Diffuser confuser for F1 opener

March 27, 2009

f1driversThis week’s Australian Grand Prix diffuser controversy was more of a confuser for the casual spectator, even if it was a classic of its kind.

Never mind the talk of air flow and aerodynamic interpretations. The bottom line is that it may be weeks before we know for certain who won Sunday’s Formula One season-opener.

If a Brawn, Toyota or Williams finishes first then everything will be left shrouded in uncertainty.

Despite a raft of rule changes and talk of a new determination to set aside differences and bring the sport closer to the fans, it has to be said that Formula One retains an infinite capacity to shoot itself in the foot.

The next two races will be overshadowed by a controversy mired in technical minutiae and arguments of baffling complexity, with the verdict to be decided by a court of appeal.

Jenson Button could win Sunday’s race in a fairytale turnaround (even if his Brawn GP car is the product of millions of dollars of Honda investment) for a driver who seemed to have squandered his talent and be heading for the scrapheap only a month or two ago.

The fans will be buzzing, there will be a real sense of novelty… and then it could all go sour again.

The season has not yet started and the cacophony of confusion and controversy is as loud as anything lapping the track.

The familiar scoring system has been scrapped and reinstated barely a week before the first race. Even Button has had his racing number changed three times since Brawn emerged on the scene this month.

The real surprise now would be for Sunday’s race to proceed without controversy. What are the odds on that happening I wonder?

PHOTO: This combination photo shows all 20 Formula One drivers for the 2009 season at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne March 26, 2009.

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