Williams protest questionable aero

One news story that began to develop late on Saturday night in Melbourne was that Williams had lodged a protest against Ferrari and Red Bull. Nothing appears to have happened on that front yet, so I assume that everyone has gone to bed and it will be sorted in the morning.

There isn’t a lot of information out there about the protest. Grandprix.com suggests that the protests surround aerodynamics around the sidepods. By this, I assume we are talking about the strange structures that have sprouted up just in front of the sidepods. Ferrari use them as an elaborate mirror stand, but it’s clear they serve an aerodynamic purpose.

These strange structures were noted at the time. But it was pointed out that they were perfectly within the rules, even if they went against the “spirit” of the rules, which was to get rid of such weird and wonderful aerodynamic devices. This leads me to wonder if Williams are simply being a bit mischievous in their protest against Ferrari and Red Bull.

The recent fuss kicked up by Ferrari and Red Bull (and Renault and BMW) about the “diffuser three” is similarly contrived. I don’t understand the technical regulations all that well, but everything I have read suggests that the controversial diffusers are perfectly within the letter of the law. What is at question is whether they are within the “spirit” of the law.

Are Williams simply sending out a message to the complaining teams — giving them a taste of their own medicine? “We can play this game as well. Your cars aren’t within the spirit of the law either.”

Update: I had missed that Williams had withdrawn their protest just before midnight. There is still no explanation, but the fact that they have withdrawn the protest make it all the more likely that Williams were just being a bit cheeky.

Update 2: Interesting quote:

Williams recognises the possibility that in this area there could be more than one interpretation of the rules and therefore does not feel it appropriate to continue with the protests.