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Theissen: BMW Sauber undecided on diffuser changes 20 Apr 2009

Dr Mario Theissen (GER) BMW Sauber F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 4 April 2009 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.09.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 19 April 2009 Car of Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29 in parc ferme with updated diffuser.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 18 April 2009

BMW Sauber boss Mario Theissen says his team have not yet finalised what modifications they will make to their car’s rear diffuser in light of last week’s FIA decision declaring double-decker designs legal.

Theissen was vocal in his opposition to the designs being run by Brawn, Toyota and Williams, but says he accepts the FIA decision. However, while the likes of Renault and McLaren already had revised diffusers on their cars in China, BMW Sauber are taking a more circumspect approach.

“The diffuser is the rear end of an entire aero package beneath the car,” Theissen told the team’s official website. “The concept is complex and only works if all the components up-stream - in the front area of the car - also are fully integrated.

“At the end of the day, it takes a far bigger effort than just copying a component and fitting it to the car. To channel the airflow beneath the car to the rear in a way that a double-decker design diffuser really produces more downforce, the entire aero package - from the front wing to the rear - has to be fully revised.”

Like most of the seven teams running single-deck diffusers, BMW Sauber began work on a revised design several weeks ago. Despite this, they are yet to decide whether it will be incorporated into the revised aero package they are planning for next month’s Spanish Grand Prix.

“This work represents an interplay between our design department and the aerodynamicists,” explained Theissen. “Our staff in Munich and Hinwil are working flat-out. As planned, we will travel to Barcelona with a new aero package. Nonetheless, it has not yet been determined to what extent a modified diffuser solutions will be integrated there.”

BMW Sauber have experienced a tough start to their 2009 campaign, scoring just four points from the opening three races, putting them fifth in the constructors’ standings.