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Formula 1 News - April, 2009
FIA set to announce diffuser verdict

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Apr.15 (GMM) F1's governing body will on Wednesday announce the verdict of the FIA International Court of Appeal hearing in relation to the diffuser saga.

In front of nearly 40 involved lawyers, officials and team personnel, the panel of judges heard the hearing for eight hours in Paris on Tuesday.

The future unity of the FOTA alliance came under intense pressure, as the technical arguments veered into personal attacks, with Brawn, Williams and Toyota accused of fielding illegal cars by their rivals.

Ferrari QC Nigel Tozzi led the charge for the appellants, accusing the team's former long-time technical director Ross Brawn of "supreme arrogance".

Brawn returned fire, accusing Ferrari designer Rory Byrne of making arguments that were "vindictive" and amounted to a "fishing expedition".

When twice asked to withdraw his slight against his former friend, Brawn insisted: "We are on opposite sides in this argument, so I stand by my statements."

Brawn accused Red Bull's Adrian Newey of "bringing the sport into disrepute" by arguing that because the diffusers made the cars faster, an argument on the grounds of safety is valid.

"The safety implication relating to a technical feature of the car is a bit below the belt," the Briton said.

Ferrari's Tozzi also argued that the diffusers fly in the face of Max Mosley's attempts to reduce costs by "limiting the opportunities for technical innovation".

Brawn countered: "Formula one is all about innovative design. It's a cornerstone and objective of the sport."

Brawn lawyer Paul Harris surmised of the appellants' arguments: "What we have seen is a sideshow, irrelevancies, or to coin an English phrase, a red herring."

FIA race director Charlie Whiting, meanwhile, was accused by Ferrari of "getting it wrong" when he cleared the controversial cars to race, and "not understanding the point".

During a lengthy and detailed exchange debating the definition of a 'hole', one of the FIA judges, Malta's Guido de Marco, reportedly fell asleep more than once.

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