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Colin Kolles Demands Jean Todt Make FIA Ban Blown Diffuser: Or What?

Colin Kolles whinges against blown diffusers.
Colin Kolles whinges against blown diffusers.Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Barry RosenbergContributor IIMay 23, 2011

First Colin Kolles, the boss of Hispania Racing Team, threatened to protest the Barcelona finish, but postponed the protest for a week. He claims he wanted to avoid the chaos that could result. I'm inclined to believe that he realized that a protest from a do-nothing team would be tragically impotent and completely ignored.

Thinking better of it, Kolles instead wrote a letter filled with his complaints to FIA boss Todt. He again threatened to protest if Todt and FIA don't bend to his will before next Sunday, when the Monaco Grand Prix gets underway. Kolles' beef is that aero enhancement known as the off-throttle blown diffuser is against regulations. Hot exhaust gases work with the the diffuser to add downforce and keeps the car more stable.

"We have written a letter to the president of the FIA asking for the exhausts to be banned immediately because they are against the regulations,” Kolles told Press Association Sport.

"The letter has been signed and sent. I'm obviously expecting a response before next weekend's race. If there is no change then we will have no other choice but to protest."

According to Kolles, FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting agrees with him. When pressed for details about Whiting's opinion, Kolles said: "That we are right, this is my understanding. Everybody knows, or should know, that we are right. When you have a blown exhaust, and you are on full throttle, it blows air into the diffuser and you have more downforce. But now the blown exhaust has been taken to a different level where cars are able to use hot gases when they are off the throttle. So you are influencing by use of your foot the aerodynamics, and not only by the use of your foot, but also the valves and pistons inside the engine. They are moving, but you are not allowed to use anything that moves to influence the aerodynamics. It has to be all fixed. That is very clear.”

It's clear to this observer that Mr. Kolles is desperately clutching at straws and fails to realize that until his team does something on the track other than fail dismally, his objections are meaningless. Maybe Hispania should build a blown diffuser and make a showing on the track instead of whinging against the successful competition.

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