The argument started before the first race of this season: is the new diffuser used by the Brawn, Toyota and Williams teams legal? Well, we finally have an answer: yes.
The official statement from the FIA:
The FIA International Court of Appeal has decided to deny the appeals submitted against decisions numbered 16 to 24 taken by the Panel of the Stewards on 26 March at the 2009 Grand Prix of Australia and counting towards the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Based on the arguments heard and evidence before it, the Court has concluded that the Stewards were correct to find that the cars in question comply with the applicable regulations.
The BBC report says a “panel heard eight hours of strongly worded evidence” – apparently Ferrari launched a personal attack on Ross Brawn (who of course used to be Ferrari’s Technical Director during the Michael Schumacher years) – Ferrari’s legal representative, Nigel Tozzi QC, describing Brawn GP team boss Ross Brawn as “a person of supreme arrogance”. [source: BBC]
Mind you, the BBC also report “Brawn’s criticism of Ferrari consultant Rory Bryne and Red Bull technical guru Adrian Newey saw sparks fly in the courtroom, with the Englishman refusing to retract his statements”.
So the FIA ICA decision should put the diffuser argument to rest, but it looks like there’s still a lot of animosity between the teams – hopefully that should be resolved on the track over the rest of this season.
The next race is in Shanghai this weekend.
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