Mike Stevens | Apr 7, 2009

A cloud of uncertainty continues to hover over the Formula One paddock as teams take a week off ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

The final results of the opening two races are subject to a protest from BMW, Red Bull, Renault and Ferrari against the 'Diffuser Three' – Brawn, Williams and Toyota - with the FIA Court of Appeal set to meet in Paris on Tuesday 14th April, the week of the Chinese event.

But if, as expected, the FIA ratifies the use of the device, Brawn's Jenson Button believes it will change the complexion of this year's title race and teams will effectively start anew in Spain.

“Barcelona is the first race where I think you will see packages on cars. Everyone’s going to be making a step forward this year and obviously there is a mass of rule changes, so people could make big, big steps forward, I think, coming into the European races,” he said.

“And for sure, all of the cars at the front will have to watch out for that. The season is not over, we’ve only had one race and I think that with the rule changes, people can make big steps forward.

“It’s about us being able to keep up with them more than anything, with the steps in performance.”

Cars fitted with the rear diffuser dominated in Melbourne and again in Malaysia, crossing the line in the top four positions.

The diffusers generate more downforce, compensating for the lack of rear grip caused by the new technical regulations.

It is believed the majority of teams are bracing for the FIA to back the use of the diffuser, prompting many to begin orchestrating contingency strategies.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner told the BBC last week: “Our guys have done a very good job with the cars over the winter but the diffuser issues opens up a development path that was not previously open.

"Previously you were looking at making gains in the front and rear wing but now you can look at the diffuser and the whole underside of the floor.”

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