Brawn tabled diffuser 'fix' last year
By Jonathan Noble Sunday, April 5th 2009, 07:14 GMT
Rivals teams rejected an offer from Ross Brawn to tidy up the technical regulations 12 months ago, and head off the possibility of double decker diffuser designs being adopted.
While the row over diffusers continues to overshadow the sport, ahead of a hearing of the FIA's International Court of Appeal in April, Brawn has revealed that at a meeting of technical directors last March, he proposed modifying the rules to ensure that proper limits were introduced on areas teams could exploit.
"In March 2008 that was offered," said Brawn, when asked by AUTOSPORT about the matter.
"If I'm frank I didn't say 'look we are going to do this diffuser if you don't accept this rule' because I'm not going to tell people what we're doing, but I explained that I felt that we should have a different set of rules to simplify what needs to be done.
"I offered them and they were rejected, so my conscience is very clear. And those rules that I put on the table would have stopped a lot of things. It would have stopped the diffuser, it would have stopped all those bargeboards around the front, and it would have cleaned the cars up.
"Because it was clear that when we started to work on the regulations that there were things that you could do, and we needed to perhaps clean them up, but nobody was interested. They are interested now."
Brawn GP has been protested, along with Williams and Toyota, at the opening two races of the season for the diffuser design that rival teams do not believe are legal. The stewards at both the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix, however, have stated that they believe the designs are within the regulations.
Despite what happened with the offer to change the rules last year, Brawn says he has not been frustrated by the protests, although he has expressed some disappointment at critical comments aimed his way by Flavio Briatore.
"I don't like some of the comments some of the other team principals are making but they are uneducated and uninformed so if they looked at the facts then they would realise that," he said.
"But I have always tried to wear two hats. One is what is good for Formula 1 and I wear that hat for a certain period, then I take that hat off and I wear the 'what's good for my team' one be it Ferrari or whoever it is.
"For sure there are periods when I am very happy to say what is good for Formula 1 and that is the period a year to 18 months before you start doing a car. What's the best thing to do?
"When we get in to designing the car and actually creating it, you can't go back then and say 'oh we have found this great new feature I had better stop it', its a different hat you have to wear.
"And everybody in F1 I hope does that. When there is plenty of time you try and get the rules in the best shape you can, and when the rules are decided you have to go flat out in producing the best car you can within those regulations."
Ayrton Senna: WDC 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
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McLaren: WDC 1974, 1976, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2008