Currently reading: F1 teams ordered to modify cars
McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Force India told to modify diffusers
Autocar
News
1 min read
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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Dave Ryan 23 March 2010

Re: F1 teams ordered to modify cars

Peter Cavellini wrote:
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

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.

david RS 23 March 2010

Re: F1 teams ordered to modify cars

"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 ;-)

Peter Cavellini 23 March 2010

Re: F1 teams ordered to modify cars

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?