FIA to Hold Hearings over F1 Diffuser Objections
Three Formula One teams are currently running a diffuser that several other teams have said does not meet the 2009 Formula One technical regulations. The FIA is now going to hold a hearing about the legality of the diffusers in question.
The diffusers in question are being used by the so far dominant Brawn GP team and the Toyota and Williams teams. Several teams claim they do not meet the 2009 technical regulations. Ferrari, Red Bull, and Renault lodged an appeal in Australia after the stewards rejected their protests over the diffusers. BMW-Sauber also filed a similar protest and appeal in Malaysia.
Ferrari claims that the "illegal" diffuser gives the three teams using it a huge advantage and is the main reason Ferrari does not have any points yet. "We still don't have any points after two races and this is a very difficult moment," Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen told Ferrari's official website. "The next race is in China, but a couple of days before the FIA's Court of Appeal will decide about the diffuser. This decision will have an enormous impact on the championship."
Raikkonen has finished fourteenth and fifteenth in the two Grand Prix's so far with teammate Felipe Massa retiring in the Australian Grand Prix and finishing ninth in the rained out Malaysian Grand Prix. "You just need to analyze the performance in the three sectors at Malaysia to understand that we're losing a lot compare to the best cars. You can see that especially in the middle section, where downforce is really crucial."
While Raikkonen believes the F60's underperformance can be blamed mostly on a lack of downforce (a situation undoubtedly made worse by the difference in diffuser designs) several teams have been able to keep up with and beat the teams using the alleged diffusers. Nick Heidfeld of BMW-Sauber was able to finish second in Malaysia and Fernando Alonso of Renault finished fifth in Australia.
Eight teams are expected to be heard at the hearing. The seven teams mentioned before as well as the McLaren team. The hearing will be held in Paris on Tuesday April 14th and decisions are expected the following day.
Source: Official Formula One Website