F1 »

Williams and Toyota '09 diffusers given all-clear?

Following the debate over the legality or otherwise of the – subsequently modified – exhaust outlets on Ferrari's F60, the similarly contentious diffuser designs on Williams and Toyota's new challengers have reportedly been ratified by the FIA.

The rear diffusers on Toyota's TF109 and Williams' FW31 are markedly different to those on the other 2009 Formula 1 cars to have thus far seen the light of day, which prompted some rivals to request clarification from the sport's governing body regarding their legitimacy. Whilst both cars are Toyota-powered, it is unclear as to whether there was any collaboration between the two teams on the matter.

According to the new aerodynamic regulations, the rear diffuser must not exceed 175mm in height, but it has been contended that the sculpting of the rear crash structure on both cars has been shaped in such a way as to make the diffusers more than 175mm tall, UpdateF1.com reports.

'Toyota's diffuser makes a very interesting interpretation of the revised 2009 rules (and one that has already prompted speculation regarding its legality),' reads a technical analysis on the official F1 website. 'By exploiting regulations that allow extra bodywork within a 150mm zone in the centre of the car, the team appear to have cleverly shaped the TF109's rear crash structure so that it effectively lengthens and heightens the diffuser's central section, which also features a very low splitter at its base.

'Like engine supplier Toyota's, Williams' interpretation of the revised diffuser regulations is highly innovative. Much of the diffuser's central section is actually lower than the outer sections. However, clever shaping of the rear crash structure immediately below the rear light effectively creates a second central section. In combination, the result is a central section that exceeds the 175mm height allowance that applies to the diffuser alone.'

Whilst the FIA has not commented publicly on the issue, Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell claims that both designs have been approved as meeting with the letter of the law, with Williams and Toyota having separately been told by the governing body that there is no problem. The two teams are understood to have taken advantage of a loophole in the regulations regarding extra bodywork not intended for diffusers.

Any official protest cannot be lodged until the cars are presented for scrutineering for the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne at the end of March.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nico Hulkenberg - Williams-Toyota FW31 [Pic credit: LAT/Williams]
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


rob - Unregistered

February 03, 2009 7:02 PM

The same reason everyone wanted to know if the open exhaust on the Ferrari was legal. Asking question early could provide clarity for all teams.

Munro Gow - Unregistered

February 03, 2009 6:26 PM

You can always bend the rules as much as possible - just make sure you dont break them. Every team is looking for an edge and if they have found it legally then its a case of good luck to them - well from my point of view anyways. If teams are looking to argue it then its because they were not smart enough to think of it themselves and they are worried that it might be beneficial. Thing is though, every other team wil be scrambling around trying to do something similar before Oz!!!



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.