Apparently the latest scandalous rumour to be going around the F1 circus circles are that certain Formula 1 teams have taken advantage of a loophole in the rules to design diffusers that help create better and more consistent downforce. This involves enlarging the hole in the diffuser for the starter motor to pass through.
Certain teams have intentionally used excesively larger starter motors so that they can make larger holes in their diffuser, thus getting them the intended aerodynamic benefit. Reports going around the net claim that the ‘diffusergate’ teams are McLaren, Mercedes, Renault and Force India, and that the FIA have ordered them to modify their diffuser designs.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh confirmed in Bahrain last weekend that his team was one of the teams that are under investigation over the matter.”There are holes in the diffuser for the starter, the hole in ours is no bigger than the one on the championship winning car last year and also no bigger than it is on about four other cars,” he said.
There’s no real wrongdoing here – just a clever workaround the rules, but the FIA is said to be stepping in to get them to conform to realististic sizses ‘in the spirit of rules’. UPDATE: Apparently a note has been sent out clarifying the maximum starter hole dimensions allowed.