- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

PARIS (AP) - Motor racing’s governing body was meeting Tuesday to decide on the legality of a car part that helped Brawn GP’s Jenson Button win the Formula One season’s opening two races.

FIA officials went into closed-door hearings about the rear diffusers at their Paris headquarters and were expected to hand down a ruling early Wednesday.

The result could throw the Formula One championship into disarray.

Ferrari, BMW Sauber, Renault and Red Bull have all lodged appeals to FIA against the stewards’ decision in Australia and Malaysia to allow Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams to race with rear diffusers that could breach new aerodynamic regulations.

The diffusers, an under-car device that channels the flow of air from the front to rear, help create greater downforce through corners.

The FIA knew of the three teams’ design plans for the diffuser and raised no objection, and must now decide whether to overturn a design it initially cleared.

Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams have dominated the F1 championship’s opening two races.

Button leads with 15 points, five more than teammate Rubens Barrichello. Toyota pair Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock are next with nine and eight points, respectively.

The FIA’s International Court of Appeal could annul the results.

Brawn GP, the former Honda team, was saved by a last-minute buyout by Ross Brawn and is the first new outfit to win its opening two races since Alfa Romeo in the inaugural F1 season in 1950.

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