Two weeks ago the FIA handed all the teams with the new rules in regards to blown diffusers. I was looking forward to Sliverstone to see how the teams would be affected by the changes to their engine mapping. I wasn’t prepared to see that it would be the team principles that were most affected with Martin Whitmarsh and Christian Horner looking more like David Haye and Wladimir Klitscko the way they were squaring up over the differing engine over run levels.
With all team bosses and technical heads summoned to an emergency TWG meeting just an hour and a half before qualifying, the seemingly annual controversy at Silvertstone was keeping up with tradition.
With so little time before the start of qualifying, the protagonists had little option to keep the new rules in place for the race, much to the reluctance of Christian Horner whose RB7 has been designed around this technology.
As it turns out. As qualifying got under way it would seem that McLaren and Renault are the biggest losers, both designed their car with the blow diffuser in mind, Renault perhaps the most aggressive in this area only managed fourteenth and sixteenth for tomorrows race. With the two McLarens lining up fifth (Button) and tenth (Hamilton).
Two teams that have struggled to optimise their EBD are Ferrari and Williams. Fernando Alonso was very pleased with his third place, especially since it was only 0.12 sec off of Webber’s Pole time. Pastor Maldonado also made better use of his car posting the seventh fastest time for Williams.
So after all the hot air, cold air and blown air it looks like Red Bull are still the car to beat (in qualifying anyway) but with Ferrari closer than ever we could see a serious challenge to their dominance in the race.
As is the norm this season , it was left to Mark Webber to put this dispute into context, “It is not new for our team, every year we have a new thing to talk about. Let’s hope everyone can find someone common ground. It’s very boring for the fans, they cannot understand 0.1% of what’s going on. Let’s get on with the racing and keep the rules as simple as we can.”