Williams and Toyota s 2009 cars will be the subject of close inspection by the FIA after other teams sought a clarification of the rules regarding their rear diffuser arrangements. Some technical experts believe that in moulding the bodywork around their respective diffusers (beneath the rear wing) the two teams have exceeded the 175mm maximum height regulation.
Pat Symonds, technical director of Renault, was one of the first to speak out on the issue. â€˜They (the diffusers) are certainly interesting, although I don’t think I can comment on their legality.
“That’s something for the FIA to comment on. We will be asking the FIA about it, but we haven’t yet,” he told Autosport.
A piece of bodywork exceeding the permitted height could give the teams in question added downforce as part of the rear aerodynamic structure, resulting in a potentially significant performance advantage.
An official protest cannot be lodged until a race weekend, and the FIA is likely to pass judgement on the issue before the season begins. If Williams and Toyota s structures are legal, other teams will presumably rush to copy the design onto their own machines.