MAY 11, 2001
Williams make diffuser change
WILLIAMS technical director Patrick Head has said that his team have had to change their car after an interpretation of the laws of the sport was adjudged to be unfair.
In Barcelona, controversy surrounded the acceptability of the team's diffuser, used to gain significant amounts of downforce at the rear of the car.
It was alleged that teams had complained about the Williams design solution, saying it was not in the spirit of the law, and the FIA have now forced a change.
"We've done a small modification but we're talking about something tiny," said Head. "But the wording of the regulation has not changed in that area.
"Our aerodynamics people decided that there was an interpretation that could give us a small advantage and they went and saw Charlie Whiting 18 months ago, when he said no problem.
"So, for the last 18 months, we've been making use of that and then just before Barcelona we were told by Charlie Whiting that they had decided it was a loophole which he fully accepted was a valid loophole.
"But he wanted to close it off, so he said he would be issuing a clarification after Barcelona which would close that loophole."
That clarification did indeed come to Williams after the Barcelona race and the team has now made the modification required.
However, it appears not to have made much of a difference to the performance of the car, which set the fifth fastest time in the hands of Ralf Schumacher in Friday practice.
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