable and predictable,” Rubens said.

Now, however, the scrutiny has begun. Falvio insinuated that three teams were errant of regulations regarding the rear diffuser. Two of those alleged to have designed a diffuser outside of the regulations are well know; Toyota and Williams. It came to light today that Brawn GP is the third. Also, Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali has suggested the same and asked the FIA to render a final judgment on the issue. As exclusively lambasted at F1B, the FIA’s Max Mosley has looked at the situation and remarked:

“The current FIA view is that Williams and Toyota have been clever and have exploited the wording of the rules in a clever way. But somebody may challenge it and the stewards may take a different view – it could happen,” said Mosley on Thursday.

“It is a curious idea in a way – where you are not allowed two surfaces, you have a surface and then something that is not a surface because it is unsprung. The view on our technical people is that it is okay, we will wait and see if someone challenges it,” he added.

This leaves an opening for challenges not only from team but from Stewards as well. Why would the FIA not render a judgment based on their findings? Perhaps a team challenging the diffuser may have a better grasp on the technicalities of the FIA’s own regulations? How is that possible. Perhaps a Steward feels more inclined to rule it illegal and could make a case the FIA hasn’t considered in their endorsing the engineering prowess of Williams and Toyota? Why play games at this level of motorsport? Make a ruling based upon your technical teams analysis and let it be.

Here is what I do know; irrespective of diffuser legality or not, Bran GP’s BGP0001 looks to be on pace with the field and even if light, no KERS (which is not mandatory for 2009) and a suspect diffuser, I submit that they are finally bearing some fruit of their labor. We have all offered conjecture as to the drastic regulation changes for 2009 and made comments like; “BMW could find themselves running with the top teams”, or “Toyota may capitalize on these regulation changes and adapt better than the top teams”. Why is it any shock that Ross Brawn, the man that oversaw 5 World Drivers titles for Ferrari, could be the man who “capitalizes” on the drastic regulation changes for 2009 and has fielded a car that may well put the top teams on notice?

When the dust settles, I think it is terrific for F1 and could make for a great year of racing. Go brawn GP!!!

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