Friday, March 27, 2009

Diffuser appeal gives teams impossible dilemma

Friday 27th March 2009

The performance advantage accrued from what they still believe is an illegal diffuser design has been acknowledged by Renault contemplating a 'substantial reworking of the rear of the car' in order to incorporate a version of the controversial diffusers used by Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota.

Renault were one of three teams to make a formal protest against the designs on Thursday ahead of the Melbourne GP. After six hours of scrutineering by stewards, the cars of Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota were deemed legal. However, an appeal has now been lodged and the matter is set to culminate in a FIA hearing.

The simplest solution to the furore would be for the remaining teams to immediately introduce a similar design to that of the 'Diffuser Three'. However, that, it would seem, is far easier said than done, with the expert word in the paddock suggesting that it would be far easier for Brawn, Williams and Toyota to modify their design than the other seven to modify theirs.

"It would be possible to have something done to our car by the first race in Europe, the Spanish grand prix on 10 May," Pat Symonds, Renault's director of engineering, told The Guardian. "That could find us maybe three-tenths of a second. But, in order to find the other two or three tenths necessary to put us on a par with the three cars carrying what I believe to be an illegal diffuser would require a substantial reworking of the rear of the car. Ironically, the three would have a much easier job converting the other way."

Another dilemma for the teams has been presented by the decision to lodge an appeal. Do they themselves continue to explore the possibility of modifying their diffuser and its incorporation even in the build-up to a FIA hearing at which they will argue that type of diffuser design is illegal? As the device seemingly improves a car's performance by upwards of a half a second per lap, and it far from certain that the FIA will deem the controversial two-tiered design illegal, the 'other seven' will surely conclude that they have no option but to devote all their development work to the issue.

Source : Planet f1

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