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Ferrari races to modify F60 car as diffuser verdict looms

FERRARI team manager Luca Baldisserri will not travel to this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, staying behind to work on car development in the wake of a disastrous start to the Formula One season.

"The goal is to anticipate as much as possible the introduction of new technologies to reduce the performance gap as fast as possible," Ferrari said on its Website.

Chris Dyer, an Australian who was previously track engineer for Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, will take over Baldisserri's track-side duties in Shanghai.

Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and Raikkonen have failed to score a single point in the opening two races of the Formula One season.

The Maranello outfit is hoping to introduce a revised version of its F60 car for the start of the European season at the Spanish GP May 10.

Baldisseri will work with technical director Aldo Costa.

Ferrari is anxiously awaiting the outcome of yesterday's hearing in Paris on the legality of the controversial rear diffusers that have helped Brawn GP's Jenson Button win the opening two races.

In the meantime, Ferrari has made some slight changes for this weekend, including modifications to the front wing, rims and deviators. Test driver Marc Gene tried out the alterations in Vairano last week.

The Court of Appeal of the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) met yesterday to discuss the appeal presented by Ferrari, Renault, Red Bull and BMW-Sauber against the decisions of race stewards in Australia and Malaysia who said the diffusers were legal.

A verdict is not due until today, by which time the teams will already be in Shanghai preparing for Sunday's third race of the season in China.

If the appeal is upheld, the championship could be thrown into turmoil with the court having the power in the most extreme scenario to overturn the results and strip Button of his wins.

If not, the Mercedes-powered Brawns can be expected to keep on winning while other teams race to catch up with radical redesigns of their cars.

McLaren, who also use Mercedes engines, also attended the hearing in Paris, but its representatives were not expected to speak despite sharing the view of the protesting teams.

The controversy centers on the rear diffuser, which channels the air cleanly under and out of the rear of the car to create maximum downforce.

Rivals claim the 'double-decker' or 'split-level' ones used by Brawn, Toyota and Toyota-powered Williams break the spirit of the rules.


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