The Grove-based team were believed to have broken the FIA rule book in terms of rear diffuser design, as their system was built in such way that its central section exceeds the FIA-imposed limit of 175 mm. However, in an official statement issued by the FIA earlier this month, the system has been given the go-ahead, as it was considered “highly-innovative” by the international body.
Although he admitted he was very surprised by the big fuss their new system has created during the past month, Michael revealed he would be even more surprised not to see Williams' design copied by at least “half the teams” at Melbourne.
“I am sure they will copy us. Toyota have (already) got something, although their diffuser is not the same as ours even though it is a similar interpretation. I would be amazed if at least half the grid in Melbourne doesn't have it,” said Michael during a pre-season media event at Grove.
“And out of the cars I've seen, there are two teams who don't have it but have components on the car perfectly positioned to have it on their cars for Melbourne. They obviously took a different decision to us and thought we don't want to reveal this until Melbourne. If we don't have 50 percent of the grid there in Melbourne with the same concept I would be staggered,” he added.
Michael also admitted that his team would have waited longer before revealing their rear-diffuser concept, only they were positive everyone had already thought about it in the first place.
“If (we knew beforehand) there would be all this fuss and some teams who had not thought about it, instead of putting their hands up and saying, 'we didn't think of it because we weren't looking at the rules hard enough', instead of doing that they said, 'we'll try and get it banned'. If we thought that might happen, then we might have delayed,” concluded the Williams' technical director.