Williams withdraws Ferrari and RBR protest

WIL2008090559049 PVWilliams have withdrawn a formal protest it lodged with stewards over the the legality of the Ferrari and Red Bull cars.

The nature of the protest has not been disclosed but reports from Melbourne suggest the Grove-based outfit called into question the legality of the cars’ sidepod arrangements.

The investigation ran deep into Saturday night, but before stewards delivered their verdict Williams announced that they were withdrawing their protest “in the interests of the sport”.

The team said in a statement: “After further detailed consideration, Williams has withdrawn both protests in the interests of the sport.

“Williams recognises the possibility that in this area there could be more than one interpretation of the rules and therefore does not feel it appropriate to continue with the protests.”

The affair follows similar complaints made by Ferrari and Red Bull Racing against Williams’ own diffuser design, but team chiefs have insisted this is not the reason for their follow-up protest.

Williams technical director Sam Michael told autosport: “Let’s be 100 percent clear, if someone thinks our car is not legal, we have no problem with them going the stewards at any time throughout the race weekend or the championship and saying we think x on that car is illegal.”

“So we don’t have any problem with what people have done this weekend.”

The line-up for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix has now been made official with the demotion of the Toyota drivers standing as the sole change.