Formula One: Diffuser Teams Reign Supreme During Friday's Practice Sessions

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Formula One: Diffuser Teams Reign Supreme During Friday's Practice Sessions
(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Friday's practice has come to an end; and while the teams were utilizing this time to run additional testing making it a bit harder to draw concrete conclusions from the results, three teams none the less established themselves as the early pace setters.

The consistency of the Williams team was noteworthy as we saw Nico Rosberg set fastest lap after fastest lap. The Brawn GP team once again displayed remarkable pace with Rubens Barrichello finishing second fastest for the day. Flocking with them were the Toyotas generating some good lap times as well.

While the rest of the pack, unable to take advantage of the loophole exploited by the "diffuser teams" struggled left and right to post consistent times.

While we didn't see any of the cars decapitated this practice session, we did see quite a bit of fish tailing as the non diffuser teams struggled with rear end grip.

The cooling track temperatures rendered the lap time improvements minimal towards the end of the session, contributing to the decrease in grip levels which resulted in numerous acrobatic maneuvers by the drivers in a successful attempt at not slamming into the concrete walls. One of the most memorable saves was that of Felipe Massa as he looked certain to pay the wall a visit but somehow swung his car back around.

It is safe to say that the championship will be heavily influenced by the decisions made after the court hearing in about two weeks time that will decide whether or not the diffusers of the Williams, Brawn GP, and Toyota teams are legal.

It is interesting that the three "Diffuser Teams" are not a part of the Formula One Overtaking Working Group (OWG) and were not present in the meetings that were carried out by the teams in the OWG in an attempt to clearly interpret the rules regarding the rear diffuser. They instead seemed to take different paths unlike the rest of the teams who collectively interpreted the rules.

I sincerely hope that the rear diffusers are deemed legal and that Williams, Brawn GP, and Toyota are allowed to keep their current designs.

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