Massa: Diffuser rules need clarifying

Felipe Massa thinks it right that teams are poised to challenge the legality of the diffuser designs on the Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams teams - because he says the uncertainty over the rules needs sorting out

Massa: Diffuser rules need clarifying

With the F1 paddock bracing itself for protests by a number of teams about the controversial diffuser design, Massa thinks it right the issue is sorted out as soon as possible.

"My feeling is that things need to be clarified," said Massa, during a press conference for Shell in downtown Melbourne on Thursday. "Now it is a little bit unsure if it (the diffuser design) is legal or not, so we wait and see how the decision is going to be of the FIA. But it must be 100 per cent clarified."

The looming protests, coming just a week after the points system U-turn, have cast a cloud over the start of the season, and Massa's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen admitted the situation was not good.

"It doesn't change my racing, but it's not the best thing for Formula 1 to start the season with all kinds of different stories," said the Finn. "If you change the rules, then they should be changed over the winter time and not a few weeks before the start of the season.

"About the diffuser, that can happen anytime. It can happen during the season with some other parts, so it's part of racing, and we will see what will happen."

Ferrari's chief aerodynamicist Nikolas Tombazis told this week's Autosprint that his team was in no doubt that Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams gained an advantage from the diffuser designs.

"We have strong doubts over the legality of the solutions devised by some rivals," he said. "We hope these doubts will be cleared before the first race.

"Even with these regulations, the diffuser remains one of the car's elements that give the most performance. That's because it helps the whole floor of the car to have low pressures.

"The pressure levels aren't, in absolute terms, as low as they are for example under a wing. The wing's are however applied over a smaller surface. The diffuser doesn't have such low pressures, but with it being on a very large surface, it creates a big percentage of the total load.

"On top of that, with the rule book forcing certain components, if you find alternative ways to take advantage of that area, then you can gain an advantage."

Although the competitiveness of Brawn GP will depend on whether or not it is allowed to use its diffuser, Massa is still expecting a strong performance from the team after its quick times from testing.

"For sure they were really strong in the tests," he said. "If they have a similar car as in the tests, then for sure they will be very strong here. But now is where it counts, now is the race. We wait and see."

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