Race stewards rejected a protest Thursday against the bodywork on the cars of three teams racing at this weekend's Formula One season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Ferrari, Renault and Red Bull lodged protests after pre-event inspections approved the cars of Williams, Toyota and Brawn. The protest alleged the teams had broken new aerodynamic laws restricting the size of the rear diffuser.
After hours of hearings late into the night, the race stewards rejected the protest and cleared the three teams to race with “their designs unchanged.”
“Following lengthy discussions with the various parties, stewards reiterated their belief that the cars are legal,” FIA said in a statement. “That decision is expected to be appealed, which would require a hearing of the FIA's International Court of Appeal. That would be unlikely to take place until after next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.”
Even before the stewards' hearing, the protesting teams had signaled their intention to appeal if the verdict went against them.
Williams, Toyota and race favorites Brawn will compete in Australia and Malaysia with their current bodywork design but with the fear that any points gained may be wiped out if the appeal succeeds.
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-- The Associated Press