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F1 NEWS 

BMW to lodge protest over diffusers

Brawn FIA inspectionA protest against the diffuser designs on the Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams cars is to be lodged imminently, BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen has confirmed.

With the three teams at the centre of the controversy awaiting news of a possible protest after the cars underwent scrutineering for the Australian Grand Prix on Thursday, Theissen has said his team will complain about the diffuser designs.

"We will lodge a protest against all three teams," explained Theissen when asked by AUTOSPORT about his outfit's position. "We are preparing our protest and we will see what happens.

"It is not for me to decide what is right or wrong. But to me there are definitely different interpretations of the rules and we need clarity as quickly as possible."

It is understood that Red Bull Racing, Ferrari and Renault will also join in with the protest, and representatives of the four teams involved in the protest met at the Renault motorhome this afternoon.

Theissen conceded that the need for the diffuser issue to be settled with a protest at the first race of the season was not ideal - but there was no alternative way to settle such disputes over technical issues.

"It is unusual, absolutely, but I think in certain cases it will not be avoidable in the future. That is why we have this opportunity and to me it is not that abnormal to go this route."

BMW Sauber is believed to have evaluated a similar diffuser concept to the three teams as part of its development programme for the F1.09, and would introduce it if the concept was declared legal.

However, Theissen felt that even if other teams copied the diffuser designs, then the three outfits using the concept now would still retain an advantage.

"We are doing all sorts of development," he said. "We have an idea how much of a benefit this will be, but we will not be able to race it next week in Malaysia.

"It will require some preparation time, and it wouldn't end up where the other three teams are now. It would turn into a development race and in our view we would end up finally with ground effect cars."

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