It was announced yesterday in Australia (local time) by the FIA that Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull Racing had lodged protests over the diffusers on the Brawn, Toyota and Williams cars. The issue has been bubbling away for a while now after the teams saw what each other had done regarding the rear end of the 2009 machines. The complaints centered around a loophole in the regulations that essentially allows the diffusers to be extended higher than had previously been thought.
Essentially, this all boils down to two things:
- Those teams that spotted a possible loophole and utilised it.
- The rules were not clear enough to begin with, allowing the loophole.
Those teams that saw the advantage should in a way be congratulated. They have spotted a way of making their machine go faster while keeping within the rules as they were written and in their belief. The teams that complain are essentially just complaining at themselves for not seeing what others saw. However, is this really the spirit of the sport? Perhaps not, but when millions of dollars ride on a successful campaign, it is understandable (from a business perspective) that spirit gets sacrificed in favour of performance.
So representatives from Williams, Brawn and Toyota attended a meeting with the FIA stewards to discuss the protests lodged and to consider if the teams had in fact broken the rules. The meeting, held at Albert Park’s race control lasted for more than four hours during which time presentations were made from the accused teams and the FIA stewards. It was judged that the trio are clear to race this weekend.
This isn’t the end of the matter though, and Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull have each said they will lodge an appeal to the decision. Unfortunately for the sport, this appeal cannot be heard until after the Malaysian Grand Prix. Should the appeal be deemed in favour of Ferrari et al, the results of the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix could be altered. This poses a significant problem to Formula One, but it isn’t one that is new.
The issue surrounding the changing of race results is something I personally am against. It is my opinion that once a driver stands on the podium, or for other points scorers, once the podium celebration has commenced, that the result of the race stands. Once drivers are seen on televisions all over the world celebrating their performances, it seems utterly ridiculous to me to change the result.
Of course, there are some circumstances where it may be necessary to adjust, and I understand when drivers get disqualified after a thorough weigh-in is completed, or other such inspections that may take some time. As an example, I would understand that an investigation would be needed had Michael Schumacher won the race (and championship) at Jerez in 1997. That would apply to any of the drivers on the grids past and present. But the way the process is currently set up, it would appear that teams can lodge complaints and these are not always heard until weeks after the event. Weeks is far too long. At most, it should be following day.
Also, I find it insane that the FIA stewards have deemed the Brawn, Williams and Toyota cars okay to race, yet all their hard work could be undone. The stewards have decided that these cars can contest the Australian Grand Prix. Therefore, whatever results they claim should remain. If the appeal meeting cannot be held until after the Malaysian event, then any results gained from there by the trio should also stand.
If the FIA then decide that these teams need to alter their diffusers, then they should be told to do so and their cars should be inspected at the following event before being given the all-clear to race. If the diffusers still don’t satisfy the FIA, then the team does not race. However, you can bet your bottom dollar that in this scenario, the diffuser would comply and be adorned with I Heart FIA or Max For President sticker.
To me though, this seems better than altering results. Miles better. Yes, the Brawn, Williams and Toyota cars may be running with a component that sits outside the regulations, but it is too late to change. And the alternative of banning the trio of racing is so ridiculous it doesn’t even merit any more of a mention.
As I just wrote in a short ditty to the London Evening Standard (they wanted my thoughts, apparently, although not published yet), these issues should have been raised weeks ago. They should have been dealt with weeks ago, and there should be no reason for a protest unless a team has changed something very recently. It is my opinion that the incompetency of FIA to draw up rules that are not clear and concise combined with teams that are upset at themselves has once again caused Formula One to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.Download Original Wallpaper