Briatore frustrated by diffuser rules
|By Michele Lostia and Matt Beer||Wednesday, March 11th 2009, 15:37 GMT|
Renault boss Flavio Briatore says he is frustrated that other teams are able to exploit grey areas in the regulations with their diffuser designs.
Williams and Toyota's 2009 cars feature diffusers that appear to exceed the maximum height of 175 mm via aerodynamic shaping of the rear crash structure.
FIA president Max Mosley believes the designs are legal, but Briatore feels the regulations are inconsistent.
"It's not right that some diffusers are made in a certain way while others in a different way, because I don't think it fair that everyone has his own rule book," he was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Looks like there are two sets of regulations: the one that allows some teams to have the diffuser built in a certain way that is forbidden to others because it's considered illegal. That's not what we expect. We want black or white rules but equal to everyone."
He would not be drawn on whether Renault would lodge a protest.
"We'll see, because at least three teams don't respect the regulations," said Briatore.
Mosley said last month that he felt the designs were 'clever' rather than illegal, but admitted that the cars in question could be protested in Melbourne.
"The current FIA view is that Williams and Toyota have been clever and have exploited the wording of the rules in a clever way," Mosley told reporters. "But somebody may challenge it and the stewards may take a different view - it could happen.
"It is a curious idea in a way - where you are not allowed two surfaces, you have a surface and then something that is not a surface because it is unsprung. The view on our technical people is that it is okay, we will wait and see if someone challenges it."
Williams technical director Sam Michael is confident his team are working within the rules.
"To be honest we were surprised that it even turned into an issue because for us it was very clearly inside the regulations," he said during a recent press briefing at the Williams factory.
"It was something that in various forms teams have been doing for two years, so it wasn't really a big issue for us or the FIA. So it was something that we clarified with the FIA well over a year ago."
Briatore believes the diffuser issue is part of a wider problem, as he is also unhappy that only a handful of teams are likely to use kinetic energy recovery systems from the start of the season.
"We'll go to Australia with cars that have KERS and others that don't, and that's already difficult for people to understand," he said.
The FIA allowed Renault to make engine modifications during the winter because they had not exploited the same loopholes in the engine freeze rules as their rivals. Briatore fears a similar situation with the latest rules.
"I wouldn't like it to end up like the frozen engine, which we respected and ended up with 50bhp less than the others," he said. "This is the same story."