Tag Archives: FOTA

Double-decker diffusers to be banned by 2011?

Williams' double-decker diffuser

Williams' double-decker diffuser

Formula 1 teams are reportedly negotiating a rule that would see the infamous double-decker diffusers banned from the 2011 season onwards.

According to Autosport, the FOTA Technical Regulations Working Group (TRWG) met late last year, and agreed that rules should be changed to outlaw the revolutionary diffuser.

For those of you that don’t know, originally Formula 1 cars ran one diffuser at the back under the car. This channelled the air under the car, to generate a large amount of downforce and rear grip. For the 2009 F1 season, the diffuser was made much smaller, to reduce downforce levels. However, a loophole was found by Brawn, Williams and Toyota. The loophole was that slots could be made in the underside of the car, which would force a large amount of air into a much larger diffuser on top.

This generated a huge amount of contreversy in Melbourne, where, after many complaints from other teams, the FIA eventually found the DD diffusers to be legal. The other teams were forced to play catch-up as the season progressed. These diffusers have got more and more complicated, and are generating much more downforce than the 2009 technical rules were expecting.

It is expected that, with the outlawing of DD diffusers, the cars will be slowed down by up to 1 second per lap.

This means that, if the diffusers are outlawed, major changes will have to be made to the back of the cars, including the gearbox and rear suspension. Several teams have already voiced their concerns at the cost of this redesign.

The Noughties in F1- Turbulent yet enthralling

The brilliant: Hamilton's epic victory in Brazil 2008

The brilliant: Hamilton's epic victory in Brazil 2008

As I am writing this sentence, we are already 2 and a half hours into the next decade. Throughout the Noughties, Formula 1 has undergone massive changes, the likes of which we have never seen before. Safety was radically improved, which has certainly saved many lives.  We have seen Schumacher completely dominate, retire, and return. Battles between the FIA, FOTA, Mosley, Ecclestone and the world raged on, as the fans of the world looked on in disgust and anger.  It was certainly a decade to talk about.

There is much to debate about here. The Schumacher domination, aided hugely by the impeccable F2002 and F2004, bored many F1 fans. But, when he left, we got 4 new champions in 5 years.  Not boring in the slightest, especially when we saw new stars like Hamilton and Alonso rise.

As it was the start of the millenium, technology was going to soar out of proportion. Constant rule changes shifted the field on many occasions, but failed to solve the original problem: overtaking. The use of pit stops to overtake came into force, but hopefully this has been shut out with the refuelling ban next year.

However, the political side of F1 reared its ugly head, as money often spoke above the true sport. Indianapolis 2005 is the perfext example of this. About 100,000 spectators, and hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide, were cheated and ridiculed, because politics and money ruled. Also, it proved that Max Mosley couldn’t give a crap about his FIA president responsibilities, and waas more interested in the politics (and sado-masochism) than anything else.

The ugly: Indianapolis 2005- When politics rules in sport, you end up with a farce.

The ugly: Indianapolis 2005- When politics rules in sport, you end up with a farce.

Then, most of the way through 2009, the FIA/FOTA war started, nearly ending in a breakaway series. Once again, the fans were pushed aside as politics ruled.

It is a wonderful thing, however, that Formula 1 was still able to provide pure, on the edge of your seat racing after all this. Brazil 2003/2007/2008, Suzuka 2005 and Belgium 2008 all proved that the sport was still enthralling and captivating. Lewis Hamilton’s last corner, last lap victory to win the championship was probably the greatest sporting finale ever.

So, F1 proved to be as unpredictable as ever. But, this always had to bring out the ugly side in the sport. Enter Nelson  Piquet Jr, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds. The crashgate scandal rocked the sport, disgraced figures, and probably cost Massa the 2008 championship (this is very debatable though). Mosley was right- race-fixing is worse than cheating.

The really ugly: Piquet's abandonment of sportsmanship in F1

The really ugly: Piquet's abandonment of sportsmanship in F1

This leads to a difficult question: Was the noughties a good decade for F1? I would not blame you for a second if you said no, because the constant turbulence is simply harming the sport’s image. If you said yes, it was because of the brilliant spectacles that we were sometimes treated to. No matter what your answer is, I have little doubt that 2010 will change F1 for the better.  I dont think the politics side can ever be fully shut up, but the return of a legend, better technical changes, and many brilliant drivers pitted against each other speak for themselves.

The noughties changed F1 forever. Now to see can we make it epic: bring on 2010!

Joint car launch cancelled

The planned joint launch of all the 2010 F1 cars in Valencia in late January has been cancelled.

The teams had last week agreed to implement cost-cutting measures, which included the joint launch, but could not agree on the details of the launch. However, the idea will be looked at again for 2011.

There were concerns that only the main teams would get big coverage at the event, and sponsors would not be reported on enough. Many teams were also worried that they would not have their car finished on time.

Because of a lack of time to tackle these problems, this idea has been scrapped for 2010. However, FOTA is still looking at trying this launch again in 2011.

Martin Whitmarsh to become new FOTA chairman

Martin Whitmarsh, team principal of McLaren Mercedes

Martin Whitmarsh, team principal of McLaren Mercedes

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has been voted in to succeed Luca di Montezemolo as the chairman of the Formula 1 Teams Association.

After a meeting of the F1 Commission (see article on new points system) in Monaco today, the team principals then met to discuss plans for next year. This included the positions of senior officials.

Whitmarsh will take over from Luca di Montezemelo later this month. Also, Christian Horner has been made chairman of the FOTA Sporting Working Group. Ross Brawn will remain head of the Technical Working Group.

Also, in this meeting, an agreement was reached as to the launching of the teams’ new cars in January. Details of this will be in my next article, which will be published tonight.

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