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How will the FIA rule on the diffuser?


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Poll: How will the FIA rule on the diffuser? (249 member(s) have cast votes)

  1. Legal (195 votes [78.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 78.63%

  2. Illegal (53 votes [21.37%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.37%

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#1 senna da silva

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 17:43

How do you think the FIA will rule on the diffuser?

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#2 travbrad

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 17:46

I think it will be deemed legal, and hope it will be. Who knows with the FIA though, they do some crazy things.

#3 senna da silva

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 17:49

Originally posted by travbrad
I think it will be deemed legal, and hope it will be. Who knows with the FIA though, they do some crazy things.


I also think it will be deemed legal, but if they do rule it as illegal I don't think any of the results of the first two GPs will be changed.

#4 Lazarus II

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 17:50

I voted "legal", but I just "hope" it will be ruled legal.

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

#5 primer

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 17:51

Voted illegal. Most people expect them to be legalized, FIA will do the opposite.

#6 stevvy1986

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 17:52

Gut feeling is they'll say it's legal, and the rest of the teams will be forced to try and do their own version in the hope of catching up

#7 Blackdog

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 17:57

They're an independent team, so "LEGAL".

#8 Motormedia

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 17:58

I'm thinking there is no coincidence that three of the teams that has been rumoured to be in jeopardy has the illegal diffuser. Maybe someone higher up in the hierarchy tipped them off. Legal, no doubt.

#9 senna da silva

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:06

Originally posted by Motormedia
I'm thinking there is no coincidence that three of the teams that has been rumoured to be in jeopardy has the illegal diffuser. Maybe someone higher up in the hierarchy tipped them off. Legal, no doubt.


Conspiracy? Charlie and Ross are good mates. Plus I heard rumour that Toyota got it from an ex-Honda employee and Williams got it through Toyota.

#10 pippin

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:13

The sooner they put this diffuser row to bed the better. BMW protesting just seems like sour grapes to me. If it were to be deemed illegal now that would just be plain stupid. :drunk:

#11 scheivlak

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:21

Third - and quite likely - possibility: a rule clarification.

Which could make certain diffusers (maybe even not all 3 disputed) illegal from April 14 on, but the teams using it may keep their early points.

#12 Slick

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:22

The sensible thing would be to deem them legal and let the others catch up, but knowing the FIA they will do the non sensible thing and deem the illegal.

#13 alg7_munif

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:23

It will be legal until McLaren adopts the design and it will be illegal.

#14 paulogman

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:28

it will be deemed legal for all teams bar those who lie to the FIA

#15 SchumiBoy

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:32

Originally posted by pippin
The sooner they put this diffuser row to bed the better. BMW protesting just seems like sour grapes to me. If it were to be deemed illegal now that would just be plain stupid. :drunk:


It's a formality they are just making sure of two things.
1. That they will be able to present their case at the hearing.
2. That the Malaysian result has been protested if the ICA decides to change past results.

#16 wrighty

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:43

Originally posted by pippin
The sooner they put this diffuser row to bed the better. BMW protesting just seems like sour grapes to me. If it were to be deemed illegal now that would just be plain stupid. :drunk:


never mind that, it struck me that this counts as much as 'wasting the stewards time' as other incidents this week lol. It's going to the ICA already, so did it need another team to bring it up to be thrown out again just "to make sure that this race is taken into consideration at the appeal, like Melbourne, there is nothing more than that." (with reference to the article here)?? It's no wonder the stewards aren't thinking straight by the end of the weekend :lol:

#17 Tomecek

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:47

Teams are already working on new diffuser... let present it as an answer ;)

#18 MiyamotoAkira

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 18:51

Originally posted by wrighty

so did it need another team to bring it up to be thrown out again


If this race is not taken into consideration, then the appeal will not modify the results of this race, while now it will do.

#19 travbrad

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 19:30

Originally posted by primer
Voted illegal. Most people expect them to be legalized, FIA will do the opposite.


Hmm, that's a good point actually :lol:

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#20 Madras

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 19:34

Legal this year, banned next year.

#21 rsherb

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 19:54

To be honest I haven't even attempted to decipher the regulations concerning bodyworrk and diffuser dimensions, so I have no technical basis to say whether they will declare the diffusers illegal or not, so my vote (legal) is based on other observations. One would think that if Australian stewards AND the Malaysian stewards both declared them legal, there is a strong chance the FIA court of appeal would back that up, unless new evidence can be brought to the argument. What new evidence there could be I don't know.

Usually you can make a good guess based on what Max says. Despite his usual claim that it wouldn't be right for him to comment these type of things, he usually then goes on to voice his opinion anyway, especially if he's going to screw someone. On this subject most of his comments have been complimentary towards the cleverness of the 'trick' diffuser. That bodes well for Williams/Toyota/Brawn. Remember BAR's interpretation of the minimum weight rules...Max was very vocal that he thought it was cheating rather than a 'clever' interpretation, and the FIA appealed it's own steward's decision...BAR were always doomed heading into that appeal.

#22 Tolyngee

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 19:55

It will be deemed legal.

At which point Hammy will ask McL "should we put the new legal diffuser on the McL?"
At which McL will state "we are sure yet, leave the diffuser be while we check..."
Hammy "I already put the new legal diffuser on..."


After the race McL will advise hammy to not admit that he consciously bolted the new legal diffuser on his car, but that Toyota forced him to run the new diffuser, albeit legal anyway.

When the stewards, FIA and World Council become aware of the confusion as to exactly who bolted the legal diffuser onto the McL, the WC will now rule that McL as thrown the entire universe into disrepute, and will be thrown out...


And Trulli will continue to be interviewed on the matter, while never ever quite understanding why...




Anyway, it shouldn't take this long to rule on the interpretation on rules... But if the majority of teams don't have this interpretation, than either a) it's illegal (I think Briatore said that with the minority interpretation it doesn't reduce downforce as desires with the new rule, so the effect of the new rule didn't occur...), or/then b) it's legal (and the other teams have better have been devising their own version! Snooze, you lose!)

If the downforce wasn't drastically changed (the desired effect of the new rule), then it should be banned... Kind of like Ferrari's interpretation of putting the hole into the airbox to reduce the ram effect of air... Everyone put their vents at the back, Ferrari put theirs on the sides... Might as well have just made the hole at the front bigger and call that the vent!

#23 jeze

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 19:58

Legal, sadly, they won't hacve the guts to outlaw it now :|

#24 rsherb

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 19:59

Originally posted by Tolyngee
It will be deemed legal.

At which point Hammy will ask McL "should we put the new legal diffuser on the McL?"
At which McL will state "we are sure yet, leave the diffuser be while we check..."
Hammy "I already put the new legal diffuser on..."


After the race McL will advise hammy to not admit that he consciously bolted the new legal diffuser on his car, but that Toyota forced him to run the new diffuser, albeit legal anyway.

When the stewards, FIA and World Council become aware of the confusion as to exactly who bolted the legal diffuser onto the McL, the WC will now rule that McL as thrown the entire universe into disrepute, and will be thrown out...


And Trulli will continue to be interviewed on the matter, while never ever quite understanding why...


Does every thread have to turn into a McLaren/Hamilton bash? Yes, they screwed up but there's plenty of threads for people to declare how despicable they are...

#25 TickTickBooom

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:01

I'm going for legal. Two seperate sets of stewards have ruled it legal so far and I can't imagine it will be overturned.

Well, actually I can imagine, but I'm hoping it won't!

#26 AyePirate

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:04

Legal.

1.McLaren doesn't have one

2. It will remind Ferrari what it was like before they joined FOTA.

3. It does not violate the letter of the law.
As Adrian Newey pointed out this week there is no "spirit of the rules".
That's just something the FIA uses arbitrarily to punish people it doesn't like.

#27 rsherb

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:06

Originally posted by jeze
Legal, sadly, they won't hacve the guts to outlaw it now :|


Why sadly (unless you have a technical reason why they should be illegal)? Don't we have the prospect of the most open championship in a long time? If the diffuser is legal, we have Brawn, Toyota, Red Bull, Williams, BMW and Ferrari all currently or very nearly in with a shout of winning. Brawn, Toyota and Williams will probably fall back behind BMW and Ferrari, if they loose their diffuser.

#28 travbrad

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:09

Originally posted by rsherb
One would think that if Australian stewards AND the Malaysian stewards both declared them legal, there is a strong chance the FIA court of appeal would back that up


Not only that, but for 3 separate teams to come up with the same basic idea, would seem to suggest the rules don't forbid it (it may go against the "spirit" but that is bullocks anyway). I am certainly no expert on these things though.

#29 Tolyngee

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:09

Originally posted by rsherb


Does every thread have to turn into a McLaren/Hamilton bash? Yes, they screwed up but there's plenty of threads for people to declare how despicable they are...


Maybe you should read my post?

I'm saying the controversy surrounding the diffuser issue makes those involved look as bad as the handling of the Hammy affair...

Neither issue should have ever have happened...

Neither should have taken days/months to resolve... Interpret the rules, rule, move on... Look at the two drivers' telemetry and radio transmissions, rule, and move on...

Neither should have resulted in what's in the headlines today...

#30 Tolyngee

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:13

Originally posted by AyePirate
3. It does not violate the letter of the law.
As Adrian Newey pointed out this week there is no "spirit of the rules".
That's just something the FIA uses arbitrarily to punish people it doesn't like.


I still go back to the holes needed in the airbox to reduce the ram air effect...

Ferrari's wasn't illegal, but it was against the spirit of what they wanted to accomplish by doing so, and Ferrari and others were aware of it both ways...

They wanted a reduction in ram air effect, which Ferrari's didn't accomplish... They want a reduction in downforce, which the minority's doesn't accomplish...

Though Ferrari's was more blatant, since their interpretation really did nothing towards the desired effect...

#31 Dunder

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:17

Ultimately the ICA will rule based on whatever suits the FIAs agenda. The noise coming from Max prior to the start of the season was that the diffusers were very clever and as far as he could tell fine.

As such I beleive they will be deemed legal.

Wether they actually comply with the regulations (albeit I think they do) is as good as irrelevant.

#32 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:17

It will be ruled legal, they will say it wasnt the intention of the rules and clarify/ammend the rules making it illegal from a certain date, maybe the hearing date.

#33 Buttoneer

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:21

Originally posted by scheivlak
Third - and quite likely - possibility: a rule clarification.

Which could make certain diffusers (maybe even not all 3 disputed) illegal from April 14 on, but the teams using it may keep their early points.

:lol: I must admit I did wonder whether the usual Atlas trick of someone wanting an unavailable option would occur here, well done :up:

But actually I think you're probably right in the event it goes against the teams. It would be a particularly mean trick to take the points away.

#34 Ricardo F1

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:23

If Brawn dominate again tomorrow - illegal, but with no retroactive penalty to any of the teams. Then the FIA can sit and explain how important cost cutting is by making those who have been developing them in the wake of the decision to let them race to date, then not allowing them anymore to ensure that Toyota, Williams and Brawn have to develop a new diffuser too.

Perfect FIA logic.

#35 Fausta

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:33

Legal, the teams are just protesting because they are behind. Sour grapes!
It is nice to see the independent teams doing well.

#36 rsherb

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 20:41

Originally posted by Gilles4Ever
It will be ruled legal, they will say it wasnt the intention of the rules and clarify/ammend the rules making it illegal from a certain date, maybe the hearing date.


Can they modify the rules during the season without safety being the reason? As the Red Bull, wthout trick diffuser, is proving almost as fast, it would be difficult to use excessive speed as a safety reason.

Thinking back to the mid-season TMD clarification, I think it was a clarification that the TMD fell under the movable aerodynamic rules, and didn't require the rules to be changed...In that case the legality changed mid season without retroactive changes of results.

Unless they can clarify that the diffusers actually don't satisfy the current rules, I'm not sure they can make them illegal. It is possible, if there is a technicality that the stewards did not consider, but the chances are that the three teams have gone over this more than anyone else and satisfied themselves the rules, as written, are not being broken. Considering it probably had knock-on effects to the design philosophy of the car I imagine they are quite certain they found a legitimate loophole and have a very strong technical defense. The teams that are protesting may have taken the intention of the rules as more restrictive than they were actually written, and even if they have something stronger than the 'spirit of the rules' argument, they're probably not as intimate with that part of the regulations as Brawn/Williams/Toyota.

#37 rsherb

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 21:07

Originally posted by Tolyngee


Maybe you should read my post?

I'm saying the controversy surrounding the diffuser issue makes those involved look as bad as the handling of the Hammy affair...

Neither issue should have ever have happened...

Neither should have taken days/months to resolve... Interpret the rules, rule, move on... Look at the two drivers' telemetry and radio transmissions, rule, and move on...

Neither should have resulted in what's in the headlines today...


OK, I guess I'm sick of nearly every thread eventually bringing up the McLaren fiasco.

I don't think the process for the diffuser is too bad to be honest and certainly doesn't have the same level of controversy as a team misleading the stewards.

Some teams protested the diffusers, the Stewards made a ruling, the loosing teams lodged their appeal (Due to the work and money involved to develop car to fit or remove the 'trick' diffuser, there was always going to be an appeal, whichever way the Stewards ruled), and now we have a date fixed for the appeal. There's still room for the FIA to make their customary mess of this, but so far it's been as straight forward as possible.

Until the teams turn up at the first race and submit their car to scrutineering, a protest cannot be lodged. Prior to the first race any of the teams can request a clarification from the FIA technical delegate regarding a design they are considering, but I don't think they can ask for a clarification regarding another teams specific design prior to them officially submitting the car for scrutineering.

If a team doesn't want to give away a design concept to the rest of the teams (and give away an edge they may have) they won't necessarily submit a design for clarification, and take their chances at scrutineering.

I can't see an easy way to make this type of technical rule clarification less drawn out. It's the nature of F1 that designs are forever being developed, and as teams explore every limit of the rules there will be rule interpretations that might require checking and clarifying, and it can happen at any time in the season (unless the cars go through a design freeze like the engines, and I really hope that's not the case). And there should always be the ability to appeal.

#38 undersquare

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 21:42

Dr Mario's quote in AFCA's mammoth translation in the post-Q thread makes me think there may well be a rule clarification...

''It's not a matter of having this idea, in fact it's been on the table several times and has also been discussed by the Technical Working Group. And because of these discussions we simply assumed that the diffuser is not in the grey area but outside of the regulations.''

Well I haven't heard other teams saying "we knew" I don't think, but if they did then it will influence the ICA surely.

#39 jokuvaan

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 21:51

Third - and quite likely - possibility: a rule clarification.


This has been in my mind too for some time.

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#40 noikeee

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:07

They'll come up with a rule clarification that makes them illegal (for hurting overtaking which is contrary to the spirit of the rule), but obviously no results from Australia and Malaysia will be taken away.

And Red Bull will be very happy with that.

#41 djellison

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:20

"It was just a formal issue in order to make sure that this race is taken into consideration at the appeal, like Melbourne,"

The ONLY things that need to be taken into consideration are the cars, and the rule book.

#42 MichaelPM

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:22

DDD Legal
KERS Mandatory (30kg of ballist in place if the team does not have a KERS system)

Everyone suffers then :lol:

#43 metz

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:33

Originally posted by undersquare
Dr Mario's quote in AFCA's mammoth translation in the post-Q thread makes me think there may well be a rule clarification...

''It's not a matter of having this idea, in fact it's been on the table several times and has also been discussed by the Technical Working Group. And because of these discussions we simply assumed that the diffuser is not in the grey area but outside of the regulations.''

Well I haven't heard other teams saying "we knew" I don't think, but if they did then it will influence the ICA surely.

Here's the thing.
According to an earlier AMuS article, BMW Sauber specificaly asked the FIA in September '08 if such a design was legal. They submitted drawings directly and through the TWG. They were turned down, and they have the documentation to prove it.
I heard similar requests for clarifications were made by Flavio and Ferrari with the same rejections.
Brawn, as head of the FOTA TWG was aware of the requests.
The 3 teams that turned up with the double defusers (Brawn, Toyota, Williams) simply DID NOT ASK.
But since it is giving the sport the shakeup it wanted, I suspect they will find a reason to allow these, while having previously rejected the other teams.
The FIA explanation should be interesting.

#44 Suntrek

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:41

Originally posted by senna da silva
How do you think the FIA will rule on the diffuser?


The FIA wont rule here at all, the ICA is a different thing from FIA. ICA are mostly lawyers, and no member of the ICA can be a member of the FIA and vice versa. FIA are a part in this case and they have already ruled that the diffusers are legal. The teams protesting are the counterpart.

I understand what you mean though, and the ICA will rule in favour of the FIA or I'll eat my hat.

#45 Suntrek

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:46

Originally posted by paranoik0
They'll come up with a rule clarification that makes them illegal (for hurting overtaking which is contrary to the spirit of the rule), but obviously no results from Australia and Malaysia will be taken away.

And Red Bull will be very happy with that.


It's not possible for the ICA to re-write or clarify the rules, only the FIA can do that, but possibly the ICA will impose on the FIA to do so regarding the diffusers.

#46 Rob

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 22:55

If they've been declared legal by two sets of scrutineers then they are legal.

If the diffusers were intended to be prohibited and the rules aren't sufficiently watertight to prohibit them then that is the fault of the FIA. However, rules shouldn't be changed mid-season.

#47 Slyder

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 23:08

Who knows? I hope they are legal and have the teams catch up, show what they're made of. I'm enjoying this season so far (eventhough it's just 2 races) and I'd hate it if it gets ruined by an opposite ruling.

But then again, McLaren's 3rd brake got banned in 1998, and Ron made his feelings know that people instead of catching up, they rather ban it. that IMO is a very awful truth that can surface on this deal.

#48 rolf123

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 23:12

Ultimately illegal but with some sort of compromise. A grace period allowing the 3 to get rid of theirs within a few months. Also, increased KERS allowance to compensate (thus appeasing Mclaren, Ferrari, BMW and REnault).

#49 Tolyngee

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 00:38

Originally posted by rsherb


OK, I guess I'm sick of nearly every thread eventually bringing up the McLaren fiasco.

I don't think the process for the diffuser is too bad to be honest and certainly doesn't have the same level of controversy as a team misleading the stewards.

Some teams protested the diffusers, the Stewards made a ruling, the loosing teams lodged their appeal (Due to the work and money involved to develop car to fit or remove the 'trick' diffuser, there was always going to be an appeal, whichever way the Stewards ruled), and now we have a date fixed for the appeal. There's still room for the FIA to make their customary mess of this, but so far it's been as straight forward as possible.

Until the teams turn up at the first race and submit their car to scrutineering, a protest cannot be lodged. Prior to the first race any of the teams can request a clarification from the FIA technical delegate regarding a design they are considering, but I don't think they can ask for a clarification regarding another teams specific design prior to them officially submitting the car for scrutineering.

If a team doesn't want to give away a design concept to the rest of the teams (and give away an edge they may have) they won't necessarily submit a design for clarification, and take their chances at scrutineering.

I can't see an easy way to make this type of technical rule clarification less drawn out. It's the nature of F1 that designs are forever being developed, and as teams explore every limit of the rules there will be rule interpretations that might require checking and clarifying, and it can happen at any time in the season (unless the cars go through a design freeze like the engines, and I really hope that's not the case). And there should always be the ability to appeal.


http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/73038

FIA was aware of it even before February.


http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/73816

Mosley seems to suggest this could have been ruled on before the season started:

Now, FIA president Max Mosley has said that he thinks the matter can only be sorted out in Australia - because it is too late to organise a formal hearing before the first race.


"If there had been more time before the detailed objections to the system were sent in, I would probably have sent it to the FIA Court of Appeal before Australia. And actually I have given thought to that this week. But there isn't time. It wouldn't be fair. I think the thing will probably come to some sort of a head in Australia."



As I said, unnecessary controversy.

If teams objecting thought it really might be legal, they'd have it ready to bolt onto their cars once the scrutineers rules. Then everyone would have it.

Teams were aware of it and apparently didn't even test this alternate design.

For the sake of the sport, when it's known two months before the start of the season, it needs to be ruled upon. Otherwise you have teams designing multiple cars for the sake of each race's unique scrutineers...


Other teams didn't adopt it as it goes against (at the very least) the spirit of the rule.

I guess they need to write better rules. But they're good at this vague stuff...

#50 stevewf1

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 01:15

So what's the rule on the "spirit of the rule" :lol: