McLaren Drivers Confirm Altered Diffuser for Australia

There have been plenty of reports suggesting that no less than 4 teams were told by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to alter their rear diffusers after the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix. Although given as certain measures taken by the FIA, the news was never confirmed by the ruling body via a press release or statement.

Well now, only a few hours before the official start of the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, at least we know that one of those teams is definitely McLaren Mercedes. And that's because both the team's driver Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button revealed to the media that the Woking mechanics have changed the aforementioned part for the race Down Under.

They (the engineers) said it doesn't make any difference,” Hamilton told the reporters in Melbourne, while Button reckoned “it isn't something that should cause us concern.” Additionally, the reigning world champion revealed that his team was not the only one forced to do those kind of changes, and that the on-track difference as compared to Bahrain will be one or two hundredths of a second (less).

According to the several media reports on this topic, McLaren were forced to join Mercedes GP, Renault and Force India in changing the design of their rear diffusers, as their initial one was not quite compliant with the technical rulebook of the FIA.

The news cannot be more worrying for those teams – especially McLaren and Mercedes GP, who are considered title favorites this year – as it will further increase the gap between them and the championship's front-runners Ferrari and Red Bull.

In other but quite related news, Ferrari admitted that they have a long way to copying the McLaren-type air system on their F10 model, while it is believe BMW Sauber and Mercedes GP are close to debuting similar devices in the upcoming few races.
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