Diffusers et al

Well, it’s Sunday, which means it is Formula One day here in the old blogosphere.  I will tell you about Easter tomorrow.

On Tuesday the FIA will make a decision about the whole diffusuer kerfuffle in Formula

One.  The question is whether or not the Williams, Toyota and Brawn GP diffusers are legal.  They have apparently found some tricky loophole and are running a double decker rear diffuser that gives the car a lot more downforce than the standard diffuser the other seven teams are using.  I wish I could give you a better explanation but the technical aspects of this sport continue to elude me at times, and this is one of those times.

I wish I could get my head around this whole issue.  It’s very confusing and I just don’t know what I think.  When I read one side of the argument I think oh that makes sense.  And then when I read the other side of the argument I think oh that makes sense.   If it’s true that some teams were given one set of information and other teams were given another, well that isn’t fair and something should be done.  But if the diffusers don’t actually violate the letter of the rulebook I hope they don’t rule them illegal because they violate the spirit of the law.  That doesn’t seem fair either. 

Of course, there are some who are convinced they will be ruled illegal because Ferrari isn’t using them.  I don’t subscribe to that particular theory, but other members of this household do.  It would really stink if the FIA pulled the rug out from under Williams, Toyota and Brawn GP just because they don’t like where Ferrari or any other team are in the standings.  That would be kind of like changing the rules in baseball because the Yankees aren’t winning.  

In other news, McLaren have been called before the World Motor Sport Council (or WMSC) over their little economies with the truth in Australia.  Frankly, I think they’ve been punished enough, and that anything else like a race ban would be overkill. 

To refresh your memory, McLaren protested the results of the Australian Grand Prix, saying Jarno Trulli had passed Lewis Hamilton for third place behind the safety car.  Here is what I said about it at the time.

After the race the stewards slammed Trulli with a 25 second penalty, putting him in 12th place and awarded third to Hamilton.

Then, at the next race in Malaysia they had another Stewards meeting where they decided Lewis and David Ryan had lied to the Australian Stewards.  Apparently they told the stewards that they had not let Trulli pass.  When presented with evidence to the contrary in Malaysia (like the radio transmission where Hamilton’s race engineer told him to let Trulli past and interviews where Hamilton told the press he had let Trulli pass) they admittied to being less than truthful in Australia.  At that time they were disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix. 

Now they have to go before the WMSC to answer charges that they have brought the sport into disrepute.

I find myself in the unusual position of feeling bad for Hamilton.  I really think he tried to do the right thing here.  After all, he did tell the press he let Trulli pass.  What I don’t understand is why he went along with this other plan knowing he had already given that interview.  Why didn’t he say something, and assuming he did, what made McLaren think they could get away with this?


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