Teams are only allowed to test their cars on race weekends, they must use smaller wind tunnels, and they have to share information on tyres and fuel, which should reduce the need for an espionage budget. Tantalisingly, the teams can now choose to install a Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a device which gives drivers a seven-second spurt of extra power every lap, and sounds like it belongs in Mario Kart
The biggest technological development, however, concerns the diffuser, a part on the floor at the back of the car which organises the airflow, and is consequently essential to its aerodynamics. What's happened is that Brawn GP, a team that was formed less than three weeks ago from the debris left by recession-hit Honda, have by far the best diffuser.
Indeed, it's so good that Red Bull and other teams launched an unsuccessful legal challenge against it. Frank Williams, boss of the Williams team, said: "They [Brawn GP] are making the rest of us look like amateurs."
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