It was Australia of last year when we found out about a trick double decker diffuser that was placed on the Brawn GP machine that raised a number of questions. The diffuser was then made legal and the other teams were forced to design one for the rest of the season. However, by that time the damage had been done and Button would go on to be your champion. The FiA announced today that the diffuser will change again and now a select number of teams have been told to change them ahead of Australia.
Among those teams is Mercedes GP, former Brawn GP and the one who reaped the reward of the device last year. McLaren and Renault are also on the no no list for their designs as well (where is Ferrari?). The issue centers around the starter and the hole that is allowed for the external starting device to work. The argument is that some teams have manipulated this hole by designing larger starters, thus needing a larger hole and allowing more downforce because of it. The technical regulations say nothing about the size of the probe used to start the machines. The FiA is now changing the rule to close the loophole. Wait…I thought Bernie said we could not change the rules mid season??? The product on track is garbage and we will not take steps to improve it, yet we will close a loophole and force teams to redesign a piece of the car that has no rules clarification? That sounds like the FiA’s problem and the teams should not have to pay for bad rules. They should have been outlawed last season when this mess came about the first time.
Regardless of the opinion involved in the matter, the teams have to be redesigned for next week in Australia and pass the inspection process. Should be interesting to see how this plays on McLaren and Mercedes statements of being up to pace next week.