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Sunday, 5 April 2009

Diffusers and F1 Aerodynamics

As we approach the FIA hearing on the question of the legality of diffusers it is hard not to recall the past...

Williams Toyota and Brawn are pursued by the other teams who assert that the diffuser system in the rear of their cars is a breach of current regulations.

We remember Colin Chapman and others before the days of extreme sponsorship and relatively less hype. Engineering expertise and innovation were the only means available of obtaining a competitive edge on limited funds. The use of ever lighter components, ground effects, wings that were adapted from the pioneering Chaparral CanAm cars, the 1.5 litre Coventry Climax engine adapted from a fire pump unit, and so on.

Whatever the outcome, one of the areas that has retained fascination in F1 has been observing how the cleverest engineers innovate within the rules.

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