McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Force India told to modify diffusers
23 March 2010

F1 teams McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Force India will all have to race with modified cars in this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

The four teams have been ordered to modify their diffuser designs by the sport's governing body, the FIA.

The teams were exploiting a loophole in the rules, which allowed them to have a hole in the diffuser to allow them to fit a starter motor. However, it no maximum size of hole was stipulated.

However, the FIA deemed that the teams were using intentionally larger starter motors, which went against the spirit of the rules.

A larger hole in the diffuser helps create another tunnel for air to flow through, helping the car produce more consistent downforce over a lap.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said at the Bahrain Grand Prix that his team was one of many that was under investigation over the matter.

"There are holes in the diffuser for the starter, the hole in ours is no bigger than the one on the championship winning car last year," he said.

John O'Brien

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Comments
8

23 March 2010

Yawn, yawn, yawn. Scrap all the current cars and get everyone driving replicas of the likes of the Maserati 250F. Front-mounted straight-six producing no more than 500bhp, road tyres, stick-shift gearbox, total lack of aerodynamics. The cars should be lighter than the current lot, and the total lack of aerodynamic devices would mean that the cars would be much narrower and nimbler. Overtaking opportunites would be much greater, too. Although I respect Sebastien Vettel for fighting like a lion against a car down on power and with the pack baying at his ankles, and to finish fourth was a huge achievement in the circumstances, the Bahrain GP was pretty boring (and pretty much a foregone conclusion from start to finish).

23 March 2010

[quote Autocar]F1 teams McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Force India will all have to race with modified cars in this weekend's Australian Grand Prix.
[/quote]

modified cars? the image of Saxo's & Corsa's come to mind

23 March 2010

Heaven forbid that the rules should allow clever design and innovative thought to succeed. Far better to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator. This is supposed to be racing and design at the highest level, instead we stamp on individuality and allow cars which have never turned a wheel and manage, just, to complete 3 or 4 laps during qualifying, appear on the grid, and then do a lap and a half at 80% the speed of the rest of the field. This is not F1. Rookie teams need to prove themselves in the lower formulas first surely, not treat Grands Prix as shakedowns.

 

23 March 2010

As with all things where rules keep changing year on year you will always find those that interprit them better than others, this is not cheating this is gaining advantage through fine detail.

I wish the FIA would make a set of basic rules that are easy for all to follow and stick with them.

23 March 2010

In this case, what "a hole for the starting motor" means, it looks pretty clear. If someone makes a huge hole, with the excuse of having a "very large starting motor" it is not brilliant and inventive engineering, that's cheating. As it was pure cheating the double diffuser. Let's stick to the rules, they are quite clear. Using an ankle to stall rear wing in my opinion is a silly, crazy and dangerous way to compete, forcing the rules to the extent that F1, once again, has become a joke.

23 March 2010

OH REALLY!,

This subject of following the rules to the letter is damaging the sport even more, none of the teams sited won the race,none made significant progress compared to their starting positions,will this deemed advantage help on shorter tracks?.If they the FIA that is wants a level playing field then all the teams should be given a chassis, a sealed engine(so no modifications can be made) and then it would be fairer, you'd have control so lesser teams can still take part, but there's one problem, nobody would watch it thus Bernie and associated media wouldn't make money, sponsorship would dry up and ultimately the sport would die, a bit like A1 then, eh?

Peter Cavellini.

23 March 2010

"However, the FIA deemed that the teams were using intentionally larger starter motors, which went against the spirit of the rules".

They have always ideas ;-)

23 March 2010

[quote Peter Cavellini]If they the FIA that is wants a level playing field then all the teams should be given a chassis, a sealed engine(so no modifications can be made) and then it would be fairer, you'd have control so lesser teams can still take part, but there's one problem, nobody would watch it[/quote]

It doesn't seem to have harmed NASCAR's viewing figures to be honest. Or IndyCar's. GP2 and F2 are both spec series as well. People will watch it if there's good racing, something which F1 is not delivering on and part of the reason why the grandstands were quite empty in Bahrain and at circuits last year as well.

I don't really see a problem with the FIA calling people out for bending the rules - the regulations for the diffuser are intended to limit the number of slots that can be put in it, so exploiting another regulation and contradicting the general regulation in the process may be clever, but it's not going to be welcomed. You might as well not have a rule book if you're going to do that - and while for some that may be appealing, in reality it would kill the sport within a decade because so few teams will be able to afford to compete. I'd rather have a less technically advanced but sustainable sport over one which is cutting edge and collapses.

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