Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Formula 1: Brawn diffusers legal--FIA. Can we get back to racing please?

Insults flew and accusations hurled but at the end of the day the FIA, the governing body that rules motorsports racing, has ruled the legality of Brawn GP’s, Toyota’s and William’s diffuser design leaving the rest of the F1 teams scrambling to design their own split-level diffusers to level the playing field. Apparently, the trio’s split-level or double-decker design improves lap times by 0.5 of a second per lap, an eternity in Formula 1 racing where a tenth of a second counts.

Indeed, looking at FIA regulations, one cannot ignore the cleverness of Brawn, Toyota and Williams to explore the loophole that other teams failed to see. Looking at it closely, their diffusers correlate closely with the chassis intricately forming a unified body increasing downforce instead of two joined together separately. A car with a greater downforce handles corners faster.

With in-season track testing banned this season, it’s back to the drawing board for Red Bull Renault, BMW-Sauber, Ferrari and Renault which can only test their designs in wind tunnels for aerodynamics.

Expect Brawn, Toyota and Williams to continue their points overhaul in the first half of the season especially in the coming Chinese Grand Prix in 2 days time. Eventually the rest of the teams will have their own version of split-level diffusers but the question still remains. When?