The Brawn GP Diffuser Verdict Is Out: They Are Legal
As expected by many, the FIA's International Court of Appeals ruled split-level diffusers are legal; finally, the racing can really begin. With this ruling, the Diffuser Three gang (Brawn GP, Toyota, and Williams) will probably dominate the upcoming Shanghai GP.
I support Ferrari but I too was not surprised by the ruling as the argument was always going to favour them. In my opinion, this is good for the sport as it "refreshes" it with new teams fighting for the title rather than the usual "Ferrari vs McLaren vs. the rest."
However, I believe that, due to this hearing, the biggest winner is the FIA and Max Mosley, as this will throw into question the unity of the FOTA and its members. In all honesty, the teams have played into Mr Mosley's hands and the ties between the FOTA members will never be the same again.
Back to the racing. Who will win the championship? Your guess is good as mine. The field of possible winners is not going to be just 3-4 drivers as it were in the last few years.
Brawn GP is surely in pole position for now but I expect the championship to be fought by Ferrari and Renault with the possibility of McLaren with a shout.
Brawn GP may have the initiative, but with the lack of funds compounded by the cut in their manpower, their competitive advantage will soon be lost as other teams with more funds will develop the car faster and maybe better than them.
Renault may be the surprise winner on the race track if they can truly deliver their diffuser by the Shanghai GP as previously reported. With Alonso having both the KERS and the diffuser at his disposal, Button may have to really push himself to keep ahead.
Ferrari will always be somewhere up there. I suspect Ferrari has a diffuser in the works and may surprise everyone with it before the Europe leg of the season. If they do, the damage would be limited and the fight is on.
Alternatively, Ferrari may just pull a 'Honda' on everyone and decide to throw all their massive resources to the 2010 car and forgo 2009 if the damage is too great.
McLaren may find 2009 a bridge too far for them as they have too much internal issues to iron out but with the world champion on their side, anything can happen. The championship may be too much to ask but a few race victories and spoilers may serve them well.
Looking forward, Brawn does not have KERS and have a lack of experience and knowledge with such systems. Teams like BMW, McLaren, Ferrari and Renault will use that to full effect.
To conclude, common sense did prevail but Ross Brawn better take his chances well as I doubt Brawn GP will be as competitive in 2010.
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