Double diffusers banned from 2011

Formula 1 technical chiefs have officially agreed to ban double diffusers from the start of next year, AUTOSPORT can reveal

Double diffusers banned from 2011

A move to cut aerodynamic downforce was discussed with the FIA in Thursday's meeting of F1 think-tank the Technical Working Group, where agreement was necessary if the changes were to be implemented in future regulations.

Sources have confirmed to AUTOSPORT that a vote approved the tweaks to aerodynamics - with a tidying up of the controversial diffuser rules effectively outlawing double diffusers from the start of next season.

It is understood that the teams approved a requirement that the diffuser surface must be continuous on its inboard section from the start of 2011. This prevents the use of the controversial 'slots' that were key to making the double diffuser work.

The matter still needs to get approval from the Formula 1 Commission and the FIA's World Sport Council before being put in the 2011 technical regulations, but this is believed to be a formality if the TWG has already voted in favour.

Double diffusers caused huge controversy at the start of 2009 when the design concept used by Brawn GP, Williams and Toyota was protested by rival outfits. The complaints to stewards fell on deaf ears, however - meaning the matter eventually went to the FIA International Court of Appeal.

The ICA ruled that the diffusers were wholly legal - which forced a number of teams on the grid to revamp their cars to make the most of the advantage provided by double diffusers.

A move to outlaw them now has come about because teams have made such progress in increasing downforce that this season cars are expected to be producing more than at the end of 2008 - when teams were asked to reduce downforce with a dramatic change to the regulations.

Sources have told AUTOSPORT that the aerodynamic changes for 2011 will increase lap times by around two seconds.

Although the diffuser ban goes some way to arresting some of the progress made by teams since the end of 2008, there remain calls for a more thorough rethink.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, whose team had to integrate a double diffuser onto its car in the middle of last season, believes that changes should go beyond simple rule tweaks.

"I think the most important thing is to set clear objectives - as to what do the governing body and the promoters want F1 to be," he told AUTOSPORT last weekend. "What do they want the F1 cars to be able to do?

"Then rather than cherry picking at bits and pieces, we can look at the package as a whole to encourage more overtaking, and to enable the cars to follow more closely.

"I think looking at components in isolation is often quite dangerous, so I think it is important that the overall objective is clearly defined and then worked on by the various technical groups."

The TWG also approved a regulation tweak to impose a maximum height for the chassis, for safety reasons.

shares
comments
Rossi thrilled with his F1 test pace
Previous article

Rossi thrilled with his F1 test pace

Next article

No F1 role for Donnelly in 2010

No F1 role for Donnelly in 2010
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022