SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Formula One’s diffuser controversy could have been avoided if those teams now protesting had embraced proposed rule changes a year ago, according to Ross Brawn.
The Brawn GP owner told reporters at the Malaysian Grand Prix that an attempt to simplify aspects of the 2009 regulations at an FIA technical meeting in March last year had been rejected.
The debate surrounds the rear diffuser, which channels the flow of air out of the back of the car as smoothly as possible for maximum grip and downforce.
Protesting teams argue the use of what is effectively a double-decker diffuser is against the spirit of the regulations.
“If I‘m frank, I didn’t say ‘look, we’re going to do this diffuser if you don’t accept this rule’. Because I‘m not going to tell people what we’re doing,” said the Briton, whose Mercedes-powered team finished one-two in Australia.
“But I explained that I felt we should have a different set of rules to simplify what needs to be done and I offered them and they were rejected. So my conscience is very clear,” added Brawn.
“And those rules that I put on the table would have stopped a lot of things. It would have stopped the diffuser and all those bargeboards around the front, it would have cleaned the cars up.”
“Nobody was interested then, they are very interested now.”
BMW-Sauber, champions Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault have all protested the legality of the cars used by Brawn, Toyota and Williams in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and in Malaysia.
Two sets of stewards have rejected the protests and an appeal is scheduled for next week in Paris.
Brawn, who also heads the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) technical working group, said he was not impressed by some of the comments made by other team principals in recent weeks.
”They are uneducated and uninformed,“ he said. ”If they looked at the facts then they’d realise that.
“I’ve always tried to wear two hats,” continued the former Ferrari technical director.
”One is what’s good for Formula One, and I wear that hat for a certain period. And then I take that hat off and it’s what’s good for my team?
“When we get into actually designing a car, you can’t go back and say ‘I’ve found this great new feature, I’d better stop it.’ It’s a different hat you have to wear.”