Formula One: The Hoopla About Diffusers
The new Formula 1 season has been everything that Ecclestone and Mosley were advertising it to be. KERS really does create better racing, and the risk reward aspect of it is really intriguing. BMW choosing to equip Heidfeld with KERS while choosing to not equip it to the heavier Kubica's machine.
The greatest KERS aided battle was between Alonso and Kimi in Malaysia before the rains came. Alonso in front with a heavier fuel load than the Finn using the system defensively while the Finn was using KERS aggressively trying to get by Alonso and move up the field.
Another element that the Formula 1 brass promised was more overtaking by reducing the down force of the cars. The race in Australia proved that, i don't ever remember seeing a race with so much overtaking.
Those rule changes delivered too, much as the FIA wanted to and the FOTA and the fans didn't want to. Admittedly, I was very skeptical about the 2009 technical regulations and the look of the cars that resulted.
But on the topic of rear down-force, there is a loophole in the technical regulations concerning the design of the diffusers and three teams, Brawn GP (formerly Honda), Toyota, and Williams took advantage of this loophole and built cars with those specs.
I believe that the FOTA, FOM, and the FIA fully knew of this problem. But, they chose to look the other way, Ecclestone and Mosley didn't want to admit they were wrong. I believe that they could have acted on these issues back when Toyota unveiled the TF109 in January.
But they didn't, they let it go. This resulted in these doubts having to wait until the late of the BGP 001 car and its surprising pace, which led to rumors of underweight cars and other shady tactics.
Not until the week of the Australian GP did a team formally challenge the design of those diffusers. The diffuser issue threatened to overshadow the debut of the new Formula One, so, only when pressed did Bernie and Max act, deeming the diffusers legal.
The outrage of letting Brawn, Toyota, and Williams go under the table, or around the regs defeats the entire purpose of the new regulations. After two races Brawn and Toyota have been dominating the championship, much like Ferrari and McLaren had dominated the championship in the past few years.
The "diffuser 3" as they have been named were not breaking the rules, but they were going against the "spirit of the rule". It was not fair to the other teams and it definitely defeated the purpose of the new regulations.
Maybe it is a great story that Jenson Button is finally winning after paying his dues and Jarno Trulli can show his true pace but, Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica have a claim to the championship too.
The FIA has made the right call in making the diffusers legal, it'll close up the championship and ultimately give us the drama and excitement that Bernie and Max had promised
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