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Renault told by FIA diffuser was illegal


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#1 BrawnsBrain

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:45

I am happy with the verdict today that Brawn GP's diffuser is legal, but there is an elephant in the room.

Now the FIA, Max Mosley, Charlie Whiting and all their stewards all say the diffuser is perfectly legal, why were Renault told it wasn't when they rang up the FIA last year to ask? [Update: AND RED BULL !]

As I pointed out on my blog, what Andrew Ford for Renault said in court was pretty black and white: “It is not that Renault missed the boat, as Brawn have pointed out, it is because the FIA said it was illegal. It was at that point the diffuser was abandoned.”

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#2 EthanM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:48

We haven't seen the Renault design or whatever it was they submitted to the fia. The judgment doesn't mean all DDDs are legal, just the ones used by the 3 are, it's entirely possible Renault's design broke the rules in some way whereas the existing DDDs didnt

#3 krapmeister

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:49

I believe that RedBull/Newey also enquired and was given the same answer very early on in the design process.

#4 Clatter

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:50

At no point has anyone been able to show what Renault proposed to the FIA. The only information currently available is from teams who have an obvious agenda. Personally I would take that with a huge pinch of salt.

#5 Owen

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:50

If I was Renault I'd just race with the f*cker and force the issue.

#6 Mika Mika

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:51

it could be that the renault /redbull designs were not legal in the same way...

#7 peroa

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:51

Red Bull und Renault wollen bei der FIA bereits 2007 auch angefragt haben, ob man Löcher im Unterboden anbringen darf, seien aber abgewiesen worden. Antwort der FIA: Die Fragen waren anders gestellt, deshalb gab es eine andere Antwort.



RBR & Renault have allegedly asked the FIA already in 2007 about making holes in the undertray, FIA said no.
Why FIA said no? Different questions asked, different answers given.

http://www.auto-moto...er-1128361.html

#8 MWM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:52

Can you imagine the bile being spouted here if it had been McLaren, not Renault, who had had their version of the DDD declared illegal?

#9 kilcoo316

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:52

Originally posted by Clatter
At no point has anyone been able to show what Renault proposed to the FIA. The only information currently available is from teams who have an obvious agenda. Personally I would take that with a huge pinch of salt.


If the RBR and Reno proposals mirror the Diffuser-gang, then you can expect them to come out with the actual queries they made.


Basically, that would put Mosley et al in no other position but to resign - it would put FOTA in a real position of strength.


If they don't come out with said designs... I think we can safely assume they were different enough to be interpreted as illegal.

#10 Owen

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:54

Originally posted by MWM
Can you imagine the bile being spouted here if it had been McLaren, not Renault, who had had their version of the DDD declared illegal?


I'm sure you've imagined it all already. :rolleyes:

#11 Clatter

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:58

Originally posted by kilcoo316


If the RBR and Reno proposals mirror the Diffuser-gang, then you can expect them to come out with the actual queries they made.


Basically, that would put Mosley et al in no other position but to resign - it would put FOTA in a real position of strength.


If they don't come out with said designs... I think we can safely assume they were different enough to be interpreted as illegal.


I would have expected this to come up in the appeal hearing. What better time could there be to ask why one design is legal while another is not.

#12 EthanM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:00

Originally posted by Clatter


I would have expected this to come up in the appeal hearing. What better time could there be to ask why one design is legal while another is not.


Isn't an appeal hearing about a specific design? It's not an interpret the rules session with judges, it's an appeal to stewards judging a specific design legal.

#13 BrawnsBrain

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:01

If Renault were so confident their design was legal, surely they would have shown it in court?

I doubt it.

They don't want to give too much away before adding it to the car in Barcelona. :D

#14 Clatter

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:07

Originally posted by EthanM


Isn't an appeal hearing about a specific design? It's not an interpret the rules session with judges, it's an appeal to stewards judging a specific design legal.


Can't say I know the specifics about how the system works, but I would have thought it quite a valid argument to ask why one proposal was banned, but this isnt, if they are indeed the same. Certainly more valid than the character assassination that Tozzi seemed to enter into.

#15 Racer Joe

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:15

Did Renault ask the scrutineers, or did they ask Charlie Whiting?

Ultimately what Whiting says about legality is only an opinion. He has been proven wrong before.

#16 GhostR

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:20

I suspect, based on the rumours that have come out and Renault / RBR's apparent failure to use it in their appeal, that the Renault and RBR questions to the FIA were either rejected because they were: 1. badly presented, and therefore resulted in an inability for the FIA to approve them; or 2. different enough from the DDD's raced this year that their variants were illegal.

#17 Madras

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:24

Originally posted by Racer Joe
Did Renault ask the scrutineers, or did they ask Charlie Whiting?

Ultimately what Whiting says about legality is only an opinion. He has been proven wrong before.


Which begs the question - is there any point in asking Charlie Whiting anything?

#18 Peter Perfect

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:28

Originally posted by Madras


Which begs the question - is there any point in asking Charlie Whiting anything?


I've said it before and I'll say it again...no.

He provides an opinion but weirdly in no way does that have any kind of official weight behind it.

#19 Racer Joe

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:42

Originally posted by Madras


Which begs the question - is there any point in asking Charlie Whiting anything?


Yes and no. Yes in terms of asking someone who is in the loop and very knowledgeable an opinion. No because it is only an opinion and not a ruling.

I would think Whiting is quite happy if he doesn't field questions from F1 teams.

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#20 fed up

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:45

Originally posted by Madras


Which begs the question - is there any point in asking Charlie Whiting anything?


No!

This guy has now been at the centre of Spa 2008, Australia 2009 and now the diffuser row.

The other matter that seems to have been lost here is the Honda employee that is rumored to have 'pinched' the idea from Honda and taken it to Toyota when changing employment. This, of course is not a spy saga and doesn't involve the IP of one team over another.

F1 is hypocritical and genuinely lacks integrity.

#21 Madras

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:54

Originally posted by fed up


The other matter that seems to have been lost here is the Honda employee that is rumored to have 'pinched' the idea from Honda and taken it to Toyota when changing employment. This, of course is not a spy saga and doesn't involve the IP of one team over another.


You are allowed to take ideas with you. Just not written or recorded info. But everything that's in your head is perfectly fine, and has never been an issue.

#22 stevewf1

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:00

Originally posted by BrawnsBrain
Now the FIA, Max Mosley, Charlie Whiting and all their stewards all say the diffuser is perfectly legal, why were Renault told it wasn't when they rang up the FIA last year to ask?


It's probably just me, but somehow, I consider anything said by Renualt as being influenced heavily by "FlavioSpeak". :

#23 TickTickBooom

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:03

Originally posted by stevewf1


It's probably just me, but somehow, I consider anything said by Renualt as being influenced heavily by "FlavioSpeak". :

It's not just you.

#24 Peter Perfect

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:06

Originally posted by stevewf1


It's probably just me, but somehow, I consider anything said by Renualt as being influenced heavily by "FlavioSpeak". :


Everyone else is just a bandit!;)

#25 Barramut

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:13

Some people doesn't know the difference among a "SLOT" and a "HOLE"... that's it.

#26 ensign14

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:26

Originally posted by Barramut
Some people doesn't know the difference among a "SLOT" and a "HOLE"... that's it.

About six inches.

#27 GhostR

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:30

Originally posted by Madras


You are allowed to take ideas with you. Just not written or recorded info. But everything that's in your head is perfectly fine, and has never been an issue.


Indeed. I think there's sufficient difference in the three existing DDDs to be pretty sure that each team developed their solution independently having decided that the loophole was a viable avenue for development. That the same guy may have exposed that viability isn't an issue. The Brawn and Toyota DDDs are substantially different, it's pretty clear that the Brawn one is a lot more developed and innovative. The Toyota and Williams versions look more like a conventional SDD with a second deck, while the Brawn has that funky centre section and really seems to be a cohesive DDD design as opposed to a SDD converted into a DDD.

#28 Bloggsworth

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:31

Of course they were dear boy, of course they were.............. just them, nobody else. What can you expect if you buy QPR?

#29 J2NH

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:31

Originally posted by krapmeister
I believe that RedBull/Newey also enquired and was given the same answer very early on in the design process.


According to Newey they looked at it and decided it was not an advantage and went their own way.

http://www.itv-f1.co...eneral&id=45080

"AN: Maybe – if you believe it’s a benefit. It’s something that’s been looked at by various teams over the years.

We had a quick look at it early on and didn’t see a big benefit from it. But that’s not to say that there isn’t. We’ll have to re-evaluate it; we haven’t done yet because we’re pursuing our own route."

#30 Boing 2

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:32

Originally posted by Madras


You are allowed to take ideas with you. Just not written or recorded info. But everything that's in your head is perfectly fine, and has never been an issue.


like the info toyota had from ferrari (with no penalty)

or the info spyker had from red bull (with no penalty)

or the info renault had from mclaren (with no penalty)

well, glad that's clear then. :)

#31 Direct Drive

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:33

Kind of reminiscent of the "solid" and "uniform" loopholes in the early sliding skirt days.

#32 Bloggsworth

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:34

Originally posted by Madras


You are allowed to take ideas with you. Just not written or recorded info. But everything that's in your head is perfectly fine, and has never been an issue.


Er, no. Not if your contract says you are paid to have ideas on behalf of the company which employs you. Under those circumstances the IP belongs to the company, it was bought and paid for. In America, only people can patent ideas, but your contract of employment will require you to sell them to your employer for say, $1. Which reminds me, Berger Paints still owe me $1..........................................

#33 wdh

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:41

Originally posted by Madras
Which begs the question - is there any point in asking Charlie Whiting anything?


Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but my understanding is that Whiting is the boss of the FIA department that includes the scrutes.

Hence he CAN say what the scrutes will or will not pass.

HOWEVER, the scrutes actions can be protested to the FIA Stewards and the result of that protest can be appealed as with the DDD.



So Whiting can indeed give the scrute's (initial) standpoint.
sMax might just possibly have an idea what his chums that get appointed Stewards might say.
But hopefully no one can be 100% certain, in advance, of what the result of the appeal might be.




On the matter of the advice given to Renault, it is simply meaningless to talk about the ANSWER they got without knowing what the precise QUESTION was.

#34 engel

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 13:50

CW multitasks ... He's F1's Race Director and Starter and head of the FIA Technical Department. In theory his opinion on technical issues is "official" but courts are not bound by it obviously

#35 Gareth

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 15:31

There has been a lot of talk from Renault about how they enquired about a DDD and were told it was illegal. But until they demonstrate that the design they enquired about (or the question they phrased) was not different in some material respect to the design declared legal at today's hearing, I'll continue to think this is a red herring.

It will be interesting to see if the ICA's reasoned judgement addresses this issue.

#36 Slowinfastout

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 15:47

Originally posted by Gareth
There has been a lot of talk from Renault about how they enquired about a DDD and were told it was illegal. But until they demonstrate that the design they enquired about (or the question they phrased) was not different in some material respect to the design declared legal at today's hearing, I'll continue to think this is a red herring.

It will be interesting to see if the ICA's reasoned judgement addresses this issue.


My bet is we will never know what happened, but Flavio has been pretty bullish about the issue from the beginning, way before the season started.

..seems to me that the possibility of him/Renault having been misled by the FIA (two rulebooks, etc..) is at least a probability.

The process when asking Charlie for clarifications is broken IMHO, I don't think it is official enough, otherwise the FIA would have responded to Flavio's accusations with evidence proving that the Renault stuff was different/illegal, showing that the rules were the same for everyone.

#37 BrawnsBrain

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 15:48

And Red Bull did the same over the winter. Rejected as 'illegal' by Whiting.

Me thinks there is some politics going on we're not aware of. A helping hand for 3 teams whom otherwise might have had a less secure future.

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/74483

#38 GhostR

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 15:50

Originally posted by Boing 2
or the info renault had from mclaren (with no penalty)


Except Renault had disks. WIth data on.;)

#39 J2NH

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 15:56

Originally posted by BrawnsBrain
And Red Bull did the same over the winter. Rejected as 'illegal' by Whiting.

Me thinks there is some politics going on we're not aware of. A helping hand for 3 teams whom otherwise might have had a less secure future.

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/74483


Then explain this from February 9th, 09.

According to Newey they looked at it and decided it was not an advantage and went their own way.

http://www.itv-f1.co...eneral&id=45080

"AN: Maybe – if you believe it’s a benefit. It’s something that’s been looked at by various teams over the years.

We had a quick look at it early on and didn’t see a big benefit from it. But that’s not to say that there isn’t. We’ll have to re-evaluate it; we haven’t done yet because we’re pursuing our own route."

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#40 engel

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:06

Originally posted by J2NH


Then explain this from February 9th, 09.

According to Newey they looked at it and decided it was not an advantage and went their own way.

http://www.itv-f1.co...eneral&id=45080

"AN: Maybe – if you believe it’s a benefit. It’s something that’s been looked at by various teams over the years.

We had a quick look at it early on and didn’t see a big benefit from it. But that’s not to say that there isn’t. We’ll have to re-evaluate it; we haven’t done yet because we’re pursuing our own route."


In all fairness ... Newey should explain it not BrawnsBrain :)

#41 GhostR

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:06

Originally posted by J2NH
Then explain this from February 9th, 09.


Two months is a long time in F1. At the time Newey commented there were no protests and subsequent appeals, and I think at the time RBR didn't realise that they were (arguably) the quickest non-DDD team. Newey will have commented as Newey, whereas the more recent stuff has been Horner and Marko commenting on behalf of RBR. Meanwhile Newey's been re-assessing ... obviously they've now decided the DDD does have advantages, having seen how the DDD teams have performed.

Will be interesting to see what they come up with, and whether it means abandoning the pullrod rear suspension or not...

#42 J2NH

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:13

Originally posted by GhostR


Two months is a long time in F1. At the time Newey commented there were no protests and subsequent appeals, and I think at the time RBR didn't realise that they were (arguably) the quickest non-DDD team. Newey will have commented as Newey, whereas the more recent stuff has been Horner and Marko commenting on behalf of RBR. Meanwhile Newey's been re-assessing ... obviously they've now decided the DDD does have advantages, having seen how the DDD teams have performed.

Will be interesting to see what they come up with, and whether it means abandoning the pullrod rear suspension or not...


Agree. My point was at the time Newey did not think it was an advantage and went another way. He was apparently wrong and now Marko is playing politics.

#43 tripleM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:20

Originally posted by EthanM
We haven't seen the Renault design or whatever it was they submitted to the fia. The judgment doesn't mean all DDDs are legal, just the ones used by the 3 are, it's entirely possible Renault's design broke the rules in some way whereas the existing DDDs didnt


Exactly what I have saying.
Why assume that every1 was going to interpret ideas in the same herd mentality esp. when the deck was cleared for this year????

The herd are lambs.

#44 tripleM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:21

Originally posted by peroa


RBR & Renault have allegedly asked the FIA already in 2007 about making holes in the undertray, FIA said no.
Why FIA said no? Different questions asked, different answers given.

http://www.auto-moto...er-1128361.html


Different interpretations circumventing the rules - Sherlock?

#45 tidytracks

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:23

It's odd because what the Renault lawyer said seems to be in direct contrast to what Pat Symonds was quoted as saying on the advent of the F1 season...

"Toyota and Williams for example we think have found a very good, very interesting solution with the diffuser which we hadn’t done and I’m sure that everyone is looking at that at the moment. In time, I don’t know how long, I’m sure we will see more cars with that sort of feature on it.”

GPWeek.com - Issue 38 - March 23rd



So if Renault had been told it was illegal, why would Pat Symonds think it was a good idea that would be adopted by other teams?

If anything is suspect, it's the Renault legal team's suggestions that the team believed the diffusers were illegal, when clearly the team, or at least it's Technical Chief, thought quite the opposite.

#46 tripleM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:24

Originally posted by Barramut
Some people doesn't know the difference among a "SLOT" and a "HOLE"... that's it.


Some can argue on a female it's 1 & the same.
But we're talking motorsport here.  ;)

#47 Slowinfastout

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:27

Originally posted by tripleM


Different interpretations circumventing the rules - Sherlock?


No need for the attitude since we don't know if the FIA was misleading or not...

Its the word of the FIA vs the word of team(s)... both of them have been shown to be worth jack**** in the past...

What is IMHO important in this case, is the period of time that was allowed to be wasted before things were clarified.

#48 tripleM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:28

Originally posted by tidytracks
It's odd because what the Renault lawyer said seems to be in direct contrast to what Pat Symonds was quoted as saying on the advent of the F1 season...



So if Renault had been told it was illegal, why would Pat Symonds think it was a good idea that would be adopted by other teams?

If anything is suspect, it's the Renault legal team's suggestions that the team believed the diffusers were illegal, when clearly the team, or at least it's Technical Chief, thought quite the opposite.


This is the exact quote I go back to when this whole debacle started! (great mind's think alike! :up:)

PS was on the OWG, his body language said he found the idea interesting if not revolutionary.
You listen to the RF1 podcasts & there is no anger, only admirations for engineering.

That's why I think this entire chapter was a creation of the bureaucrats not the engineers.

#49 tripleM

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:31

Originally posted by Slowinfastout


No need for the attitude since we don't know if the FIA was misleading or not...

Its the word of the FIA vs the word of team(s)... both of them have been shown to be worth jack**** in the past...

What is IMHO important in this case, is the period of time that was allowed to be wasted before things were clarified.


But yet the 'tude of the the non-DDD players is acceptable?
The opener/point of this thread was accusatory to 1 side no?
Sorry, but as a engineering fan, I find this entire drama to be very scientifically 1 sided.

#50 Gareth

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 16:33

Originally posted by tidytracks
If anything is suspect, it's the Renault legal team's suggestions that the team believed the diffusers were illegal, when clearly the team, or at least it's Technical Chief, thought quite the opposite.

Thanks for the reminder and the absolutely spot on conclusion :up: