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F1 NEWS 

Williams hopes FIA will still act

Williams technical director Sam Michael hopes the FIA will now look into the designs of the Ferrari and Red Bull Racing cars following his team's attempted protest against them at the Australian Grand Prix.

Williams complained about the areas surrounding the front of the sidepods on the Ferrari and Red Bull Racing cars after qualifying, but in the end decided to drop its protest for the good of the sport.

Despite that decision, Michael is hoping that the FIA and rival teams now clear up what it believes is an area of the regulations where there can be more than one interpretation of the rules.

"We are looking at the potential implications of it, although as we said, we believe it was in the interests of the sport to withdraw the protest," said Michael. "We will leave it now for the FIA and the TWG [Technical Working Group] to decide what to do. The FIA will deal with it."

The Williams protest came on the back of the Grove-based team being protested itself by Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Renault over the design of its diffuser in the build-up to the Australian GP.

The race stewards confirmed that they felt the design of the diffuser was legal, although rival outfits have appealed that decision.

Michael said suggestions the diffuser design would herald a new era of 'ground effect' era, and went against the spirit of rule changes designed to increase overtaking, were wrong.

"It is clear in the regulations what you can do," he said. "That is what the FIA thinks, that is what the stewards think. The OWG [Overtaking Working Group] finding was that producing more diffuser downforce resulted in an increase in downwash for the following car and improved overtaking capability.

"So from that point of view, our diffuser is helping overtaking and the others are not. That study was done by Renault, Ferrari, McLaren and BMW Sauber. So by their own studies they said we should increase diffuser downforce, and that is what we have done."

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