March 19, 2010
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Artwork of McLaren's starter motor and diffuser design
The FIA has clamped down on 4 of the teams’ diffuser designs, after they closed a loophole in the technical regulations which allowed the teams to aerodynamically improve their diffuser with the starter motor.
At the moment, there is a hole in the starter motor, to allow the car to be started up. However, these holes have since been aerodynamicaly sculpted to allow diffuser improvements. While the FIA cannot do anything about the aero sculpting, they can limit the size of the starter motor hole. They felt that this hole was too wide, which is not a technical infringement, but is against the spirit of the rules.
While there is no strict dimensions for the starter motor hole, the FIA have sent out a letter to each of the teams, laying out the maximum diameter of the hole, and maximum projected area that is now allowed. This rule change affects four teams – McLaren and Mercedes, and Renault and Force India are rumoured to be the other two.
This means that these four teams will have to change their starter motor and diffuser designs before the Australian Grand Prix next weekend.