Diffuser protest looms over Season Opener

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In what would otherwise be a very exciting time to be an F1 fan, there is a pall over the start of the 2009 season concerning the diffuser used by Williams, Toyota and Brawn GP. The controversial diffuser design has been seen by the FIA but no ruling was made nor was there any clarifications to the regulations. It appeared Max endorsed the design but failed to make a judgment on it and left the door open to Stewards interpretations and litigious in-fighting. That’s not the most befitting behavior from a regulatory body in my opinion.

Red Bull has said suggested they may lodge a formal complaint if the cars clear scrutineering in Melbourne this week. The measure is not due to a team versus team scenario but tragically it is the only path allowed at this point to get the FIA to clarify the regulations. This could ahve all been solved over a month ago but yet now the politics have trumped the sport….again!

Sam Michael, Williams Technical Director, said:

“To be honest we were surprised that it even turned into an issue because for us it was very clearly inside the regulations,” said Michael recently.

“It was something that in various forms teams have been doing for two years, so it wasn’t really a big issue for us or the FIA. So it was something that we clarified with the FIA well over a year ago.

“There wasn’t really any confusion from our side, although there appeared to be some confusion from the other teams, but I don’t know on what basis that was.”

Yet the teams who disagree really have no recourse because the FIA will not clarify the regulation nor make a judgment on the design. Isn’t htis what they are paid to do? No, I sense that Max and Bernie, feeling the pressure of FOTA, want this internal consternation to try and unsettle the unity recently achieved within the teams. IT is a sad day when the regulatory body of F1 is more engaged in politicking than regulating and tragically that is what this sport has become. Sex parties, government subsidized races, politics, commercial rights and huge interest payments. I am not knew to the sport at these have been a part of it for some time but not since Bernie and Max staged their original coup in the 80’s has F1 been such a shadow of its former glory.

There is something wrong when a team has to lodge protests in order to get a clarification on a regulation.


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