Hadn’t we put the double diffuser issue to bed? It’s 2010, guys, c’mon!

The FIA has stated it will issue a clarification regarding the double diffuser designs before the upcoming Australian GP, with concerns that a number of teams – not just McLaren, it seems – have exploited a loophole that exists in the regulations.

Gotta love those loopholes – they seem to be everywhere in the rulebook!

Amid concerns that some teams were utilising their starter-motor holes to make their diffusers work more effectively, the FIA’s technical chief, Charlie Whiting, conducted a full inspection of each of the 2010 cars.

The regulations state that “a single break in the [diffuser] surface is permitted solely to allow the minimum required access for the [starter-motor] device”.

Of course no definition exists for the “minimum” requirement, and some teams have developed unusually-shaped starter motors which require highly structured holes in the diffuser surface – this may produce an additional aerodynamic effect of benefit to the cars.

While not strictly against the rules, such an action certainly could be considered as going against the spirit of the regulations.

AUTOSPORT is claiming that the FIA held discussions with at least three teams – definitely believed to be made of McLaren and Mercedes GP – regarding the issue.

McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh was perhaps a little too quick to justify his team’s conduct – and McLaren is copping enough heat with the rest of its aero package as well!

"There is a discussion between all the teams about what we are going to do,” he said. “There are holes in the diffuser for the starter, the hole in ours is no bigger than the one on the championship winning car last year. And also no bigger than it is on about four other cars."

I don’t think that’s the point, Martin!

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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