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As “exclusively revealed” at F1B by Grace and Todd, one of possibly two teams that we felt would actually leverage a complaint about he Diffuser issue has spoken up. Red Bull has claimed that the double-decker diffuser design is, in their opinion as well as other teams, illegal. They said that Red Bull and Renault asked early last season as to a similar aero treatment and were told no by the FIA.

So as we predicted, Red Bull would be the likely candidate to protest the diffuser design along with, perhaps, Renault. Red Bull suggest that the diffuser is worth 5 tenths a lap in aero efficiency and you can see where that would be of concern to Red Bull as well as Renault. Here is the story from GMM:

Mar.23 (GMM) The spectre of official protests against the rear diffusers of three 2009-spec cars on Monday grew ever larger.

Mere days ahead of scrutineering for the Australian grand prix, Red Bull’s motor racing advisor Helmut Marko declared that the solutions on the Toyota, Williams and Brawn cars are “illegal”.

“They have a double-diffuser which gives them five tenths per lap (extra),” the Austrian told sportnet.at on Monday.

“Seven teams – including Red Bull – are united: they are illegal,” said Marko, raising the probability of a formal protest at the scene of the season opener this weekend.

He claims both Renault and Red Bull discussed the legality of a similar aerodynamic concept with the FIA early last year and “at that time there was a negative answer”.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • raithrover

    I’m still bemused as to why the FIA haven’t resolved this issue, instead leaving it to the race stewards once again, bringing up the spectre of retrospective decisions. A fine way to kick off a new season in F1. Max in a recent interview implied it wasn’t his call to make, well the buck stops with you Mr President!

    If other teams enquired about the diffuser design and were told no then it has to be clarified why. Are the systems used by the trio of teams somehow different in some way? The vehicles will have shipped for Australia already so I would hope clarification comes for future races. Toyota are hanging onto their F1 team just, so any messing around or extra avoidable costs will strengthen moves to leave the sport.

    • SR

      Anything that stirs up trouble between the teams works in Max and Bernie’s favor. This is clearly something that should be decided on and clarified. In not doing so, the intentions are fairly transparent…

      Ironic that the FIA is sticking its nose in all the areas of the sport that are not necessarily its responsibility or business (such as telling the teams how to operate), yet this is clearly in their wheelhouse and they’re refusing to make a call…

  • Jim

    you know what should be illegal Red bull cola..that stuff is awful

  • Arnet

    Yes, divide and conquer. They couldn’t do it by forcing changes down the teams throats, so they are doing it by implying that some are right and some are wrong. It didn’t take Max long to react to being beaten at his own game by FOTA, now he’s setting about to being the fox in the hen-house, and at first blush it’s working. Let’s see how this plays out. The best possible outcome is that the teams agree on what a diffuser should look like and present a united front. At the moment it doesn’t look like it, but you can bet each teams that is protesting is furiously working on their version just in case. We may see the first race of the season become the latest shot across the bow between the FIA and FOTA.

  • raithrover

    Obtain an agreement for Spain and in the meantime focus on your own cars.

  • Hecti

    i would have thought that Adrian Newey would have picked up on the loop hole before designing his new car. of all technical and aerodynamics guys i though he would have been the one to exploit any loop hole in the rules

  • Nelson DB

    Romans says “Divide et impera”, and this is the card of max and bernie.
    they have to devide fota to continue to rule the game, and this is an occasion..
    But if the 3 teams has asked Fia, it’s absurde that we have to wait the steward of every gp. Too many things are becomin’ absurde..
    My feelin is that the other teams have only to try to copy, as always happened in the past when somebody invented somethin’ new and clever. For three or four gp they lose, and then they’ll recover the gap..